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Detail of Cost


Why Survey

 The following is a detailed explanation of the costs associated with land surveys.
  1. Type of Survey: Costs may increase as the required precision and scope of the survey increase.
  2. Record search: This varies by (a) the number of parcels involved; and (b) the number of past transactions. (This necessary step is complicated by the casual manner in which land transactions have been handled in the past, resulting in many vague, incomplete, and often contradictory legal descriptions and land records).
  3. Size and shape of property: An irregularly shaped parcel has more concerns to monument than a rectangular parcel containing the same area.
  4. Sectionalized Survey Work: This could require the survey of the entire section (640 acres +) in which the land being surveyed lies, regardless of the area of the parcel. In some cases, a survey of more than one section is required, depending on the location of the parcel in question in relation to the section shown on the government plat.
  5. Terrain: A level parcel of land is easier to survey than a mountain parcel.
  6. Vegetation: Branches, brush, and small 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.
  7. Accessibility: The time to perform the surveying work varies with the distance to, and the difficulty in reaching, the corners of the site.
  8. 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.
  9. Local knowledge of property: Someone pointing out accepted occupation lines and monumentation is a considerable aid to the Surveyor.
  10. Abutter Difficulties: When neighbors are cooperative, an otherwise difficult or impossible boundary line location may be established by boundary line agreement.
  11. 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.
  12. Title Company Requirements: Title companies may require considerable more documentation than is normally required by the average land owner.
  13. Record of Survey or Corner Record: This map or record is often required by state law if matters addressed by the Land Surveyors Act are encountered while surveying your property. This will cause the mapping cost to increase, and requires the payment of checking and recording fees.

Because of these variables, it is difficult to determine exact fees. However, based on general experience and the requirements for work, the Surveyor can furnish an approximate estimate of costs. Land Surveyors familiar with an area or local are usually more efficient than those who are not.



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Information provided by: 1989 California Land Surveyors Association
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Last modified: 08/09/02