Property Surveys – What Are the Different Types?

Property surveying plays the important role of legally documenting the property details that are needed for many purposes like confirming property titles, sizing and valuing the land, and various lending, zoning, and tax purposes.

There are different types of boundary surveys one can order; however, each one of them provides different essential information.

From the very basic to the very detailed, these different survey types can provide you as little or as much information about a parcel of land as needed.

  • Location Surveys - A location survey is a basic survey that real estate and title companies typically order during a real estate transaction. Location property surveying provides information like the physical location of the property, plus any existing improvements and their proximity to estimated property lines that should not be considered actual boundary lines. Location surveys require a general, physical inspection of the property only, and typically cost a few hundred dollars.
  • Boundary Surveys - When actual boundary lines must be determined, a boundary survey is necessary. This type of survey requires a land surveyor to research the public record to determine its documented corners and property lines, then set those points and measure the land to generate a map of the true boundaries. Boundary surveys, which may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the property size, are used to confirm boundaries before the start of a construction project, permitting, when a property line must be confirmed for installing a fence, and more.
  • Property Corners - A marking property corners survey is a very basic survey that can be done by homeowners looking to document corners for erecting fences and similar reasons without having to pay the higher cost of an actual boundary survey. This survey may cost a few hundred dollars and may be sufficient for determining the overall shape of home property and how far the corners extend, but should not be considered a confirmed boundary marker.
  • ALTA Surveys - ALTA, or American Land Title Association surveys, are boundary surveys performed in accordance with specific, stringent practices and requirements that ensure a precise survey. These detailed, legal surveys that protect property owners and financial lenders are normally required by commercial lenders before closing can happen.

While surveys can cost a bit of money depending on the survey required, property surveying saves time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Whether you wish to establish a property line for putting up a fence or are closing on a big commercial property, the appropriate land survey will make that all possible.