frequently asked questions
I. General Information Regarding Land Surveys
What is a Land Property Survey?
A land survey is made in order to establish new boundary lines or to re-located the boundary lines of an old existing parcel of land according to an existing legal description.
Types of Surveys You May Need
- Urban or rural property survey.
- Location survey for mortgage purposes.
- Subdivision survey, when dividing a parcel of land into two or more parcels, as required by stature.
- Topographic survey, to determine the physical features of the land and man made improvements thereon.
- Construction layout survey for buildings and public utilities.
- Right-of-way surveys for highways and public utilities.
- Land title survey, when there is a question brought up by your Title Co. regarding boundaries or encroachments.
What will the Cost of a Land Survey Be?
Fees of surveyors are on a level with other professions. The final cost is dependent upon the kind of survey required and the difficulties encountered, which normally cannot be determined in advance. Therefore the surveyor will estimate the approximate cost only.
II. WHEN SHOULD YOU HAVE LAND SURVEYED?
- You should always have an up-to-date survey made whenever buying or selling any parcel of land, to be sure the deed properly describes and conveys all of the land you are buying or selling.
- When there is a question pertaining to possible encroachments on the property.
- When you are uncertain of the amount of land your are being assessed for.
- When there is a question brought up by your Title Co. regarding your boundaries or possible encroachments.
II. HOW CAN YOU SECURE THE SERVICES OF A LICENSED LAND SURVEYOR?
All land surveys made in the State of Iowa are required, by law, to be made by a surveyor licensed in the State of Iowa.
For the names and addresses of practicing licensed surveyors in your area, consult the yellow pages of your telephone directory.
When securing the services of a land surveyor, you need not visit his place of business. You may transmit your order by telephone or by letter. Many surveyors many require written authorization to proceed with your survey. You should furnish him with a correct legal description of the property to be surveyed, and an explanation of the specific purpose of the survey.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT OF A LAND SURVEYOR?
Your surveyor will actually survey your property according to the legal description furnished him, recovering or setting monuments at all property corners. He will permanently record the process of his survey in his office files. He will draw a plat of survey showing all property lines, bearings or angles, measurements of all property lines, fences in relation to property lines, all encroachments if any, and measurements to section or quarter section corners or subdivision monuments. He will, if instructed, show improvements, and calculate the area. Your surveyor will furnish you with as many copies of his plat as may be required at the time of the survey, all bearing his certificate and seal.
A land survey, made by an Iowa Licensed Land Surveyor, is admissible, as evidence in a court of law. Your surveyor is available as an expert witness, on behalf of his survey, if his testimony is desired by the court.
The fact that you have your property surveyed does not guarantee your title or boundaries. The surveyor can only survey your land according to your deed and the requirements of statues. If other deeds or senior grants leave overlaps or gaps he cannot by "Judge or Jury" but can only follow the calls of the deed.