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Plot Plans and Property Surveys

Hudkins January 23rd, 2018

Plot Plans and Property Surveys – What is the Difference?

Mortgage Inspection Plan or “Plot Plan”

A Mortgage Inspection Plan (often referred to as a Plot Plan) is a drawing, prepared by a professional, reflecting the general shape of the subject property and the location of any buildings or structures in relation to the property lines.  Distances are approximate and are typically based on the deed description of record and a physical visit to the premises.  The intention of the Plot Plan is to certify to a lender that there are no encroachments, and typically reflects whether the property is in a flood plain.  The charge is approximately $125-$175.00 for residential property in the State of NH.  The landowner shall not use this information for other purposes, i.e. determining lines of ownership to construct building additions, pools, fences, etc.

Property Survey

A Property Survey, as defined by the NH Land Surveyors Association, http://www.nhlsa.org/ “requires sufficient research, field survey and analysis of all factors affecting and influencing the location of boundaries… to locate, monument, determine the area… of real property…”. The property survey sets forth the boundary lines of the property with certainty.  A property survey is more expensive than a Mortgage Inspection Plan (i.e. several thousands of dollars) and requires site visits to the property by a land surveyor.  With today’s modern survey instruments such as total stations and GPS equipment, boundary lines and elevations can be determined and are memorialized in a Plan which is often recorded at the County Registry of Deeds. Only licensed professional land surveyors can determine, and certify, land boundaries.

Do I Need a Plot Plan or a Property Survey before purchasing real estate?

If you are seeking certainty with respect to your boundary lines, the first step is to ask the current owner if they have had any survey work completed.  This is especially important if you plan to construct a new home, garage, barn, fence, or other structures on the premises.  It may also be important for you to identify the placement of easements, wetlands, setbacks, or other building restrictions.  If the property has never been surveyed, you may consider the cost of the survey as part of your negotiations on sale-price with the seller. You may also consider whether it is important for you complete a survey of the property prior to closing or whether it may be acceptable for you to wait until after the closing.  A consultation with your closing attorney, realtor and a licensed land surveyor is advised.

This summary has been prepared by Attorney Jacqueline M. Hudkins of Hudkins Law PLLC http://hudkinslaw.com  and George R. Fredette, PE of SFC Engineering Partnership, Inc.  http://www.sfceng.com

Hudkins Law PLLC  was founded in 2006 by Jacqueline M. Hudkins.  The firm provides title and settlement services for residential and commercial real estate transactions.  Each real estate transaction is managed by a team of Attorneys and Paralegals to guarantee continuous coverage throughout the entire closing process and combines the expertise of Real Estate, Title, Trust, Estate Planning and Corporate Attorneys.  The firm employs nine Attorneys and ten paralegals and maintains offices in Windham NH, Concord NH, Hampton, NH, New London, NH, Keene, NH, Norwich VT, & Andover, MA.

SFC Engineering Partnership, Inc., (SFC) is a multi-disciplined engineering consulting firm conveniently located at 1 Industrial Drive in Windham, New Hampshire. SFC has been providing Structural, Fire Protection and Civil Engineering, Surveying, and Accessibility Consultation to private, commercial, industrial and municipal markets for over twenty years. SFC’s professional team offers a multitude of engineering services including roadway improvements, utilities and drainage design, building design, permitting, sprinkler and alarm design, site planning, feasibility studies, infrastructure improvements, accessibility consultation and design, plan code review, and construction administration. SFC’s staff includes 14 staff professionals including civil, structural and fire protection engineers.