When purchasing a property, there’s a lot of work that goes into it before moving in. Besides completing paperwork and fulfilling requirements by the local authorities, you need a certified land surveyor to verify property lines before closing the deal.
These surveys are conducted to determine land boundaries of homes, and plots of land, and to identify any form of encroachments easements.
No matter the type of property you’re buying, you will need a land surveyor to conduct a property survey. In this article, we will share with you information on land surveys, why they are necessary, tips for finding a reliable land surveyor, and the red flags you should watch out for. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Property Surveys And Their Importance
Land surveys are crucial in determining what belongs to you. Besides confirming already established boundaries, land surveys are also conducted to establish new boundaries in developing areas. For example, if you’re planning to put a fence around your backyard, knowing where your land ends will ensure you’re putting it in the right place and avoiding any conflict.
Land surveys are done in a legal capacity, meaning that they are well-documented and act as proof of the area you own. Municipalities need the survey so they can issue permits whereas contractors need to ensure the project they are taking does not violate any regulation related to the property.
Checking The Qualifications
Becoming a land surveyor requires a lot of effort, dedication, time, and most importantly, a relevant educational background. A degree in geomatics and surveying is mandatory for a land surveyor.
Besides having an educational background, they need to pass the licensing examination of the relevant licensing council and work for a specific amount of time under the supervision of an experienced surveyor.
Depending on the country or region you live in, the regulations vary. For example, in the U.S, the licenses given to these land surveyors are specific to a state, meaning that they will only provide their services in a specific state where their license will be acceptable. It is best to contact the local authorities and see the requirements of working as a surveyor.
Now that we have covered the basics, let’s explore the things to keep in mind when searching for a reliable land surveyor.
Just like any other search to find reliable services, get recommendations from family and friends as some of them might have been through the process and could guide you better. Besides looking for recommendations from peers, you can research online to find answers.
Start by short-listing the land surveyors providing services in your area, checking their qualifications, and reading online reviews regarding their services.
You can reach out to them over the phone or arrange a meeting to figure out whether you would be comfortable communicating. Land surveying specialists working at Axiom Geomatics suggest reaching out to your local land surveyor regulatory authority if you’re confused about finding a surveyor.
These licensing authorities provide easy access to directories containing information regarding surveyors, making it easier to conclude the search. You can even verify the licenses of the surveyors to ensure you are dealing with authentic personnel.
Independent Or Company Survey
When looking for a land surveyor, choose whether you will be working with an independent surveyor or want to hire a survey company. Most residential properties can work with an independent surveyor but these independent surveyors have a busy schedule and might not be available due to workload.
Similar to checking the reputation of a business, remember to check their reputation in the industry to make informed decisions. A survey company will be most likely available to provide their services.
However, these companies cost you a lot more than independent contractors. Weight out your options, evaluate your requirements and then make a decision to achieve the best results. You can ask the contractor or the local authorities that require the survey report whether an independent or a survey company is required to complete the process.
Meeting The Surveyor
Contacting or meeting the surveyor is crucial before starting the process. When you meet them, you can ask about their qualifications, their past work, relevant licenses, and testimonials from previous clients.
A reputable surveyor will welcome these concerns and show you the relevant paperwork. Ask the surveyor how much they would charge for the services. If possible, ask them to provide a quote or mention the fee detail in the agreement.
A reliable surveyor will not only answer your queries but also explain the process and be clear on the total fee. Although they will give you an estimated timeline of the possession, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much time it would require. Surveyors spend a lot of time researching and ensuring the boundaries.
After the survey is complete, you will receive an official document called the plaque that confirms your property’s boundary. It’s an official document that can be used in court and elsewhere to identify the boundaries.
Availability Of Tools
Legitimate surveyors are always equipped with the right set of tools to complete the job. These tools include theodolite, water, lasers, and related stuff. They also have a quality GPS so they can pinpoint the exact locations.
Most of the land surveyors you’ll find in your area can be picked as they are certified and have the expertise to execute the job. Unfortunately, there are a few so-called surveyors who aren’t certified to do the job but pose as legitimate surveyors. That’s the reason for checking the license and the relevant certifications on your own so you don’t end up in a disastrous situation.
As mentioned earlier, you need a surveyor to provide you with an official document that is proof of the boundaries. This official document can be used to clarify boundaries with a neighbor and even be used as a legal document against any wrongful claim.
As several types of land surveys can be conducted, knowing which type would be required for your property will benefit you when choosing. If you’re confused about which type of survey will be conducted, asking the surveyor will make things easier.