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Old 11-18-2008, 02:03 PM
 
Location: FL
1,933 posts, read 5,649,000 times
Reputation: 2093

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I was just infomed by a letter from my mortgage company that I am now in a flood zone due to FEMA revision, whereas 6 months ago when I bought my house I wasn't. I called to get quotes, but they told me that before they could even give me a quote, I would need to have a surveyor come out and give me a Certificate of ELevation.

This is Christmas time. Does anyone know a roundabout of how much that would cost me??? Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
2,124 posts, read 5,720,964 times
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you just closed... did you have a survey from that closing? or did you use the sellers survey? call your closing agent and find out. That could save you some money.

shelly
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,956 posts, read 18,687,661 times
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A certificate of elevation is different than a boundary survey. Out here in Oregon they run about $600 or so depending on how far the surveyor has to travel.
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:56 PM
Status: "It's 5 o'clock somewhere." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Mountain Ranch, CA The heart of Calaveras County
6,136 posts, read 11,468,630 times
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I would think that with todays accuracy of GPS, the elevation could be accurately measured by a surveyor without having to transit from a known point. call a surveyor and see!
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Old 11-18-2008, 02:58 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 746,957 times
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While it's true that a boundary survey is different than an elevation survey, the elevations survey will work off the same mounements that the boundary surveyor used. However, I'd be surprised if the OP used a surveyor when she bought the house. FEMA has been going through and redrawing the flood maps so my guess is they updated the map and put her house in a flood zone. In that case, her neighbors will be all having the same problems and perhaps they can have one surveyor do all the properties at the same time.
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:00 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 746,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMenscha View Post
I would think that with todays accuracy of GPS, the elevation could be accurately measured by a surveyor without having to transit from a known point. call a surveyor and see!
GPS right now is accurate to +/- 3 feet uncorrected. If you have a known point, you can correct your data and have it accurate to within fractions of inches. That's the reason why I asked if she knew of any survey mounements in the area - if she does and doesn't have thick tree cover, they can use this known point to correct the GPS data.

Regular GPS is not accurate enough for a surveyor to produce a certificate from. 3 feet altitude is a lot when you are talking flood plains!
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Old 11-18-2008, 03:54 PM
 
21,613 posts, read 36,683,059 times
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Default The surveyor is a legal THIRD PARTY that is required...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtrees View Post
GPS right now is accurate to +/- 3 feet uncorrected. If you have a known point, you can correct your data and have it accurate to within fractions of inches. That's the reason why I asked if she knew of any survey mounements in the area - if she does and doesn't have thick tree cover, they can use this known point to correct the GPS data.

Regular GPS is not accurate enough for a surveyor to produce a certificate from. 3 feet altitude is a lot when you are talking flood plains!
The technology is somewhat irrelevant. FEMA needs a uniform way to state which house's are in the flood plain. The surveryor will have to come out and verify that the foundation/structure (afterall THAT is what flood insurance covers...) is either at the safe elevation or not.

You are not just paying for the dude with a transit, you're paying for the "hiney covering" that goes along with it
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Old 11-18-2008, 05:35 PM
Status: "It's 5 o'clock somewhere." (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Mountain Ranch, CA The heart of Calaveras County
6,136 posts, read 11,468,630 times
Reputation: 4895
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigtrees View Post
GPS right now is accurate to +/- 3 feet uncorrected. If you have a known point, you can correct your data and have it accurate to within fractions of inches. That's the reason why I asked if she knew of any survey mounements in the area - if she does and doesn't have thick tree cover, they can use this known point to correct the GPS data.

Regular GPS is not accurate enough for a surveyor to produce a certificate from. 3 feet altitude is a lot when you are talking flood plains!
Exactly, the surveyor is going to know where the section corners are and be able to work his magic fairly cheaply.

FEMA is so screwed up where I live, they've asked the County to do the flood maps, because it will be years before FEMA can get around to it
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:34 PM
 
1,305 posts, read 746,957 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The technology is somewhat irrelevant.
I agree that the the technology isn't the direct concern of the customer. But the first thing any surveyor (well, the majority) will ask is "is a GPS survey ok for you?" That's a hard question for the OP to answer without knowing more about them. (I'm an engineer and was rather stuck on how to answer until I looked more into it. I called half a dozen suveyors once and half of them asked me if they could use a GPS.)
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Old 11-19-2008, 04:31 AM
 
Location: FL
1,933 posts, read 5,649,000 times
Reputation: 2093
Default I'm back.........

and first, reps to all who helped! I have to say, I might be more confused now with all of the tech. talk

Here's what I can offer:

1. In April of 08, a month before I moved in, there was a survey for boundary lines taken of my house. I do have the paperwork on that.

2. I do not have an elevation survey, or not one that I can find if it had been taken years prior. I do not think it had been taken years prior only for the sole fact that my property has not previously been listed in a flood zone.

3. What is this "GPS"? Is this something that I DO let a surveyor use?

4. A couple of you have spoken about travel time. Wouldn't each city have a surveying company, or more than one, so that I wouldn't have to schedule someone from counties away?

5. The flood insurance company I called warned me that they have seen cases of people who got a surveyor, then sent over the Certificate of Excellence, to find out that the surveyor did not fill it our completely and then because the people had to call him back out to fill it out, the surveyor gave them another charge! The insurance said this happens quite frequently. What can I do to prevent this from happening to me?

6. IS $600, which was the only estimated price thrown out, an accurate estimate?

7. Do I need a raised seal, or am I allowed to get this Certificate emailed to me?


Thank you every one for your help!!
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