You may need a land survey when selling or purchasing a property. The evaluation of the land focuses on the evaluation of the property rights related to the land such as the right to develop the land within certain limits, rent, agricultural exploitation, change the topography, subdivision or merging, etc. The land surveyor must identify all easements, and analyze the existence of right-of-way and public or private restrictions that may affect the appraised property.
Also, you may need a land survey for some other situations like determining which is the best place for a septic tank or where you should build a fence so you don’t get in trouble with your neighbors.
How much does it cost land survey?
There are several factors that will affect the cost of a land survey, such as the amount of work the surveyor needs to do for the property, the geographic location, the experience of the surveyor, the size of the property, and the type of terrain in which the surveyor will have to work. Also, the cost of travel expenses to get to the location could also be added.
However, you should be prepared to spend around $580 for a 1/5 of an acre yard survey for mortgage purposes.
Most of the land in the United States has around one-fifth of an acre. So, the average cost of a land survey would be anywhere between $450 and $750. You should expect to pay anywhere between $55 and $520 per acre, according to Home Advisor.
Land survey overview
There are more types of land surveys like mortgage surveys, boundary surveys, land title surveys, and topographic surveys.
The topographic survey is drawn up following some measurements carried out on a land surface and is part of the necessary documentation for obtaining authorizations for building, demolition, or inclusion in the urban planning.
It is also required in the case of connection to building networks, for real estate transactions, or in cadastral works. The topographical study is obtained after some field and office activities for the realization of the topographical plan. It reproduces a terrain to scale graphically represented by points on the earth’s surface, projected orthogonally.
The preparation of a topographical study or a topographic survey is necessary for the most faithful registration of the land and related constructions in the cadastral office of the area.
The land surveyor must consider the physical characteristics of the lot, available utilities, and site amenities that affect the utility and value of the land. These are size, shape, opening to main access, soil, location, orientation to the wind, cardinal points and view, and topographic features such as contour, leveling, and natural drainage. At the same time, the land surveyor must take into account the availability of utilities, their capacity, quality, and permanence (water network, sewage network, electricity, telephone and internet services, etc.), but also the internal or external sources that ensure their proper functioning.
In order to make this process faster, many surveyors use GPS and other devices these days. Though, depending on the terrain, it might not be possible to use the GPS.
Other cost considerations
When selling or buying a house, you will check your state’s rules, as different states will have different rules regarding who must pay for the property survey, the seller or the buyer.
The costs will be higher for the terrains that are more difficult, even though the size is the same. Also, the expenses are higher for properties located in rural areas that are difficult to reach.
Important things to consider
Land surveys are used as legally binding documents and these must be completed by professionals, so you will not be able to do this work yourself unless you are a land surveyor.
Depending on the purpose of the land survey, we can have different values for the same property. In the case of the assessment for taxation, the survey refers strictly to the construction and excludes the value of the land itself. The value in this case is called the tax value. If it is a survey for the guarantee of a loan, then in the case of the evaluation of a property consisting of a house + land, the market value is given by the two components combined.