Frequently Asked Questions
What type of survey do I need? If you're buying or selling a home, you probably need a boundary survey. This type of survey determines and marks your property corners so you know the exact size of your property. If you're concerned about flood insurance, you likely need an elevation certificate.
Why do I need a boundary survey? Before buying/selling a home you need to ensure that the property you are buying is what the seller is purportedly selling. Without a survey, problems could arise down the road that could lead to headaches and possibly legal expenses to cure them. Before making additions or improvements to your property, such as a fence, pool, or shed, you need to ensure these additions are on the correct parcel of the land and not encroaching on a neighbor's property. If a dispute does arise, you will have a professional document that can be used to demonstrate the true property lines and that can be used in a court of law.
What if my bank is requiring the survey? If your bank or lending institution is requiring the survey, it most likely wants an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey. An ALTA/NSPS survey combines a boundary survey with a topographic survey into a survey that shows the relationship between the boundary of the property and all of the improvements to the property. ALTA (American Land Title Association) and NSPS (National Society of Professional Surveyors ) developed this survey to develop uniform, minimal standards for a type of survey nationwide. Along with this, a title company will base its insurance rate for the property based on the ALTA/NSPS survey, and an attorney may be necessary to review the maps and provide counsel to the client and lender.
What is an elevation certificate for? An elevation certificate is used in connection with flood insurance. Based on how far below a property is below sea level, FEMA determines these areas as flood hazard areas. Flood insurance is required for parcels in the flood hazard area. An elevation certificate prepared by a licensed land surveyor determines the height of the building in relation to the base flood elevation and can be used to reduce the cost of flood insurance.
McINTOSH & McINTOSH
WESTERN NEW YORK LAND SURVEYORS