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Rincon Associates Inc.
Land Surveyors in Alamosa County, Colorado

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Land Surveying Terms and F.A.Q.'s

To attach or incorporate an additional area of land into an adjacent political domain, such as adding an area that is under county jurisdiction into an adjacent town or city bringing it into the jurisdiction of the town.
Architectural Site Plan
A site specific survey usually showing elevation contours of a certain property description, showing obvious utilities, water courses, vegetation, soil classification (as available), to provide an architect with physical characteristics of a property so they can properly design requested structures.
Boundary Survey
A survey to establish or re-establish a boundary line on the ground or to obtain data for making a map or plat showing a boundary line. The term boundary survey is generally restricted to surveys of boundaries of political territories - for the survey of a boundary line between private land parcels the term "land survey" is more common.
Cad Mapping
Computer aided drafting - using computer hardware and software to accurately prepare drawings to scale and transfer them to large format printers.
An interest or right in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use; such as laying a sewer, crossing over property, or putting up power lines.
Improvement Location Certificate
A representation of the boundaries of a parcel of land and the improvements thereon. This should not be construed as a proper land survey but is based upon a land surveyor's general knowledge of land boundaries and monuments in a given area. These are generally intended to insure lending institutions and homebuyers that the improvements represented to be on a certain piece of land are actually within the legal property description boundary.
Lot Locate
Though there are different definitions for the word "lot" the layman generally understands these as being part of subdivision and the lot being the name or number of a certain simultaneously created parcel. In our area a lot locate is referred to as searching for lot corner markers that were believed to have been placed in the ground at the time a subdivision was created - though have been buried by the elements over a lengthy span of time.
Mining Claim Retracement
A mining claim is a parcel of land probably containing valuable mineral in its soil or rock, and claimed by an individual according to established rules or laws. A retracement is to obtain all documented data available and use that information to reconstruct on the ground the position of the original description of the claimed parcel.
Mortgage Survey
A survey prepared for the purpose of providing a physical geographical location and parcel description of a smaller parcel of land within a larger boundary for a lending institution. Lot corner markers are usually set marking the boundary of the smaller parcel and a map prepared and deposited with the local county clerk and recorder, showing access and other apparent easements within and or to the smaller parcel boundary. This survey does not create a new recognized parcel. The only circumstance provided by law for which this parcel can actually become separated from the larger parcel boundary is by a foreclosure proceeding.
A type of land survey in which the legal boundaries of an area are located, and the area is divided into parcels of lots, streets, rights-of-way, and other accessories. All necessary corners or dividing lines are marked or established on the ground.

F. A. Q.'s
Question   What information does a surveyor need from me to survey my land?
The surveyor will first need to know the name of the actual owner of the land, which county the parcel is located in, and if possible the parcel description as it appears on a deed or land tax statement. You will also need to provide them with some idea of what you wish to accomplish or who has suggested you need a survey - this will give the surveyor an idea of the type of survey you may require.
Question How much does it cost for a survey?
There are many kinds of surveys with different purposes and parcels of land vary in size from small 25' x 150' lots to thousands of acres. This is a very common question with no immediately available answer. The only way a surveyor can estimate the cost of a survey is to actually do some research on the parcel of land in question, ideally some research should be done at the local county government level and also with State and Federal resources for data from past surveys. They then should actually visit the physical parcel site if they are not already acquainted with the area. Only after this research is done can a surveyor provide a reasonably accurate cost estimate.
Question I am buying a home and the real estate broker tells me I must have a survey. Why?
Generally the lending company that is financing a loan wants to know for certain that the home and the improvements on the property are actually confined within the legal property boundary description as filed with the local county clerks records. In the past lenders have had to foreclose on property because of unfortunate and unforeseen financial difficulties only to find out that the home is not actually on the property or is only partially on the property. The lenders then have a costly and time-consuming effort in front of them to recoup their investment. In the State of Colorado these are not referred to as surveys but are called Improvement Location Certificates.
Question What is an ALTA Survey?
ALTA stands for American Land Title Association. The American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping have adopted minimum standard detail requirements for surveys of real property and mapping standards acceptable to insurance companies for the purpose of insuring land. These specific requirements can be found and downloaded at the following web site: http://www.alta.org/forms/download.cfm?formID=338&type=word
Question What is the surveying company going to give me after they finish the land survey?
The surveyor should provide you with a survey map or plat and if they were required to set corner markers that map should be filed or deposited in local county records for public viewing or for future copies. The corners that were to be located on the ground should be uncovered or replaced by the surveyor if missing with his State Registration number attached and visible stakes set next to the corner marker so you can easily find them immediately on completion of the survey. If a new parcel is created then the surveyor should also supply you with a written description suitable for a deed. Please note that not all types of surveys require all of the above.
Question How long does it take to do a survey?
It of course depends on the area involved and the ultimate purpose of the survey - some can be accomplished in as little as 48 hours and in the case of constructions surveys some stretch out for years. If it is a small property survey you should expect a minimum of 2 weeks before a project is completed. This gives the surveyor a few days to gather data and if some data is not locally available time to order other records by mail. The surveyor will need to find uncover existing markers if any and note apparent easements that may affect the property and then measure them. After gathering record information and data from actual measurements they will need to compile it all and make sure they comply with existing local, state and federal regulations. They then need time to prepare a map and stake out additional or missing land markers.

A Sample Survey (Move mouse over the image to see short description of map components)

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Contact Info in South Central Colorado: P.O. Box 1025, Alamosa, Colorado 81101 USA
Telephone: 719-589-1644   Email: office@rinconsurveying.com