How do I hire a land surveyor?
- Only a Professional Land Surveyor licensed by the State Board of Registration is legally permitted to perform land surveys in the State of Idaho.
- A Land Surveyor is an integral part of a professional team composed of attorneys, engineers, architects and planners.
- Choose a reputable Land Surveyor in whose skill and judgment you can put your trust in.
- A Land Surveyor should not be selected by price alone; competence is the top priority.
- Your selection should be made when you are sure that the professional you have chosen has all of the facts and is completely aware of your requirements and/or the requirements of the governmental agency having jurisdiction over the property.
How much will a survey cost?
The cost for most land surveying work is based on the following variables:
- Type of survey – Costs may increase as the required precision and scope of the survey increases.
- Record search – Research varies by the number of parcels involved and the number of past transactions
- Size and shape of property – An irregularly shaped parcel has more corners to monument than a rectangular parcel containing the same area.
- Sectionalized survey work – This could require the survey of the entire section (± 640 acres) in which the land being surveyed lies, regardless of the area of the parcel. In some cases, a survey of more than one section is required.
- Terrain – A level parcel of land is easier to survey than a mountainous parcel.
- Vegetation – Branches, brush, and small trees must frequently be cleared to afford a line of sight for the surveyor. Shrubs, flowers, and trees on home sites are normally not disturbed, but additional field time may be required to work around them.
- Accessibility – The time to perform the field surveying work varies with the accessibility to the corners on the site.
- Amount of existing evidence on the property – Existing evidence such as iron, wood, stone monuments, old fences, occupation lines, and monumentation is a considerable aid to the surveyor.
- Time of Year – In summer, foliage may present problems making work difficult. In winter, snow/ice may increase travel time and make work difficult.
- Title Company requirements – Title companies may require more documentation than is normally required by the average landowner.
Because of these variables, it is difficult to determine exact fees. However, based on past experience the Surveyor can usually furnish an approximate estimate of the costs.
Methods of surveying
Most Surveyors use electronic distance and angle measuring equipment as well as GPS satellite positioning equipment. Modern computer systems aid in efficiently evaluating measurements and in evaluating the collected evidence required to perform the survey.
Types of land surveying
- A.L.T.A. Survey or extended Title Insurance Coverage Survey – These surveys supply a title company and lender with the survey and location data necessary for issuing American Land Title Association or Extended Coverage Title Insurance.
- Boundary Survey – These surveys locate the corners and boundary lines of a given parcel of land. This involves record and field research, measurements, and computations to establish boundary lines in conformance with Idaho State Law. Easement lines may also be located with this type of survey.
- Topographic Survey – These surveys locate topographic features (natural and man-made) such as buildings, improvements, fences, elevations, trees, streams, contours of the land, etc. This type of survey may be required by a government agency or may be used by engineers and/or architects for the design of developments on site.
- Subdivision or Lot Split – These surveys subdivide or partition of a tract of land into smaller parcels and show monumentation and survey data on a map in conformance with local ordinances and Idaho State Law.
Will a Land Surveyor tell me what I own?
No, it is your responsibility to furnish the Surveyor with a legal description, current title report, or policy concerning the parcel that you want surveyed. The Surveyor will then locate the property on the ground, mark the corners with physical monuments, and provide you with a record of the survey map showing the results of the survey. The Surveyor will also disclose the areas that are in conflict so that the title company and/or attorney can
resolve any problems.
Will I be shown if there are any encroachments on the property?
Yes, you can instruct the Land Surveyor to show encroachments in the area of concern to you.
Will I be shown if there are any easements on my property?
Yes, you can instruct the Surveyor to show any easements and provide a current title report or title policy to use for this purpose. The Surveyor will supply a map, plat, or exhibit showing this information.
How will I be shown what has been surveyed?
The corners of the property will be marked with steel pins or other such monuments with the Professional Land Surveyor’s license number indicated thereon. A map of the survey will be recorded when these monuments are set that indicates the dimensions of property lines, monuments, and other relative data as required by Idaho State Law.
Why are there conflicting boundary and easement lines?
It is often true that boundary/easement line disputes, gaps, and overlaps are a result of legal descriptions which were originally written and recorded without the benefit of the services of a competent Land Surveyor. It is often important to have these lines properly described and surveyed when property or easement lines are created or changed.
Land Surveyor-Client Relations
- The Professional Land Surveyor renders a highly technical and complex service.
- In case of controversy, a Land Surveyor will appear in court in your behalf as an expert witness. No one else can assume responsibility for the correctness and accuracy of the work performed by an individual Land Surveyor.
- Many Land Surveyors also act as their clients’ representative at planning commission meetings and at other public hearings when city or county approval is required for certain developments.
- Remember, the services of a Land Surveyor today will cost less in time, worry, and money than the cost of moving land improvements or defending a law suit later!