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About Licensed Land Surveyors

A land surveyor is trained in interpreting legal descriptions of property and is qualified to accurately locate property lines. A land survey locates on the ground with stakes or steel pins or other markers a property line from the available history of deed descriptions. A survey map shows the location of these markers, and utility or other easements and adjoining land owners.

Land surveyors are licensed by New York State. In order to qualify for the exam, a candidate must have an eight year combination of education and experience acceptable to the State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying. A licensed land surveyor signs and places their seal on all plans and maps preprared by them or under their supervision.

Surveyors are generally knowledgeable about zoning, wetland regulations and other land use requirements. Many offer services such as boundary surveys, wetland delineation, land development plans, topographic surveys and geographic information systems.

In case of dispute, a surveyor can be an expert witness in court and assumes full professional responsibility for a survey.

Working with a land surveyor

Landowners considering a survey should ask about surveyors who have already worked in the area, since this will make refernence checks easier and the chances are greater that they will already have updated research in your area. Researching the history of land ownership can be a time consumming (costly) part of survey work in the Northeast. Naturally, they will want any previous full or partial surveys which you may have. Also, neighbors may be willing to share the cost and assist with a new survey.

Its important that the owner discuss with the surveyor exactly which services are needed. For example, a boundary survey often identifies only the corners of the property (points where the boundary changes direction), and does not include blazing/marking points in between.

Fees are determined based on estimated time personnel needed. The main tasks are researching the deed and previous surveys in the area, the topography and density of vegatation, and the services which you will require. Some may quote a fixed cost for the job, and others will have an hourly fee. Obtaining several competing bids is standard practice. Bids should also state the expected completion date.

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