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Definition of Useful Surveying Terms to Know

Acre A tract of land containing 43,560 square feet of land.
ALTA American Land Title Association, a national association of title insurance companies, abstractors, and attorneys who specialize in real property law. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.
Chain A term of land measurement that is 66 feet in length.
Cul-de-Sac The terminus of a street or alley, which is usually laid out by modern engineers to provide a circular turnaround for vehicles.
Easement An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific, limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power lines, or crossing the property.
Egress The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with "access."
Eminent Domain The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.
Encroachment A trespass or intrusion onto another's property, usually by a structure, wall, or fence.
Flood Certification A common term used for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form (SFHDF). This determines whether land or a building is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area for purposes of flood insurance requirements under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Harbor Line An arbitrary line set by authorities on navigable rivers, beyond which wharves and other structures may not be built. It is sometimes called a line of navigation.
Hiatus A gap or space unintentionally left, when attempting to describe adjoining parcels of land.
Ingress The right to enter a tract of land.
Landmark Any conspicuous object that helps establish land boundaries.

Lot A part of a subdivision or block having fixed boundaries ascertainable by reference to a plat or survey.
Metes and Bounds A description of land using courses and distances.
Monument of Survey Visible marks or indications left on natural or other objects indicating the lines and boundaries of a survey. They may be posts, pillars, stones, cairns, and other such objects as well as fixed natural objects, blazed trees, roads, and even a watercourse.
Plat or Plot A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots with streets shown there on.
Range A part of the government survey, being a strip of land six miles in width and numbered east or west of the principal meridian.
Right-of-Way The right which one has to pass across the lands of another. A right-of-way is sometimes called an easement.
Riparian Rights to use of water and waterways in adjoining lakes or rivers.
Section or Section of Land A parcel of land comprising one square mile or 640 acres.
Set Back Lines Those lines which delineate the required distances for the location of structures in relation to the perimeter of the property.
Subsurface Right The right of ownership to things lying beneath the physical surface of the property.
Survey The process of measuring land to determine its size, location and physical description and the resulting drawing or map.
Township A division of territory six miles square, containing 36 sections or 36 square miles.
Tract A particular parcel of land.
Zoning The right of a municipality to regulate and determine the compatible character and use of property.

Definition of Useful Surveying Terms to Know

ALTA Surveys

“ALTA” stands for American Land Title Association. All ALTA Surveys most meet the ALTA specifications and requirements.

The data required includes boundary lines, location of the main building including improvements, location of ancillary buildings, the identification of easements (access rights by service companies such as water, gas, telephone, railways and other utilities).

Target Surveying provides ALTA Surveys that meet all of the standards outlined by the American Land Title Association. We provide thorough accurate surveys, with a fast turnaround time at the most competitive prices in the industry.

As Built Surveys As-built surveys are usually conducted several times during a construction project. The number of as-built surveys completed depends on the scope and size of the construction project itself. The main purpose of an as built survey is to verify to local state boards that the work is being completed to the specifications set out during the planning and design stages of the project. The as-built survey shows the building inspector that the project is conforming to all zoning regulations and requirements. As-built surveys can be required for almost every type of land project from road construction to residential and commercial construction.
Boundary Surveys

Target Surveying provides fast high quality Boundary Surveys for the entire State of Florida, at the most competitive prices in the industry.

A boundary survey determines the property lines of a parcel of land described in a deed. It will also indicate the extent of any easements or encroachments and may show the limitations imposed on the property by state or local regulations.

A boundary survey is strongly recommended before buying, subdividing, or building/improving on land. Surveying the parcel before these activities ensures that the expense and frustration of defending a lawsuit, moving a building, or resolving a boundary dispute can be avoided.

Construction Layout and Platting Target Surveying provides accurate survey information to assist in the planning and platting of subdivision development and construction. This can include topographic elevation information as well as locations of right of ways and easements, streams and water bodies, and also existing structures and buildings. This information is essential when building and planning subdivisions and large-scale construction projects. Target Surveying will provide all on site surveying activities as well as research existing land title documentation to provide developers with a thorough and complete scope of the project’s physical parameters.
Elevation Certificates

A Flood Elevation Certificate is a document prepared by an Engineer, Surveyor, or qualified person that will provide data to help properly rate properties for flood insurance. An Elevation Certificate can determine where, precisely, your home is located in relationship to the Base Flood Elevation. You may want to obtain a flood certificate if your property lies in a flood zone.

The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 requires flood insurance to be purchased for properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas prior to the owners receiving any type of direct or indirect federal financial assistance. The flood certificate is a tool that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) to certify building elevations if the building is in a special flood hazard area. This form helps in determining the proper flood insurance rate for the building. Flood insurance may be required for residential and commercial properties.

Target Surveying provides fast accurate Elevation Certificates at the most competitive prices in the entire industry. Call us today to schedule your Elevation Certificate survey.

Final Surveys

Final Surveys are required for New Buildings and for vertical or horizontal building additions. The Final Survey must be prepared, signed & sealed by a Licensed Land Surveyor. It must be reviewed and certified by the New Building Architect or Engineer of Record.

The purpose of the Final Survey is to ensure that the building complies with bulk regulations (since this cannot be done by the DOB Inspector at the site), does not encroach onto adjacent property lines, has proper grading at the sidewalk, has proper storm drainage, has the required amount of street trees, etc.

Flood Zone Determination

Flood Zone Determinations are required by lenders for most loans that collateralize real estate. The service is most often ordered and handled in large quantities by mortgage underwriters or loan processing centers. Effective March 1, 2011, all residential mortgages with federal backing will require a Flood Zone Determination.

The purpose is to determine whether or not flood insurance will be required on the collateralized structures on the property, usually a home or commercial/industrial building. Flood insurance requirements will vary greatly according to the flood zone, type of structure, and elevations.

Target Surveying provides Flood Zone Determination Surveying services to the entire state of Florida.

Improvement Surveys

Improvement location surveys are performed to depict property improvements that are being proposed or to document existing or recently completed improvements to a property. These surveys are completed to ensure that proposed or recently completed improvements remain within the property’s boundary lines and are not infringing on easements or rights of way. Another purpose of these surveys is to maintain accurate property records and to confirm compliance within the building regulations, land-use, and zoning of the property. These survey drawings are typically required by local zoning authorities or by mortgage companies.

Target Surveying provides fast, accurate Improvement Surveys to the State of Florida at the most competitive prices in the industry.

Mortgage Surveys

Target Surveying provides fast high quality Mortgage Surveys for the entire State of Florida. There are two types of Mortgage Surveys that can be performed on properties, Mortgage Location Surveys and Mortgage Inspection Surveys.

Mortgage Location Surveys are used by title and mortgage companies to establish which buildings and structures are on your land. This can include the main building as well as detached garages or sheds. Mortgage Location Surveys will also determine whether your property is encroaching on a neighboring property, or if a neighboring property is encroaching on your land.

Mortgage Inspection Surveys do not include as much detail. They usually do not include boundary lines and are generally used to note physical structures and their locations on your property. The Mortgage Inspection Survey is typically what is needed when purchasing a new home.

No matter which type of Mortgage Survey you need, Target Surveying is ready to provide fast and accurate service at the most competitive pricing in the industry.

Right of Way Surveys

A Right Of Way Survey is a boundary survey depicting the limits of private ownership including that of the entity/agency that has the interest or jurisdiction of the subject property. Depending on the location of the site, the entity/agency may be the State, County, or City government. Right Of Way is usually considered as being owned by the entity, unlike an easement which is the right of use over the property of others. Title to the Right of Way may exist by different sources that include Dedication, Acquisition, Eminent Domain, and Maintenance. Many times it is a combination of these that make the total parcel.

The team at Target Surveying LLC has the expertise to provide fast and accurate Right Of Way Surveys. We research existing land survey documents to determine current parcel ownership. We work with engineers and designers to determine the necessity of easements and right of way.

Sub Division Planning and Platting Target Surveying provides accurate survey information to assist in the planning and platting of subdivision development and construction. This can include topographic elevation information as well as locations of right of ways and easements, streams and water bodies, and also existing structures and buildings. This information is essential when building and planning subdivisions and large-scale construction projects. Target Surveying will provide all on site surveying activities as well as research existing land title documentation to provide developers with a thorough and complete scope of the project’s physical parameters.

Surveying FAQs

Q: How much does a land survey cost?
A: It depends on many factors such as the size of the property and the type of surveying work you need us to perform. The easiest way to answer that question is to fill out the online quote request and we will email you a quote within 24 hours.

Q: Why do I need a survey when buying or selling a piece of real property?
A: To protect the investment you are about to make when buying land. Most mortgage companies will require a current survey for the purpose of revealing potential problems with boundary lines, easements, and encroachments.


Q: Why do I need a survey when getting ready to build a fence or other improvement on my property?
A: The survey will ensure that you are building the improvement correctly as well as satisfy the requirements of your City's building department

Q: Will a survey help when a property line is in dispute?
A: A survey can be used as part of the process to resolve disputes over property lines and corners as well as in the legal process to stop someone you believe someone is encroaching on your land.

Q: Why do I need a survey when dividing my land to sell?
A: A survey protects you when selling land because it makes very clear what land and how much of it you are selling.

Q: How long does it take to get a survey completed?
A: Most surveys can be completed within 3 to 5 business days. Please specify your time frame and we will be happy to work with you. Rush service is available.