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Common Questions:
How fast can I get a survey? Although we are known for our ability to produce a completed survey with 1 DAY TURNAROUND or even SAME DAY SERVICE, many years ago we decided that it was completely ineffective to promise a "set" turnaround time. Why let a survey that is not needed for a week interfere with one needed tomorrow? You are in control - Simply let us know when you need the survey and we will deliver it on or before that day. If a date needed is not specified on the survey order, we will generally schedule the survey for delivery within approximately 3 days. However, due to the many complications that can arise during any survey, it is not uncommon for even a seemingly simple lot survey to turn into a lengthy process. In such a case, any surveying firm will find difficulty in meeting a prior specified delivery date. Frankly, we will deliver such a survey faster than other firms. Through means of the efficiency by which we work, we are the most suited surveying firm to expedite a problem survey. Such surveys receive priority status and we will keep our clients informed of the ongoing status of such a survey. Do you outsource any of your work? Absolutely not! We are adamant that a Land Surveying firm should not compromise the quality and integrity of its work. Additionally, given that every individual Land Surveyor will have their own legal interpretations of the field evidence observed, we feel that a single Land Surveyor should have eyes on every survey performed by the firm thereby creating a consistency of integrity across the board. Some large firms create the “impression” of being a local Surveyor. In reality they contract to many Surveyors and operate more like a survey coordination firm. Although survey coordination firms can service a wider market, they simply act as middlemen often compromising quality and creating higher fees. After years of developing efficient operations, we service a wide market throughout Florida without compromising quality. We also feel it very beneficial to keep profits here in Florida’s economy instead of they’re being sent to out of State corporate headquarters. What areas do you survey? We accommodate a most extensive coverage area. All counties currently serviced are illustrated on our service area map. Why do you have separate "regions"? - What are the differences? It has long been part of our business plan to provide services to a wide coverage area. We believe that in order to most efficiently service such a large coverage area, it is best to provide services such as ours by way of a central processing center together with geographically disbursed field offices. These field offices - utilizing our proprietary software and hardware configurations - act as a part of a much larger whole sharing in all of the resources available at Landtec. Our field offices provide services for specific regions. They are primarily centered on major metropolitan areas and they are separated according to geographic relationship to one another. This facilitates shortened drive time for survey crews thereby increasing survey crew productivity and quality control over our services. Additionally, land surveying encompasses a need to understand "localized" concerns regarding control monumentation and legal issues. Each individual Landtec field office maintains the expertise required to remain knowledgeable about these localized issues and will excel in delivering expedited professional service. Each region will have its own unique characteristics. Some regions may be generally more difficult to survey than others. Other regions may have many more flood prone areas, while other regions are far better documented than others in terms of plat or section or benchmark data. These attributes influence different pricing structures between regions. Customer service is not available from our field offices. Customers should contact our Corporate and central processing office for assistance. Payments for services are remitted centrally to our corporate office. This information is provided on each invoice. How long does it take to complete a survey? The length of time necessary to complete the field work during a survey can vary greatly. A well documented and monumented average city "lot" with relatively little in the way of additional improvements may take about two hours to complete in the field. A problematic survey (lack of controlling monumentation, mathematical problems with record data, etc.) would certainly take longer. Acreage surveys will take longer due to the typically longer distances in controlling monumentation and additional computations possibly being required in the field. There are far too many variables that can affect the time required to complete a survey therefore it can be very difficult to give precise quotes. How much does a survey cost? Survey fees vary depending on the scope of the work being performed and according to other circumstances as mentioned above. Please refer to our service area map and fees page for information on base fees and other additional information. Is there a fee for an estimate? Landtec Surveying provides estimates for services free of charge. Why do I even need a survey? Lending institutions will almost always require a borrower to have a survey performed on the property but you must have heard the one about the “swampland in Florida…” A home is probably the largest investment you will ever make – shouldn’t you be as informed as you can be in that decision? Are there any encroachments? Do I really own the land I’m paying for? Are there any adverse possession claims? Is that fence really on the property line? These are some of the questions that must be answered before deciding on such a major investment. How would you feel if you purchased a lovely home with a swimming pool only to find out that the title company will not insure the pool or that you will have to remove the swimming pool because it was built into an easement? A survey will uncover and disclose any of these potential problems so that you can make an informed and wise decision. The cost of a survey is a mere pittance compared to the costs to correct the possible myriad of problems that may exist. What is an encroachment? An encroachment is a term used to describe a violation of building restrictions. A property may very well include easements (portions reserved for a specific purpose such as utilities, drainage or access) and generally, nothing should be built or erected within it without specific permission. An encroachment could also be as severe as the actual residence extending within an easement or within the minimum building setback or even worse, into someone else’s property. Don’t let “affidavits” fool you! Do you really want to trust the next door neighbor when he states that he was careful when he built his shed…encroachments may exist from adjoiner properties as well. What is a plat? A plat is a highly detailed map of a subdivision showing the mathematical data comprising the subdivision boundary and individual lots therein. All lots created through platting are created simultaneously and a plat is usually recorded and on file at the county clerk’s office. What does “Adverse Possession” mean? A method of acquisition of title by possession for a statutory period under certain conditions. "Squatters" do have rights! Said possession must be actual; adverse; continuous; open and notorious; exclusive; hostile; and under claim of right. Simply put – although the deed and other legal documents and records may describe the land you “own” or are buying, there is a possibility that you may not own it, or a portion of it after all. A surveyor will report all physical encumbrances on the property as well as evidence of any possible easements. If it is determined that another party is occupying the land and has been doing so for an extended period of time, legal proceedings may be involved to determine actual ownership. What is your “washout policy”? In many areas, Title company agents or attorneys or Mortgage lending agents will order a survey on behalf of their customers (typically the borrowers) and notify them that they are responsible for payment. Some act appropriately as an agent for the borrower but others may be too informal regarding the "agent" relationship. When we have a continuing business relationship with industry related firms, we anticipate collecting our fees from the closing disbursements. We can only legally hold the person or business actually ordering the services responsible for payment. If a transaction fails to close, some agents expect to not have to pay for our services citing “a washout agreement”. Surveyor’s Statutes as well as R.E.S.P.A. dictates that a Surveyor may not offer any thing of value in exchange for preferential treatment in obtaining surveying work. The Florida Administrative Code governing land surveyors specifically prohibits the practice of providing a "washout survey" (whereby payment for services are contingent upon the transaction closing). Although we are extremely accommodating through price protection plans, we do not have a "washout policy". Just as the Architect collects a fee for designing a house (whether it is built or not) – so too should the Surveyor for services rendered. Offering a washout creates a conflict of interest. If a Surveyor knows that a transaction may fail due to encroachments discovered on a property, and he or she would have to washout their fee, then that Surveyor becomes conflicted as to whether they should disclose the detrimental information. Unfortunately there are Surveyors who do not adhere to these laws and do offer "washouts". These Surveyors do not only practice poor business procedures, but also act unethically and degrade our profession. A word of caution... unethical behavior of any sort is usually indicative of a firm's approach to business practices as a whole. What are the qualifications of a Surveyor? A Surveyor must be fairly well rounded. A good Land Surveyor must also be part Attorney, part Paralegal, part Archeologist, part Geologist, part Historian, and part Mathematician. Surveying is both an art and a science with the Surveyor’s capabilities involving a great ability to ascertain the intentions of prior land owners and prior surveyors long gone. In Florida, Surveyors are required to have a four year college degree and be licensed by the state after passing the required 2 day long examination. Surveyors are also required to maintain 24 continuing education credits each biennium. What is a FEMA Elevation Certificate? An Elevation Certificate is a form issued by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and completed by a licensed Surveyor and Mapper. It outlines aspects such as the flood hazard area in which a property lies, potential flooding values, as well as the actual finished floor elevation of a structure and elevation data for other aspects of the improvements. Insurance agents use the information on this form to quote flood insurance rates to property owners. How accurate is a survey? A survey is highly accurate generally to within a fraction of an inch depending upon the scope of survey work being performed. All surveyors must, by law, provide quality work. Florida Statutes - The “Minimum Technical Standards” (or MTS) for Surveyors and Mappers protects the public by outlining certain procedures, tolerances and regulational objectives governing surveying practices. Each state regulates its own professions. Florida's minimum technical standards are actually some of the most stringent standards in the nation with other states adopting many of our standards. They can, in some ways be compared to the strictest survey standards in the nation - the American Land Title Associations (ALTA) standards.
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