Land surveying is a crucial process that involves measuring and mapping land to determine its size, boundaries, and features. It plays a vital role in various fields, including construction, real estate, and land development. However, many people may not be aware that there are different types of land surveys, each serving a specific purpose. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most common types of land surveys and their respective uses.
1. Boundary Survey:
A boundary survey is conducted to establish the legal boundaries of a property. This type of survey determines the exact dimensions and location of a property’s boundary lines, serving as a reference for property owners, real estate transactions, and resolving property disputes. A boundary survey involves research, fieldwork, and the creation of a plat or survey map that clearly shows the property lines.
2. Topographic Survey:
A topographic survey focuses on mapping the physical features of a piece of land. It provides detailed information about the elevation, contours, natural features, and manmade structures on the property. Topographic surveys are commonly used in land development projects, engineering designs, and environmental assessments. The data obtained from a topographic survey helps determine the suitability of the land for construction or any required modifications.
3. Construction Survey:
Construction surveys are performed during the planning and construction phases of a project. These surveys ensure that the intended structures or improvements align with the design plans and are positioned correctly on the land. Construction surveys assist in setting out building corners, determining appropriate levels, and identifying property boundaries. They also help monitor construction progress and ensure compliance with the approved plans.
4. Subdivision Survey:
A subdivision survey is carried out when a large parcel of land needs to be divided into smaller lots or parcels. This type of survey establishes the boundaries, dimensions, and configurations of the newly created lots. A subdivision survey includes the creation of a plat or subdivision plan that outlines the location of individual lots, roads, utility easements, and any relevant restrictions or regulations.
5. Mortgage Survey:
A mortgage survey, also known as a loan survey or title survey, is performed for real estate transactions. The purpose of a mortgage survey is to identify any potential encroachments, surveying discrepancies, or issues with the property’s legal description. The surveyor determines the property boundaries, checks for any easements, rights-of-way, or zoning restrictions, and provides a report that informs the lender and buyer of the property’s condition and any potential risks.
6. FEMA Floodplain Survey:
FEMA floodplain surveys are conducted in areas prone to flooding to determine the level of flood risk. These surveys help determine whether a property falls within a flood zone and can influence insurance requirements and building regulations. FEMA floodplain surveys provide information about the elevation of the property in relation to nearby water bodies and can help property owners take necessary measures to minimize flood damage.
7. ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey:
The ALTA/NSPS land title survey is a comprehensive survey that adheres to the standards set forth by the American Land Title Association and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. This detailed survey includes elements of a boundary survey, topographic survey, and mortgage survey. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the property’s boundaries, improvements, easements, zoning restrictions, and other pertinent information. ALTA/NSPS surveys are typically conducted for commercial or high-value properties and are often required during real estate transactions, refinancing, or obtaining title insurance.
Land surveying encompasses various types of surveys, each serving specific purposes. Whether it is to establish property boundaries, assess the topography of the land, support construction projects, or facilitate real estate transactions, a well-executed land survey provides essential information for decision-making and legal purposes. Knowing the different types of land surveys helps property owners, developers, and professionals understand which survey is most appropriate for their specific needs and ensures the accurate representation and understanding of the land in question.