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bigtrees
(@bigtrees)
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September 12, 2018 6:36 am  

In-laws are wanting a property survey done in Seattle area. They have a 1/3 acre lot that has two corner pins. One I have personally located, the other I think I know where it is but I actually haven't found the rebar. The two other corners need to be set (no previous survey indicates they have ever been set).

How much would it cost to do a property survey in Seattle, inclusive of setting two corner pins?

I know I asked about setting one corner pin, doing a property survey with survey-grade GPS coordinates of the corners for a 40 acre lot in Montana came out to $3000. I think this would be cheaper but not sure how much.

I'm just asking for curiosity. Of course, getting bids is the sure-fire way to know for sure.


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thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
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September 12, 2018 6:55 am  

Bigtrees,

I'll chime in before the fires start...

Giving a reasonable estimate or fixed fee with very little information is a disaster waiting to happen. With research some will give you a wide ranging estimate. Any fixed fee would probably either be from a local surveyor or so high it would scare you off.

The process for determining the boundary is never as simple as grabbing GPS coordinates and setting a rebar. If anyone does it that way start a savings account. You can plan on getting at least halfway to 6 figures in attorneys fees.

I strongly suggest you get some local prices or estimates, taking care to have the surveyor outline what they will and wont do for the money.

Good luck, Tom 

CFedS, PLS ID-OR-WA-UT-NV


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Peter Lothian
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September 12, 2018 6:57 am  

Personally, I don't throw out cost estimates without knowing more about the particular lot that will need to be surveyed. A specific address is usually where I start because I want to check the current deed and get a better idea of the quality and time frame of surveying done on that lot and in the area. A "1/3 acre boundary survey and set 2 pins in the Boston area" could range in cost from $2,400 to $6,000 depending on all the variables.

Since I'm located in Mass. it would cost a whole lot more than that for me to work on your in-laws' property in Seattle, but if you're willing to pay megadollars for a survey, and wait until I can get a license to practice there, "have theodolite, will travel".

On a side note, our office actually got a call last year from a guy trying to find a surveyor to do some work in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. We declined to pursue that work due to the logistics, and the risk of being shot by poachers.


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bigtrees
(@bigtrees)
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September 12, 2018 7:05 am  

I'm just asking for idle curiosity's sake.

A range (even a big one) is fine. I mentioned it might be $2000 to $3000 to my MIL. She was flabbergasted, and now wants to prove that I am wrong.

Looking online, I see the "average" survey is $456. I think that number is a joke.

I guess my question should be, is my guess that it might run a couple grand (based on my experience with the 40 acre parcel in Montana) something reasonable to throw out? While I know that bigger properties cost more, I also know that it's cheaper in Montana than Seattle. Or is the average of $500 more reasonable?

She'll figure out what the actual cost is. I'm just trying to decide if my $2000 or $3000 grand estimate was a "stupid" number to throw out, or ballpark reasonable for the starting point of a discussion.


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thebionicman
(@thebionicman)
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September 12, 2018 7:09 am  

Your 2 to 3 K could easily be a little light. I've gone over 500 on estimates...

CFedS, PLS ID-OR-WA-UT-NV


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Bill93
(@bill93)
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September 12, 2018 8:01 am  

As mentioned, the price will depend a lot on what has been done in the past in that neighborhood.  If it was well-monumented originally, a good fraction of those monuments at or close to the subject property remain, and dimensions on the ground are close to theoretical (deed) the it will be a lot less than if there is very little monumentation and the original layout was inaccurate.  Complications such as identifying improvement over the line onto or off of the property will take careful documentation as well as measurement.  Many states require a record be filed with the county or state when monuments are set or a material discrepancy with past documentation found.  Filing fees for required documentation vary greatly around the country - some places a full survey can be filed for $20 and others $1000 or more.

So numbers from around the country from people who have not seen or researched the specific property are pretty much meaningless.


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not my real name
(@not-my-real-name)
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September 12, 2018 8:10 am  

Why are people always asking for bids and pins. Is that all surveying is?

I have a question:

What is behind door number 3 and how much do you want to pay for it?


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bigtrees
(@bigtrees)
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September 12, 2018 8:15 am  
Posted by: not my real name

Why are people always asking for bids and pins. Is that all surveying is?

I have a question:

What is behind door number 3 and how much do you want to pay for it?

I'm not asking for a bid. Just wondering if my 2k to 3k guesstimate was in the ballpark or not. (Google says average survey costs $456 which I think is total baloney.)

While nobody will know the cost of this specific parcel, I'm curious what the cost is for the bulk of residential surveys for lots under an acre. Sure they all have unique characteristics, but the bulk of them will come to within a certain price point. Google says that should be around $500. 

This particular county, it costs $200 to record the survey. 

This post was modified 5 months ago by bigtrees

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foggyidea
(@foggyidea)
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September 12, 2018 8:22 am  

I usually will charge about $200 per concrete bound set, once I have completed the survey.  For a simple lot survey, in an established subdivision, that would run $1,200+ depending on local factors.  We are not required to file a Record of Survey for setting corners.

Dtp

GEOMAGICIAN
"Outstanding in the Field"

Donald T. Poole PLS MA#32662, CFedS#1499 (expired)
www.outermostlandsurvey.com
www.cfeds.org


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Peter Lothian
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September 12, 2018 8:52 am  

The $500 lot survey you found on Google is mostly a myth perpetuated by real estate agents and architects.


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Jim in AZ
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September 12, 2018 9:37 am  

I can't reply to your question from Arizona... I would call several local surveyors in the area and ask for a "Proposal", not a "Bid."

"Bids" are prepared by tradesmen, "Proposals" are prepared by Professionals. You do not want the "low bidder." If they all propose to perform the same scope of work I would probably hire the one closest to the median price. If one(or more) of them seem to be presenting a more thorough proposal I might opt for them.You might ask if they can provide an example of what you are going to get if you hire them and compare their work products.

 

P.S. $465 is far too low for a quality job unless the surveyor just completed a survey next door. Even then...

This post was modified 5 months ago by Jim in AZ

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance - Confucius


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Scott Ellis
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September 12, 2018 11:11 am  

In my area $400 for a Lot Survey in a platted subdivision 50 x 100 foot lot is not uncommon. 


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aliquot
(@aliquot)
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September 12, 2018 11:53 am  

You  need to talk to local surveyors. The cost and quality of boundary surveys varies wildly across the country. I only know a little about the Seattle area, but I think you wont find any $500 surveys. 

 


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aliquot
(@aliquot)
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September 12, 2018 11:57 am  
Posted by: Scott Ellis

In my area $400 for a Lot Survey in a platted subdivision 50 x 100 foot lot is not uncommon. 

..and when I last worked for a small company that did surveys like this $400 wouldn't even cover the cost of drawing the plat. I wonder if there is any other profession that has such  big differences in price across the country? 


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WA-ID Surveyor
(@wa-id-surveyor)
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September 12, 2018 12:14 pm  

My guess is that the 2-3k cost would be on the low side for a survey of that magnitude. I've seen 25k lot surveys and I've seen 3k lot surveys..Most likely 2 trips/days to the field and then all of the office components that go into a boundary survey in addition the preparing, printing and filing the record of survey.

As someone mentioned above, call around and ask for a proposal to have the lot surveyed.  Do not ask for a bid,


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