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Important Notes and FAQ’s

First of all, Thank You for choosing J. Edwards Associates, LLC, CT Lansd Surveyor, for all of your surveying needs.

We feel it is of the utmost importance to provide our clients with a contract as this gives us the opportunity to better explain to you the methods and procedures required to perform a property survey. It also protects you from receiving a service that may not be what you thought you were getting. As you know we asked you several questions about your property and based on your answers we may have advised you to have us perform a service you did not know you needed. Much of our contract is informative explanations of our services. We included our information within the contract rather than on an enclosed sheet to show you we will do what we say and are contractually bound to our standards.

The purchase of Real Estate is most likely the largest monetary investment most people will ever make in their lifetime. Surveyors are here to help you know where your property is located.

Most people will purchase property without having it surveyed. Since you are reading this you have made the decision or are thinking about having a boundary survey performed on;

your property or property you are about to purchase.

The importance of a survey is not realized many times until your neighbor tells you part of what you thought you purchased just might be theirs and not yours. Or the land you purchased actually contains more land than you thought.

You may be asking yourself this question;

Do I want to invest $XXX,XXX.XX (enter your purchase price) in this property and trust the Real Estate agent to show me where it is? Real Estate agents are a great asset when finding your dream home and we work with many of them surveying property they are selling for their clients. If in the rare instance you might find a Real Estate agent that attempts to tell you that you don’t need a survey and what they showed you is what you are buying, simply ask for their statement in writing.

The vast majority of Real Estate agents will be the first to tell you they can only show you what was showed to them and that they are not surveyors. Just as you wouldn’t come to us when you are looking for a home to buy or sell on the Real Estate market, you shouldn’t rely on them when you have found the home of your dreams and want to know about the properties location.

We have witnessed many horror stories over the years and when found we will work with you and your neighbor to solve any discrepancies. We are not trying to scare anybody into getting a survey and most properties do not have any problems with them what so ever other than the acreages are usually different than the deed states. But the only way to find most of them is to have it surveyed. Think of a survey as a way to help ‘secure’ your investment.


The following are some common questions asked by people about surveys.

How long will it take to finish my survey?

From the start date to finish date can vary greatly. We try to have each job finished within a week to two weeks from the start date of the field work. However this depends on many factors such as acreage. If you order a lot survey it is possible to have it finished with a week or less of the start date. A survey of 10-50

Acres it is possible to have your finished product within a few weeks of the start date. But as the acreage gets larger the longer it will take to have your survey completed. Also if your property has many other properties that abut it, this will add to the time it takes to complete your survey because here at L. Edwards Associates we research every property that touches your property at a minimum. We also may need

to research other nearby properties depending on the evidence we find both in the courthouse and the field. We WILL NOT compromise quality of service for speed of service.

I am having a boundary dispute. I am afraid if I tell you about it my survey will cost more. Why should I tell you about disputes when all I want is my lines surveyed and not my neighbors?

Just because you are having a dispute with your neighbor that does not mean your survey will cost more. It is best to be open about any problems you are having with your neighbor. Your boundary line is also your neighbor’s boundary line. If you don't tell us about your dispute, what usually happens is, we end up making special trips to your property or additional trips to the courthouse. When we are not informed of disputes up front it will cost you more once we discover it on our own. If you don't tell us about your dispute your neighbor most likely will and when they tell us they are usually very upset. It is very important we know from the start.

My deed says I have 80 Acres. After you surveyed my property it said I only have 76.34 Acres. Where did the rest of my property go?

Most surveys will not have the identical acres as is shown on your deed especially if you have purchased property that has not been surveyed for a very long time. It's not that the old survey was done incorrectly it has more to do with the original surveyors calculations. Many of the older deed descriptions are from surveys that were performed 100 years (or more) ago and that’s way back before any type of calculators were available. The original surveyors had to do their computations by hand. For the acreage to be calculated wrong all it takes is misplacing one number and when surveys are calculated a surveyor must process thousands of numbers. Another factor is the precision the survey was performed to. Today we locate to the nearest few seconds of angle and the nearest hundredth of a foot. Back before Total Stations with electronic angle/distance measuring devices and GPS the old surveyors used a transit or a compass and had to measure distances up and down the hills with a chain or steel tape. The older surveys were, many times, only located to the nearest degree or quarter degree and distances measured to the nearest pole (also called rod or perch=16.5 feet) or to fractional parts thereof. So in today’s standards the old surveyors’ numbers usually don't match up with our numbers. But don't think the old surveyors were any less accurate as to where your property corners should be. That would not be an accurate assumption and you would be precisely wrong. The present day surveyors job is to retrace the past surveyors footsteps and restore the corners they set. Though their numbers weren't calculated to our current precision their accuracy was just as good, when performed to the standards of their time, as we currently perform to the standards of our time. Many of the descriptions in current deeds may very well have been the original survey of the property. So don't worry about the acreage difference it doesn't mean you don't have the land your deed says you are supposed to have. You never know, if you buy another parcel of land once your survey is complete your property could have more acres than the deed says.


My deed said my boundary line was a North 73 degrees East for 26 poles. After you did our survey your map shows the same line as a North 79 degrees 23 minutes East for 423.86 feet. Why are the different?

Most of the difference in angle is because of the magnetic declination. The magnetic declination changes over time. Other things that affect the difference are how the previous surveyor established the boundary line. Many older surveys were performed with a compass. Local iron deposits or metal near the line ran may pull a compass. With today’s equipment once we establish a new magnetic bearing our equipment carries our reading throughout the survey so local disturbances won't affect our bearings. If you look on your plat we show the standard magnetic declination reading on the North arrow. Most of the difference in distance has to do with how closely the previous surveyor measured the distance. Older surveys were performed with a chain or steel tape and, depending on the terrain, may have been measured by having to measure very short distances at a time. All of these distances were written in a field book and were added together and calculated by hand. So it is possible a distance was missed or it could be the figure the previous surveyor calculated was rounded to the nearest pole. Each pole is 16.5 feet. If the older survey only recorded to the nearest pole then the actual distance on the line could vary by several feet either direction. In other instances a distance could have been miscalculated and there could be 10's of feet different. This however doesn't mean the corners set by the original surveyor are in the wrong location. Another reason could be that your deed had a typo in it and through in-depth courthouse research performed by J. Edwards Associates we found the correct distance and/or angle during our research of your property. This is another common reason for some of the larger distance and/or angle differences you may see when comparing your deed to our finished survey.

Do you ever make mistakes? (I added this I know you want to ask)

In short the answer is, YES. Even with our fancy equipment and thoroughness of our research we too are human. J. Edwards Associates strives to find any and all mistakes from platting errors to description errors before we send our paperwork to you but they happen sometimes. We may misspell a name or mistype a deed reference. We check and recheck each plat and description before we send it to you but sometimes we may miss something. If you discover an error on your plat or description just give us a call or email us and we will double check our records, verify the mistake, correct it if it is founded and send you new copies. We also may make a mistake in the field when we set your corners. These are very rare but a surveyor would be lying if they said it never happens. These types of mistakes are usually found by other surveyors. Don't mistake a disagreement of the boundary location for a mistake though. Sometimes surveyors disagree based on their research or field procedures. When this happens the surveyors will first of all check their own work then once they have verified the disagreement is founded they will then contact the other surveyor to discuss the issues at hand. If we did indeed make a field mistake we will fix

it free of charge. If, however, you call us back to check our work and we do not find it in error you will be billed an hourly fee for our time.

I think the corner you set has been moved by somebody. Can you tell if it has been moved?

Yes we can. In the instance you think somebody has disturbed your boundary monument we will return to your property and check its location. We set 30 inch long 5/8" rebar. They are difficult to pull and replace but if a person is set on doing something they will usually figure out a way to do it. Don't think we have to spend hours and hours at your property to determine whether or not the monument has been moved. In some cases it may be necessary but in most cases we can evaluate it quickly. When J. Edwards & Associates, LLC CT Land Surveyor sets our monuments we implement some safeguards as a quick disturbance checker. We can't tell you about our secret countermeasures but rest assured when we look at our monument we set for you we can usually tell if it's been moved or not. If the monument has been disturbed we will reset the monument where it belongs.


This could take several hours to do depending on location, nearby undisturbed monuments and terrain. We charge an hourly rate for this service.

My neighbor hired a surveyor. Does that mean he can take part of my property?

In short, the answer is NO. If a surveyor is surveying for your neighbor that does not mean the surveyor will take your property. It does not matter which party hires the surveyor. Surveyors are neutral and held to high ethical standards when it comes to boundary determination. As a general rule, Surveyors can’t be

‘bought’. The reason is even if a Surveyor accepts money to move a property line the next surveyor will find what the first surveyor did and the first surveyor will be turned in to the West Virginia Board of Professional Surveyors, his license may be taken, and if so, they will no longer be allowed to survey. No amount of money is worth the loss of your livelihood. So rest assured, no matter who your neighbor hired to survey, you can always have another surveyor check their work.

When should I get a survey?

In our opinion, any time you are buying or selling property.

When you place your property on the market, it would be advantageous to you to have it surveyed. The cost of a survey is outweighed by the problems that might occur if you don’t get it surveyed. Sometimes the potential buyer will only purchase the property if it has a new survey. If you are trying to sell a large tract of land this will hold up the closing as it can take several weeks for a surveyor to be able to start the survey and several more weeks for the surveyor to finalize and produce the documents for the survey. Many lending institutions will only give loans on property that has a recent survey. If you intend to sell your property ‘by the acre’ you can run into other problems as most of the time, especially with larger tracts, the actual acreage will be different than what the deed states by several acres. If the property is selling for $1,500.00 or more per acre then a few acres can make a big difference in the purchase price, sometimes to the advantage of the buyer and sometimes to the advantage of the seller. Many properties change hands and are sold ‘in gross and not by acre’. This means if you are looking at 100Acres for ‘X’ amount of dollars, then you pay no matter what the acreage is. If the 100 Acres is actually 80 Acres you still have to pay the same amount. So by not getting a survey prior to closing then you will have no recourse if the survey reveals fewer acres than what the deed states.

Not as often the acreage could be more than what the deed states. In this case it would work to the buyers’ advantage to not have a survey. If you are the seller though, it means you could have potentially sold your property for more money.

If you are buying it is worth the price of a survey, in our opinion, to know what you are buying. Once you have signed the deed it is yours. So any problems with the property lines now belong to you. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether to have a survey or not.

We at J. Edwards Associates hope the information we provided to you is helpful. No matter which surveyor you ultimately choose to provide you with surveying services, please know that we appreciate your inquiry and thank you for allowing us to answer some questions you may have had or some you may have never thought to ask the surveyor. If you have any questions drop us a line and we will do our very best to answer them.

 

 

 


 

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J. Edwards Associates, LLC

227 Stepney Road

Easton, CT 06612

t-203.268.4205

f-203.268.5604

info@leassoc.com


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