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Q: Do I have to pay anything just to get an estimate?

A: J.C. Andrus does not charge for estimates.


Q: How long would it take to get a survey completed?

A: Residential surveys are usually completed in a week (weather permitting).  Larger commercial surveys can take several weeks depending on the size of the survey.  If time is a critical factor, sooner completion dates are possible.



Q: Would I need to sign a contract?

A: We require a work authorization contract and deposit to commence work.


Q: Where do I find my legal description?

A: Your legal description is usually contained in your deed.  If you do not have a copy, an estimate can usually be prepared based on the address of the parcel of land.


Q: My insurance company says I need a flood insurance, what should I do?

A: The insurance company may have information showing that your house is in a flood zone.  This may or may not be the case.  Some flood hazard zones have certain published elevations defining which houses are in and which houses are out.  A professional surveyor can check the elevation of your house and fill out a report which may remove a house if it and certain critical features are high enough.  Even if a house is in a flood zone, a flood certificate will provide critical information needed to set the cost of insurance.


Q: I am having problems with my neighbors, what do I need to do?

A: If the problems involve a disputed property line, having a boundary survey will mark the line based on deeds and other written records.  A survey may not solve the dispute because a survey is only the opinion of a professional surveyor based on accepted practice and evidence. The dispute may wind up in court where the surveyor may be called as an expert witness.  The courts always have the final say.


Q: Someone pulled the survey markers off my property, what do I do?

A: Contact the surveyor who set them originally.  More than likely it will be more economical for him or her to replace them.  If you are not sure who placed them, look at one of the remaining stakes.  If it was done after the early 1970's, a plastic cap will identify the surveyor.  If the stakes are being pulled by a neighbor, have your attorney write them a letter before having them replaced.  Stakes pulled once can always be pulled again.  A well written letter by an attorney can discourage this behavoir.


Q: I am not sure this is my tree/fence, what do I do?

A: A property or boundary survey will mark lines based on the deed.  The ownership of a tree or fence may be a legal question requiring the consultation of an attorney.  A survey will show where these features lie with respect to the property line.

Q: Is it OK to trust my neighbors survey, or should I get my own?

A: If the survey is performed by a reputable company with solid history, more that likely, you may be able to trust the survey.  Check to see if the surveyor set stakes with caps identifying the surveyor and ask to see a copy of the survey report to make certain it complys with the minimum standards set by the state.  If you still feel that something does not seem right, a second opinion might be a good idea.  Try to get your own survey before trees are cut, houses are built, or fences are constructed. 


Q: Is it OK to use a prior owners survey that is several years old?

A: If the prior survey was accurate to begin with, it should still be good, however as time goes on, stakes get buried or moved, fences and other improvements are built. A new survey will find, verify and replace the property stakes and check for newer encroachments. 


Q Do I need a survey when I buy a house?

A: Yes.  For most people, the purchase of a house is the investment of a lifetime.  Most commercial transactions require a survey of some sort because the investors want to be aware of any problems before they close.  There are numerous tales of people closing on a house only to find out later that the property line goes through the living room, or a neighbor has squatted on and used half of their lot and is claiming ownership.  Know what you are buying before you close!


Q: What do I need to do if I want to sell off just a part of my land?

A: Most juristictions will require a survey in order to split off a lot or lots for sale.  Before contacting a surveyor, you should ask your local plan commission if a split from your property will be permitted.  If it is allowable, the surveyor can prepare the necessary survey and legal description.  You, the seller, will need to file the necessary paperwork with the city or county and hire an attorney to prepare and execute the necessary deeds.