Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Land Title Survey?

A complete and total study, investigation and evaluation of all factors affecting and influencing the location of the boundaries, ownership lines, rights of way and easements within or immediately surrounding a certain lot, parcel or quantity of real estate. Such study and evaluation will culminate in the deliberate and clear location or relocation on the ground of the perimeters, division lines or boundaries and the determination of area of the certain lot, parcel or quantity of real estate.

Why is a Land Title Survey necessary?

A survey may be used to describe property boundaries, locate physical characteristics of the property, locate matters of record, identify how land use laws affect the property, and assist in evaluating the property. A land title survey is sufficient for title insurance purposes. It denotes merely a boundary depiction, but may contain other information pertaining to the property.

Title Search

An examination of the records of the registry of deeds or other office, which contains records of title documents to determine whether title to the property is good. (Also see abstract of title or examination)


A map of a town, section, or subdivision showing the location and boundaries of individual parcels of land subdivided into lots with streets, alleys, easements, etc. Usually drawn to scale.

Plat Map

A plat map is generally drawn after the property has been described by some other means, such as a government survey system. Once a plat map is set, legal descriptions are defined by referring to the given map in a lot and block description.

Set Back (Building Line)

The distance from a curb, property line, or structure, within which building is prohibited. Setback requirements are normally provided by ordinances or building codes (provisions in zoning ordinance regulating the distance from the lot line to the point where improvements may be constructed).


The right of the owner of one parcel of land, by reason of such ownership, to use the land of another for a special purpose not inconsistent with the general purpose.

Metes & Bounds

Method of describing land by measure of land (metes – course and distance) of the boundary lines (bounds – adjoiners). The most common method is to recite direction and length of each line, as one would walk the perimeter.

Right of Way

Any strip or area of land, including surface, overhead, underground, granted by deed or easement, for construction and maintenance according to designated use, such as drainage, irrigation canals, ditches, electric power, telephone, oil, gas, water, other pipelines, highways, etc.

Elevation Certificate

Verifies that the finished floor elevations for homes meet or exceed the requirements set by the F.I.R.M. (Flood Insurance Rate Maps).