From a new construction project to purchasing a new property, it’s important to understand when a survey is recommended as well as required. Our team of licensed surveyors perform the due diligence needed to save you from a potentially costly mistake.
The Surveying Services We Provide
- ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys
- Boundary Survey
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Layout
- FEMA Elevation Certificate
- Property Corners Staked
- Site Plan
- Topographic Survey
Residential Land Surveying in the Town of Smithtown, NY
A property survey defines the lines of your land. It clarifies the size, shape, and where your property begins and ends. Here are some of the other ways that having a land survey done on your property will save you time, effort, resources, and most of all, money in the long run. For example, laws in your municipality may have changed for a variety of reasons. This means the placement of your shed or fence might have been on your side of the property line a year ago but is now on your neighbor’s side or too close to the road.
An updated land survey will give you peace of mind that you’re still in compliance. A land surveyor checks the following areas to ensure your land is in good legal standing:
- The boundaries of your land
- The placement of structures (sheds, pool houses, etc.) on the land
- Easements and entrances
- Natural features, such as trees, streams, etc. as well as manmade parts like swimming pools.
Scalice Works with Title Companies
Land surveys are a vital component of the due diligence a title company does when looking at a property. Too often the seller of the property provides an old survey during the transaction process, which more times than not is outdated. The lack of an updated land survey can cause the buyer all sorts of headaches down the road as municipal laws are known to change over the course of a few years.
While obtaining a current land survey probably seems like one more thing to do added to a list of a hundred other things for title companies to do before closing, it is a critical document that will save you a lot of trouble later on. An updated land survey protects the lender and the property owner from boundary discrepancies, building projects encroaching onto a neighbor’s land or too close to the road, solving land disputes, and much more.
Why Choose Scalice For Your Smithtown, NY Property Surveying Needs?
At Scalice, we pride ourselves on the quality of work and outstanding customer service we provide. We know how much our clients count on us to provide accurate results in a timely manner and stand by every service we deliver. Furthermore, we have the best land surveying team in the state, use only the latest technology, and will answer your call on the first or second ring.
Smithtown Land Survey FAQs
Before getting a survey done, you want to feel fully informed and prepared for the process. Here, we answer a few frequently asked questions about getting a land survey in Smithtown, NY.
- How Does a Smithtown Land Surveyor Help in Boundary Disputes?
- What Questions Should I Ask a Smithtown Land Surveyor?
- How Much Does a Survey Cost in Smithtown?
- How Can I Survey My Own Property in Smithtown?
- How Do You Determine Property Lines in Smithtown?
- Can You Claim Land After 7 Years in Smithtown?
- Can You Claim Land in Smithtown if You Maintain It?
- Do I Need a Permit to Put a Fence Around My Yard in Smithtown?
- How Long Does It Take to Survey a Plot of Land in Smithtown?
- Why Do You Need a Land Survey in Smithtown?
How Does a Smithtown Land Surveyor Help in Boundary Disputes?
If you’re involved in a boundary dispute with a neighbor, it’s likely because your survey map and their survey map conflict. Conflicting boundary line descriptions mean that not all surveys are correct, and not all surveyors are equally qualified to report the facts.
A land surveyor can help with a boundary dispute in Smithtown by acting as an expert witness should the case go before a judge. As a third-party authority, a surveyor can conduct research, review legal descriptions, investigate owner intentions, and take measurements through new surveys to help put the matter to rest.
What Questions Should I Ask a Smithtown Land Surveyor?
Before hiring someone to survey your property, you’ll want to find out if they’re the right person for your project. You should ask several questions to a land surveyor in Smithtown to help you find out:
- If they’re fully licensed to conduct surveys in New York
- How long they’ve been doing land surveys in New York
- The experience and education level of their crew
- If they have liability insurance
- If they have customer reviews and references
- What the estimated cost of your job will be
- If the result of their work will accurately reflect your property’s boundaries
With a better understanding of their qualifications and experience, you can feel more confident about hiring them to do the job right and do it well.
How Much Does a Survey Cost in Smithtown?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to conducting a land survey. There are numerous kinds of surveys and several different factors that play into the estimated cost of any given survey. For example, you might require a:
- Boundary survey, which could cost anywhere from $100 to $600
- Topographic survey, which could range from $500 to $1,200
- ALTA survey, which is more in-depth and typically ranges from $2,000 to $3,000
- Mortgage survey when buying a new house, which is generally around $500
- New construction survey, which could be between $1,000 and $2,000
- Fence survey to install new fencing, which is typically between $250 and $1,000
Given the type of survey that you might request, the cost will also vary based on:
- Your lot type, size, shape, and age
- Terrain and accessibility
- Geographic location
- Time of year
- Research and travel time
If you’d like to try to narrow it down a little more, HomeAdvisor released national estimate data for 2022 that showed the typical survey costs range from $338 and $670 with an average of $504. Talk to a land surveyor to get an estimate of costs for your survey in Smithtown.
How Can I Survey My Own Property in Smithtown?
Land surveys must be done any time property is bought or sold, additions or removals are made to the property, or whenever there are boundary disputes. If you’re buying property, a mortgage lender will conduct a survey but request that you get an independent one done to confirm their results.
You might think doing the survey yourself will be more cost-effective than hiring a professional. However, under New York law, the state only recognizes valid surveys that are completed and signed by licensed, registered surveyors in the state. Doing it yourself can land you in plenty of legal trouble. Even a small error could lead to a boundary dispute with a neighbor.
If you’re just interested in the process and want to try your hand at surveying your own property in Smithtown, follow these steps:
- Acquire property documents: You’ll need the deed and plat map, which you might be able to find online or have to get by going to your local assessor.
- Read and understand the legal description: Understanding this language can be challenging, as it will often refer to PLSS coordinates and terms like metes and bounds, bearings, lot and block, and fractionals. You may require talking to a real estate lawyer.
- Collect the right tools: If you don’t have them already, you might find yourself spending money on a compass, GPS, map, theodolite, tripod, levels, tape measure, flag markers, and other devices.
- Locate a known corner: You can determine a known corner by reading the legal description or viewing an existing survey map, Google Maps, or PLSS coordinates.
- Conduct the survey: Of course, doing the survey itself will require knowing how. You’ll start at your known corner that you marked and follow along to the best of your ability with the information that you have.
Remember, an amateur survey cannot be used in court. It will only serve to provide an approximation that may not be wholly accurate.
How Do You Determine Property Lines in Smithtown?
To determine property lines for your land in Smithtown, you can visit the Smithtown Assessor’s Office and request a copy of the existing survey map or fill out a form online. Alternatively, you can search your address on the Suffolk County Geographical Information System (GIS).
If you already have the survey map, just follow the given description of your property lines with a tape measure to get a visual idea. If your survey is relatively old and you think you need a new one, you could also get confirmation of your property lines by hiring a professionally licensed and registered surveyor.
Can You Claim Land After 7 Years in Smithtown?
No. Some people mistakenly believe that they can claim land after seven years of occupying it against the owner’s wishes. The misconception is often due to simplified terms of old English common law. In the modern United States, it is possible to acquire land by occupying it under the doctrine of adverse possession.
Squatting, as it’s known by some, is acknowledged by legal statutes. However, the time span to lay legal claim to a title varies by state. In New York (and thus, Smithtown), the law under N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 511 requires that a squatter occupy the land for 10 consecutive years.
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple as just being there for 10 years. There are rigorous rules one must follow and prove to the court if a trespasser wishes to make an adverse possession claim for the land’s title.
Can You Claim Land in Smithtown if You Maintain It?
Just like occupying land for 10 years isn’t enough to lay claim to it, neither is simply maintaining it. If you want to claim land in Smithtown as an adverse possessor, you must bear the burden of proof to the courts that under N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 501, you’ve been occupying the land:
- For 10 unbroken, consecutive years
- With or without knowing someone else’s ownership rights
- Without the owner’s permission and against their rights
- In a manner that would give the rightful owner a reason to eject you
- By failure of the owner to exercise their rights to eject you during those statutory 10 years
- With a reasonable belief that the property is yours
- By using it as the true owner would, without hiding your occupancy
- By exercising control over the property
- Exclusively and alone
Do I Need a Permit to Put a Fence Around My Yard in Smithtown?
You generally do not need a permit to put a fence around your yard in Smithtown, provided that the fence meets town regulations. You do need a permit for any fence over four feet high. Under Zoning Code of the Town of Smithtown § 322-13:
- No fence shall exceed six feet in height
- No fence shall exceed four feet in height for front yards
- No fence shall exceed two feet in height in a corner clearance triangle
Town regulations also provide more intricate details for different types of fences and other exceptions to height restrictions.
How Long Does It Take to Survey a Plot of Land in Smithtown?
How long it takes to survey a plot of land in Smithtown depends on your property’s existing deed. In a new survey, the surveyor will first research and review existing legal descriptions, plat map, and the deed. These can mostly be found online but might take a few business days if they must be acquired by the local assessor.
A deed with poor quality or conflicting information means more research must be done. It can take extra time to correctly determine property lines and prove their legal status. Recording physical evidence is the next step. Your surveyor will visit the property and compare data from survey drawings and legal records, which can take two days to a week to complete.
Depending on the type of survey you request, the size of your land, and the surveyor’s schedule, the survey process itself shouldn’t last more than a day. For example, a simple homebuyer’s report could take about 90 minutes to complete. A more advanced survey for a building report could take up to eight hours to complete.
Getting results will also take some time. A smaller, simpler survey or a homebuyer’s report could take three to five business days to produce results, while a larger, more in-depth survey or building report could take up to eight business days.
Once your surveyor has more information and a better understanding of your project, they can provide you with a clearer estimated time frame for full completion.
Why Do You Need a Land Survey in Smithtown?
There are several reasons why you might need a land survey in Smithtown. Buying or selling a property will require one. Making additions or removing structures will also require one. You will also need one done to settle any boundary dispute with a neighbor.
In rural or agricultural areas, a land survey is generally good for five to 10 years. In urban and suburban settings with lots of activity, that time frame is shorter. Surveys have no expiration date, but if you haven’t had one done in a while, it’s a good idea to get yours updated.
You’ll need a land survey done any time you want to reveal your property’s:
- Zoning classification
- Existing improvements
- Surface water (ponds, creeks, wells, etc.)
- Party walls
- Joint driveways