Understanding what you are adding to a survey request
An ALTA (American Land Title Association) survey is one that has a specific list of requirements. This is typically only required in commercial situations. Some of the standards had traditionally made an ALTA “more accurate” but with the way the requirements for both ALTA and Tennessee State Standards are now written, an ALTA is no more accurate than any other survey. The most notable difference with an ALTA is the price. Because of the specifics of the standards, the cost for an ALTA is often three times that of the “normal” survey.
Marking the property lines is not included in a “normal” survey (see here). There are two very different levels of this. One is “rough marking” where the lines are marked close enough to know where your boundary is and where, if clearing, you would not be over on the neighbor. It is not close enough to build a fence EXACTLY on the property line. The other option is “marking for fence”. This is where we place flags exactly online so that you can build a fence EXACTLY on the property line. Rough marking is much cheaper than marking for fence simply because of the time it takes for each.
A topographic survey is where we put contours on the map so that a person can tell the elevation changes of the property. There are several factors that govern the cost of this but they all basically reduce down to time. First and foremost is the size of the property. The larger the tract, the more the cost. Next is ground cover. There is a big difference in the time it will take to perform a topo on an open field versus a dense tree-covered lot with thick undergrowth. Then there is the contour interval. The smaller the interval (2-foot contour vs 20-contour) the more accurately the land is represented and the more time it takes to do. Lastly, but likely the most cost-impacting thing is if you are needing it physically shot (us out in the field, locating every grade break) or if we are able to pull the data from an online source. The latter is subject to data availability and it also won’t necessarily reflect “current” changes in the land.
This is a request to either move a property line or to create a new parcel. If all affected land remains over 5 acres (no lot is changed or created that is less than 5 acres) and certain other criteria are met, then the property is not subject to planning commission review. However, if any of the criteria are not met or if any parcel will be less than 5 acres, then it will be required to go through planning. Any change in a property line is subject to this and is theoretically considered a “subdivision.”
Metes and Bounds Legal Description
The literal meaning is measure around. It is the kind of description that says something like, “Thence with the line of Bob N46°W for 300 feet to the top of the ridge.” By requesting this, you are asking that we write a new legal description that matches the new survey. This is typically needed when the land transfers and is not on a recorded plat.
No Map Desired
This is stating that you would like to save some money and not have us make you a map. When you request this, the survey is cheaper because we do not have as much time in the field because we do not have to locate all of the improvements and whatnot. It is also cheaper because we have less office time because we do not have to spend the time drawing what was shot. The issue you run into is that we cannot produce a map at a later date if we do not do the needed fieldwork ahead of time. So if you decide later that you needed a map, we would have to go back out and locate all the stuff we didn’t do the first time and therefore would have to charge an addition trip fee on top of whatever the time in the field would be AND the office cost.