How much does a survey cost? For most land surveying work, cost is determined by the following variables:
Type of survey: Cost may increase as the required precision and scope of the survey increases. Typically, the cost of a Boundary Survey can be 3 to 5 times the cost of Boundary Marking, but will produce a recordable Plat, while simple Boundary Marking does not.
Record search: This varies according to: (a) the number of parcels involved; and (b) the number of past transactions. (This necessary step is complicated by the casual manner in which many land transactions have been handled in the past, resulting in vague, incomplete, and often contradictory legal descriptions and land records.)
Size and shape of the property: An irregularly shaped parcel has more corners to monument than a rectangular parcel containing the same area.
Field work: This could require surveying the entire section area in which the land being surveyed lies, regardless of the area of the parcel. In some cases, survey measurements of more than one parcel is required, depending on the location of the parcel in question in relation to the all the adjoining properties.
Terrain: A level parcel of land is easier to survey than a mountain parcel.
Vegetation: Branches, brush, and trees must frequently be cleared to afford a line of sight for the Surveyor. Shrubs, flowers and trees on home sites are normally not disturbed, but may require additional field time to perform work around them.
Accessibility: The time to perform the surveying work varies with the distance to, and/or difficulty in reaching, the corners on the site.
Amount of existing evidence on the property: Existing evidence such as iron, wood, or stone monuments, old fences and occupation lines, witness trees, etc. aid the Surveyor. Their absence may compound difficulties involved in retracing the original survey.
Local knowledge of property: Someone pointing out accepted occupation lines and monuments is a considerable aid to the Surveyor.
Adjoining property difficulties: When neighbors are uncooperative, and otherwise difficult or impossible, boundary line location may be established by a boundary line agreement.
Time of year: In summer, foliage may present problems making traversing difficult. In winter, weather may slow travel to and on site, and sometimes conceal field evidence.
Title company and town requirements: These may require considerably more documentation than is normally required by the average land owner.
Because of these variables, it is difficult to determine the exact fees; however, based on general experience and the requirements for the work, the Surveyor can furnish an approximate estimate of the costs.
Think about cost this way; will you spend less now by having your property surveyed and, thereby, fully exposing potential legal issues, or will it cost more down the road to resolve these issues in court, after you have already purchased the problem?
Most Surveys are less than 1.5% of the sale price of a property.