Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why do I need a survey?
A: If your attorney, builder, City/County agency or realtor suggest you have a survey map prepared for your property by a professional surveyor it is generally an indication that you, as well as whom ever made the suggestion, needs a physical record of where your physical property and improvements lie relative to your title or deed to protect you, and provide recourse for them, prior to transfers of title, building additional improvements which could affect the rights of an adjacent property owner or to provide information to settle disputes over boundary line locations.
Q: How much does a survey cost?
A: This is the most common question and the most difficult to answer. Not all surveys are prepared to accomplish the same goal. With that being said, the largest costs associated with a survey is how much risk we as a licensed survey business are willing to accept for performing the survey, the scope of the work to be performed, the timeframe in which the survey needs to be completed, the manner in which the legal description for the property has been prepared and the availability of record survey information for the general vicinity of the property, obstacles over and across the property which need to be navigated and the overall value provided for these services.
Q: I called another surveyor and they are less/more expensive. Why is that?
A: This is the second most common question and no less difficult to answer. All professional surveyors and licensed survey business have different business models, historical records and differing amounts of insurance limits they carry. However, all professional surveyors and licensed survey businesses are regulated by the State to perform land surveying and prepare the corresponding maps to a “Minimum Technical Standard” according to State statutes. The important word is minimum. We know that our clients rely on our expertise and survey maps and they deserve more than the lowest level of survey that is acceptable by State law. Ask what the surveyor will be doing for you so you can compare apples to apples.
Q: I have an old survey. Is it any good?
A: It may or may not be. It depends upon the purpose for which it was prepared, the purpose for which you are using it and whether or not, local and State agencies will accept it for your purpose. Many agencies require that a boundary survey which is to be used for development purposes be less than 2 years old, while others limit the age to 1 year. It does not mean that your prior survey is invalid, it simply means that it will not be accepted for these purposes and a new survey will need to be prepared.
Q: What information do I need to provide for a quote to survey my property?
A: We will need you to provide a copy of your deed, full property address (with City, County and Zip Code) and parcel identification number from your tax assessment. Copies of older surveys for the property or adjacent properties are helpful as well.
We will also ask some general questions to understand why you believe you need a survey map prepared in order to determine what type of survey will fit your needs. It is also important to let us know the timeframe in which you need to have the survey prepared. We then perform some cursory research to provide you with a free quote and scope of service for you to review.
Q: I am developing a property. What else do you need to know?
A: It is always important for us to speak not only to the person who will be directly responsible for paying for professional land surveying services, but also with any other end user of the survey map or survey data if possible. Many times part of our job is to fill in the “language” gaps between an owner and different disciplines (such as an architect, engineer or environmental scientist, so that we can provide all project parties the information they need in a format they can use to streamline the entire project. We also need to know if you have any waivers or variances that will be allowed by local or State agencies.
Q: How long will it take to get my survey map?
A: When we prepare a quote and scope of services for professional land surveying services an approximate schedule is included. The schedule is based upon the time it will typically take us to perform all of the corresponding research, field work, map preparation and professional review. If we discover any unusual circumstances that may cause us to deviate from this schedule, we will alert you as soon as possible. Please note, we cannot predict the length and duration of inclement weather which may affect the survey schedule.
Q: Why are you surveying down the street or around the corner from where my property is located?
A: The legal description(s) for a deed of a property may be referenced to information which is outside of the property such as subdivision lines or the public land survey system. Depending upon the wording of the legal description, a substantial amount of work may be performed “off-site” in order to make the correct boundary determination for the property.
Q: Can you update a survey prepared by another surveyor?
A: No. This is illegal by State statues. Only the original signing professional surveyor or licensed survey business can recertify their own survey. Please check the State of Florida's Division of Consumer Services to make sure the Professional Surveyor and Mapper or Survey Business you will be working with has a valid license at: https://csapp.800helpfla.com/cspublicapp/businesssearch/businesssearch.aspx
Q: My Realtor says the old survey the current property owner has is fine for me to use at closing. Is this true?
A: Possibly. This is a very touchy subject and should be carefully considered by the prospective home buyer. We work closely with many Realtors and respect their profession. They understand the home buying process and attempt to minimize the overall “costs” associated with purchasing a home for the prospective buyers. However, this may not actually be in the buyers best interest to “re-use” a survey prepared for another party on the same property. The previously prepared survey typically is certified to a specific individual or entity and is used as a quasi-insurance policy so to speak for that party only. It generally offers no substantial “value” to any other party and the liability accepted by the surveyor typically does not transfer to the new owner. It may be a “Caveat emptor” (buyer beware) scenario for the largest purchase you may ever make. Please note, governing agencies may or may not allow an older survey to be “re-used”.
Q: Is it important that whoever I hire to perform my survey has professional liability, workers compensation, commercial automobile and general liability insurance?
A: YES! Be sure to ask your prospective professional surveyor if they carry these insurances and in what amounts. A licensed professional land surveying firm carries these insurances not only to protect themselves for the work they perform, but also against unforeseen accidents for their employees while the work is underway. These same insurances are also a buffer for the property owner from an unforeseen accident which could occur upon their property while performing the survey. In the State of Florida, if a professional surveying firm or professional surveyor does not carry professional liability insurance, it must be stated on the survey map which is prepared.