A survey map is a drawing prepared by a licensed land surveyor registered in the State of New York, which depicts the mathematical and physical features of a parcel of land with relation to map lines, deeds of record, and/or other pertinent reference data based upon an actual field survey. 
(Code of Practice for Land Surveys, N.Y.S.A.P.L.S.)

According to New York State law, only surveys made by licensed and registered New York Land Surveyors are legal. Only registered Land Surveyors have completed the academic requirements and practical training before licensing. Only registered Land Surveyors are required to maintain the necessary theoretical, practical and ethical standards set by legislation. (New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors)

As with everything you purchase you need to know exactly what you are buying.  A Survey, prepared by a New York State licensed land surveyor, will show in detail exactly what you have purchased. Since for most people the purchase of a home is the single largest investment they will ever make every effort should be made to protect that investment. The Survey will confirm that the property shown by the Real Estate agent and described in the contract is in fact the property that was conveyed. 
Also, the bank or mortgage company, in order to protect their interest in the property may require a new Survey.

The survey will show all existing structures, driveways, walks, walls, fences hedge row, etc., and their relationship to the property line.
B.  The survey will show recorded easements or right of way which may entitle other people to use part of your property.
C.  The Survey will show whether your property is accurately described in your deed.
D.  The Survey will show any encroachments either from your property onto your neighbor or from your neighbor onto your property.

Besides helping you visualize exactly what the property looks like and contains, your Survey gives you a type of protection. In addition to highlighting any encroachments, the Survey will help to identify any other irregularities that may result in legal disputes sometime in the future. The surveyor assumes full professional responsibility for the accuracy of the Survey and therefore may serve as an expert witness in court. The new Survey enhances your Title Insurance Policy.

The use of an old survey is not recommended since the survey probably does not reflect current existing conditions. The old survey being used may not be the latest version of the survey. The survey may have been revised to reflect some change or correct some error. Finally, the survey will not be certified to you since certifications run only to the person for whom the survey was prepared.

There are many factors which influence the fee for a new Survey. Some of these factors are; type of survey required, size of the property, location of the property, etc., therefore all Surveys are quoted on an individual basis. Please go to the “Contact Us” section and complete the user friendly quote form and we will gladly provide a quote for a new Survey.

Although your real estate agent, attorney or mortgage broker will advise you as to the cost of the survey; they may not be a New York State Licensed Land Surveyor and therefore are not qualified to prepare the Survey or estimate the cost.  After all you would not go to your local butcher to get an estimate of the cost of a new car.

Not all surveys are performed for the same reason. Included in the most frequently seen types of surveys are; title survey, certificate of occupancy survey, architectural survey, topographical survey, radius maps and construction survey.

A Title Survey is a survey map prepared by a licensed land surveyor registered in the state of New York, which depicts the mathematical and physical features of a parcel of land with relation to map lines, deeds of record, and /or other pertinent reference data base upon an actual field survey. (New York State Association of Professional Land Surveyors)

A certificate of occupancy survey or as-built survey is used and generally required by municipalities to show a completed construction project. It may vary from a survey of a new house to a survey of an existing house with a new addition. The c.o. survey must show as built conditions in relation to the proposed plans as approved. Although a c.o. survey may include sufficient information allowing it to be used as and for a title survey, a title survey probably will not include sufficient information to serve as a c.o. survey. An extension added to an existing house would be an example of this. 

An architectural or topographical survey, which are similar but will be quoted separately, will show all pertinent physical features required to design subdivisions, roads, sanitary and drainage systems, buildings, etc. This type of survey will typically denote existing conditions; such as, signs, poles, and underground utilities.

Radius maps are required by municipalities as an integral part of a variance application. Typically shown are all properties within a specified distance (100 feet, 200 feet, etc.) of the subject property. Each property use, along with zoning it indicated along with a list of all owners’ names and addresses.

Construction surveys may include many different types; but all are used for the “layout” of subdivisions, roads, buildings, etc.

For the new property owner, the link between the deed description and the reality of standing in his yard is the survey. When there is obvious physical possession, such as fences, walls, and hedge and tree rows (all indicated on the survey) the new owner becomes secure with the knowledge of “where his property is”. On the other hand, when there is no obvious physical possession, the owner sometimes feels that the survey he paid for should also have included a “stake-out” marking his boundaries. For this reason, there exists much misunderstanding of what exactly a survey should and should not include. 
The survey taken, to assist in the conveyance of title, does not require a “stake-out”. In fact, the “stake-out” survey is a completely separate entity. Land surveying, as is with every area of our society, is burdened by the constraining factors of time and money. Given the shorter commitment time by banks recently, along with the ever rising closing costs; the “ stake-out “ survey is becoming more and more an expensive luxury unless new construction is desired or property line disputes arise. 
Inclement weather combined with amount of daylight obviously are factors which weigh heavily upon the speed in which a survey may be completed. A stake-out will most certainly slow the process by requiring additional field time and possibly extra field trips. Therefore, we suggest stake-outs be arranged directly by the new property owner a convenient time after the closing.
Additionally, we have frequently encountered a problem unique to “stake-outs”. Often when the “stake-out” is done at the time of the title survey and the normal time lag before the closing occurs; the new owner moves in only to find the stakes have been removed. The surveyor performed the “stake-out”, the buyer paid for the “stake-out”, but the stakes are missing, therefore an unpleasant and expensive situation has been created by local vandalism. A simple phone call to the land surveyor will answer most questions a buyer may have regarding his survey; perhaps even indicating an expensive “stake-out” unnecessary.

Kulhanek and Plan will gladly answer any survey related question or at least be able to redirect you query. Please go to the “Contact Us” section.

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