Author Topic: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!  (Read 1266 times)

Offline SGOS

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #75 on: September 04, 2017, 12:21:58 PM »
Like, I suppose if I was surveying an empty tract of land and I didn't know where it was I'd survey from the right of way, but otherwise as long as I have a plat and an address I can find out where I'm supposed to be. Even in the empty tracts of land I simply use bordering property to establish where I need to be. It helps that I work in the Atlanta area and just about every empty piece of property is bordered by developed properties. If I were in a rural area with just a plat and a legal description I would survey from the intersection, but it's not needed in my day to day work.
The last time I looked into in Montana, maybe 20 years ago, 20 acre parcels could be sold by legal description, along the lines of "the west half of the northeast quarter of southwest quarter of section 12, Township xxx, Range xxx", and they were talking about changing that to 40 acres or larger. 

My wife and I were considering buying a 20 acre parcel 35 years ago, and it had no corners on it.  I was surprised and when I asked the developer, he told me that a legal description was all that was needed.  As it turned out, he did hire a couple of unlicensed surveyors to put in some corners, because he was dividing up a quarter section, and buyers wanted to have a better idea of the property lines.

I wish I could have bought it.  It was lovely a combination of meadow and woods, a spectacular view of the mountains, and a babbling brook meandering quietly through the middle of the property,  but the seller started giving us a run around.  His lawyer was vague about things.  I didn't know what was going on, and we backed out of the deal.  My guess is that he was looking for another buyer to start a bidding war, but that was only my best guess.  I really wasn't sure what was going on, and after a month of him hemming and hawing and never getting around to signing the papers, we decided we didn't want to play the game anymore.

At one time I had a little side business doing sanitary reviews for the state when subdivisions were being submitted.  People called it getting a perc test, because that was the only visible thing they could see being done beyond the survey itself, but it was more complicated than that, with a lot of documentation, water testing, maps, and research sent to the state.  Licensed surveyors would contact me to do this, as the state preferred someone not directly connected to the surveyors, who would have less of a vested interest in passing the reviews of plots not suitable for development.

Surveyors could tell by looking at the land if something wasn't going to be suitable, and tell that to buyers and developers before the survey was done, but there was one outfit that would do the survey first, and worry about suitability after the fact.  I refused to work for that company, because it put me in the position of the being the bad guy that cost the seller a bunch of money for a useless survey.  However, as it was with the guys I worked for, there was only one or two reviews in several years that the state rejected.  Actually, they weren't even submitted.  I would take the problem to the County Sanitarian, who would confirm that the project was a no go before I got into the time consuming part, and nobody would be charged anything.

I'll bet like me, you see some nice parcels from time to time that you seriously think about buying yourself.  I tested some lake property some insiders had bought from the lumber company.  They were making one acre parcels 50 miles out of town in a beautiful location.  I asked how much they were going to sell the parcels for, and they told me $30,000 dollars, which I thought was grossly out of line.  Two years later they were selling those things for over $100,000 dollars a lot, and I'm still kicking myself.

Online Cavebear

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #76 on: September 04, 2017, 12:54:34 PM »
The last time I looked into in Montana, maybe 20 years ago, 20 acre parcels could be sold by legal description, along the lines of "the west half of the northeast quarter of southwest quarter of section 12, Township xxx, Range xxx", and they were talking about changing that to 40 acres or larger. 

My wife and I were considering buying a 20 acre parcel 35 years ago, and it had no corners on it.  I was surprised and when I asked the developer, he told me that a legal description was all that was needed.  As it turned out, he did hire a couple of unlicensed surveyors to put in some corners, because he was dividing up a quarter section, and buyers wanted to have a better idea of the property lines.

I wish I could have bought it.  It was lovely a combination of meadow and woods, a spectacular view of the mountains, and a babbling brook meandering quietly through the middle of the property,  but the seller started giving us a run around.  His lawyer was vague about things.  I didn't know what was going on, and we backed out of the deal.  My guess is that he was looking for another buyer to start a bidding war, but that was only my best guess.  I really wasn't sure what was going on, and after a month of him hemming and hawing and never getting around to signing the papers, we decided we didn't want to play the game anymore.

At one time I had a little side business doing sanitary reviews for the state when subdivisions were being submitted.  People called it getting a perc test, because that was the only visible thing they could see being done beyond the survey itself, but it was more complicated than that, with a lot of documentation, water testing, maps, and research sent to the state.  Licensed surveyors would contact me to do this, as the state preferred someone not directly connected to the surveyors, who would have less of a vested interest in passing the reviews of plots not suitable for development.

Surveyors could tell by looking at the land if something wasn't going to be suitable, and tell that to buyers and developers before the survey was done, but there was one outfit that would do the survey first, and worry about suitability after the fact.  I refused to work for that company, because it put me in the position of the being the bad guy that cost the seller a bunch of money for a useless survey.  However, as it was with the guys I worked for, there was only one or two reviews in several years that the state rejected.  Actually, they weren't even submitted.  I would take the problem to the County Sanitarian, who would confirm that the project was a no go before I got into the time consuming part, and nobody would be charged anything.

I'll bet like me, you see some nice parcels from time to time that you seriously think about buying yourself.  I tested some lake property some insiders had bought from the lumber company.  They were making one acre parcels 50 miles out of town in a beautiful location.  I asked how much they were going to sell the parcels for, and they told me $30,000 dollars, which I thought was grossly out of line.  Two years later they were selling those things for over $100,000 dollars a lot, and I'm still kicking myself.

Well, it sure beats "along the river".  Rivers move...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #77 on: September 04, 2017, 12:54:56 PM »
I see decent parcels all the time. In particular Atlanta is fast turning into a city of luxury houses and apartments, so to anyone owning property in or around Atlanta I'd suggest you hold onto it for a while if you can.
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #78 on: September 04, 2017, 12:58:13 PM »
Well, it sure beats "along the river".  Rivers move...

I surveyed one property that had the back property line as the centerline of a creek. You obviously can't do that today, but since it was grandfathered in technically his property gets bigger or smaller every couple of years.
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Online Cavebear

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #79 on: September 04, 2017, 01:04:22 PM »
I surveyed one property that had the back property line as the centerline of a creek. You obviously can't do that today, but since it was grandfathered in technically his property gets bigger or smaller every couple of years.

And I have one property line centered on a drainage easement.  I cant tell what happens if erosion moves the drainage easement.  LOL!
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #80 on: September 04, 2017, 01:15:59 PM »
And I have one property line centered on a drainage easement.  I cant tell what happens if erosion moves the drainage easement.  LOL!
I mean if that's the legal definition of your line, then technically it moves.

Edit: getting that rectified would require a new survey to establish a permanent line, and would depend on state, county, and local laws.


« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 01:20:27 PM by The Skeletal Atheist »
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Online Baruch

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #81 on: September 04, 2017, 01:16:24 PM »
I see decent parcels all the time. In particular Atlanta is fast turning into a city of luxury houses and apartments, so to anyone owning property in or around Atlanta I'd suggest you hold onto it for a while if you can.

Atlanta had a bad drought a few years ago, guess things are back to normal now?
שלום

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #82 on: September 04, 2017, 01:22:28 PM »
Atlanta had a bad drought a few years ago, guess things are back to normal now?
We're out of the drought, now we just have an influx of rich hipsters gentrifying everything in sight.
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Online Cavebear

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #83 on: September 07, 2017, 04:04:06 AM »
I mean if that's the legal definition of your line, then technically it moves.

Edit: getting that rectified would require a new survey to establish a permanent line, and would depend on state, county, and local laws.

I THOUGHT I'd catch you on that.  The property line is established.  Through the drainage easement, to be sure.  But the easement can wander and it doesn't change the property line...

Study harder...
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #84 on: September 08, 2017, 04:54:25 PM »
I THOUGHT I'd catch you on that.  The property line is established.  Through the drainage easement, to be sure.  But the easement can wander and it doesn't change the property line...

Study harder...
That was more of a reading comprehension fail than a surveying fail.

Anyways, I'm starting to learn how to use the instrument. Yesterday I set up the station!

Also yesterday was a rather easy one because all the property corners were already dug up and marked. These people apparently wanted to flip a house and decided to save money by getting a simple boundary survey and then renovating and adding without getting a permit. What they didn't consider is that Atlanta is fucking brutal when it comes to permits. So we go out there, everything is cleared and marked by the previous surveyors, and all we really had to do was the as-built part so they could get the proper permits.
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Online Cavebear

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2017, 01:05:45 AM »
That was more of a reading comprehension fail than a surveying fail.

Anyways, I'm starting to learn how to use the instrument. Yesterday I set up the station!

Also yesterday was a rather easy one because all the property corners were already dug up and marked. These people apparently wanted to flip a house and decided to save money by getting a simple boundary survey and then renovating and adding without getting a permit. What they didn't consider is that Atlanta is fucking brutal when it comes to permits. So we go out there, everything is cleared and marked by the previous surveyors, and all we really had to do was the as-built part so they could get the proper permits.

You seem to be getting the basics down.  Good.  But, while I like you, you seem to be getting more than you were ready for on the "Ask Me Things".  LOL!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 02:11:36 AM by Cavebear »
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2017, 05:40:39 AM »
You seem to be getting the basics down.  Good.  But, while I like you, you seem to be getting more than you were ready for on the "Ask Me Things".  LOL!
Eh, pretty much what I expected down to the questions about my sexuality.
Some people need to be beaten with a smart stick.

Kein Mehrheit Fur Die Mitleid!

Kein Mitlied F�r Die Mehrheit!

Online Cavebear

Re: I'm a Land Surveyor now! Ask Me Things!
« Reply #87 on: September 11, 2017, 05:41:36 AM »
Eh, pretty much what I expected down to the questions about my sexuality.

What?
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950