What is a “Survey” and how do I know which one I need?
The word “Survey” has become a well-used term for various types of work, which are not legal property surveys. A legal property survey is a survey where property corners have been set, or found and duly recorded. A survey plat with a registered professional land surveyors certificate is required on all legal property surveys.
Often, work is performed to meet a landowner’s need but does not meet the required criteria of a legal survey. This can lead to confusion. Below are descriptions to help you understand the difference, and determine which service that power Surveying can Provide for your current needs.
Improvement Location Certificates (ILC’s)
This is not considered a legal Boundary survey and is not necessarily accepted by all loan institutions.
The underlying purpose of the inspection is to obtain mortgage title insurance. This is the minimum service that your lender may require for loan closing. It is a location of improvements and a cursory check for potential violations or encroachments onto or from the subject property based on existing but not confirmed evidence.
This does not constitute a Boundary survey and is subject to any inaccuracies used or relied upon for the establishment of any fence, structure or improvement. No warranty of any kind is extended to the present or future owner or occupant.
Boundary Land Survey Plat / Improvement Survey plat
This is a legal survey, which must be filed for record at the appropriate County clerk and recorder’s office. A boundary survey of the subject property will be made and the property corners will be located and verified or reset if needed. The improvements on the property will be located and a check for violations or encroachments onto or from the subject property will be made depending on what type of survey is ordered.
The property owner can use this survey for the construction of a fence, structure, or other improvement. Upon completion of the survey, the surveyor will issue a signed and certified survey plat for the landowners use and records.
ALTA / NSPS Land Title Survey
(American land Title Association / American Congress on Surveying and mapping)
This is the most comprehensive type of survey and improvement location. It covers all of the aspects of the boundary survey and identification of any additional evidence of possession or use, which could be adverse to the interests of the purchase.
The landowner is given the option of selecting “Table A optional items” to be included as a part of the survey, a copy of Table A is included herein.
This is instrumental for proper placement and alignment for various structures such as buildings, roadways, curb and gutter, concrete flatwork and even private residences.
The purpose of the staking is for the use of the contractor in the construction process. Reference monuments are placed for horizontal and vertical control and reference.
FEMA Flood Elevation Certificate
In those certain cases where the subject property is suspected of being in or near a published Special flood hazard area by FEMA (the federal Emergency management Agency), a survey is conducted at the subject property to determine the highest and lowest adjacent grades to the subject building, the finished floor elevation, number, size and type of engineered flood openings attached to the building, and the elevation of lowest area (typically the basement or furnace room) are collected.
This data is then calculated and entered onto the official FEMA Flood elevation certificate form along with photographs of the building, a determination of whether the building is in a special flood hazard area, and if so, what specific type of area is made and is entered onto the form.
A certified copy of the form is provided to the landowner for the use in obtaining or for proving to lenders that flood elevation insurance is not required.