Surveyors & Property Lines
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Surveyors & Property Lines
Questions about Surveyors
Looking for recommendations for reasonably priced but respected
surveyors. Property is in Kensington. Property is about 5,000
Thank you in advance
Our architect recommended Andres Deak (''Deek'') (510) 865-4289
when we needed a survey in order to apply for a variance in
Oakland. I didn't shop around, so I can't tell you whether he's
reasonably priced or not.
We used Andreas Deak to survey our property lines earlier this
year. He was polite, prompt, and was able to fit us in quickly.
We needed super fast service to get through an inspection and he
was so helpful in our pinch.
He was also MUCH MORE reasonably priced than any of the other
surveyors I phoned. I got 4 quotes and his was by far the best
price. Since we were already spending so much money on
construction and city fees this was important.
his number: 510-865-4289
Dear Folks- I have used Andreas Deak with great satisfaction. He
is excellent but not expensive- the little secret of many local
realtors. He really knows the issues of these old houses and
wierd lot lines!
Our neighbors would like to replace an existing fence and we
would like to make one continuing fence down that same side, but
are not sure about the property line. Can anyone recommend a
surveying company/person? Also, what is the current rate for a
surveyor? I've been told in the past, it can cost $2-$3,000. Is
We had a property survey done in March by Andreas (Andrew)
Deak. My husband met him while he was doing another survey in
our neighborhood, and we had also seen a couple older positive
reviews in BPN. He did a great job, and the whole cost was only
about $600 to survey our entire property. He's in Alameda, and
you can reach him at (510) 865-4289.
It is true that there are few surveyors who will do limited
services inexpensively. Andreas Deak is the only one I know of,
but am not sure he will take a cold call from a stranger. He is
always very busy. You will have to be patient to fit into his
schedule. His phone is 865-4289.
The best resource for finding a Surveyor is the California Land Surveyors Association - there you will find qualified professionals for your survey needs.
Remember to get a contract (it's required by law) stating the price and the scope of services offered.
Make sure they are insured, especially Work man's Comp so that you are not liable for their employees while they are on your property.
Professional Land Surveyor
Our town is requiring we get a Flood Elevation Certificate from
a land surveyor before we can proceed with our kitchen
remodel. I have called four land surveyors and none want the
job---apparently it is a lot of paperwork. One said the cost
(b/t 1500-2k) was not worth the time. I have no idea what is
involved, but this is holding up our project so I would really
like to find a surveyor who can do this for us. Anyone have
any recommendations? We live in Marin.
This is a very specialized kind of topographic survey. In fact, I've
never heard of this
as a local requirement, but in Marin County...anything goes. I'd
suggest calling Jeff
Haltiner at Phillip Williams and Associates. He maybe can recommend a
firm or two
who are highly experienced in this sort of work. Another possible
recommended surveyor is Wetlands Research Associates.
I've used Moran Engineering (Jeffrey Black, 510-848-1930) several
times and got
great service. This time of year, I suspect that there will be a
Can anyone recommend a licensed,
reasonably-priced surveyor? We recently bought a home and
want to know the where the property lines are. Thanks.
While working in an architects office I worked with Andreas
Deak (510) 865-4289 for lot surveying and found him careful
Questions about Property Lines
We currently rent a house that is one half of a TIC. It is
our understanding that the TIC agreement (which we haven't
seen) states that each of the two houses share the driveway
and garage equally. There are four owners in total, two that
own the house we rent, and two that own the house next door.
As of this week it appears that the owner next door (who
also resides there) has hired a friend to construct a music
practice room for a piano in the garage. We (the renters on
this half of the TIC) were not asked nor informed of the
construction project; not by the neighbors, nor by our own
LLs. The project is dominating daytime use of the driveway,
the sheetrock and lumber is blocking access to our half of
the garage, the construction noise is violating our city?s
noise ordinance restrictions, and finally there is no
building permit listed at our local housing office. We tried
asking the worker about what she was doing, and the first
time she lied to us. The second time we asked she admitted
it was a music room, but that it won?t be soundproofed. We
wrote an email to all four owners of the TIC complaining
about the various inconveniences and asking for our clear
access back, but only our neighbor has replied and that was
to only state that they will clean up after themselves when
they are done. No word from our LLs at all. Outside of
reporting them to the city, do we have any recourse? I feel
like my LLs are violating our rights as a tenants, but we
are not clear on how. Can anyone give advice to us about this?
imho, you should contact the city and report that
construction is being performed without a permit. a permit
is pulled so that, in the end people dont get hurt because
if it isnt legal it means it was never inspected for safety
or structural issues - even if the construction is done by
licensed contractors, it doesnt mean that what they are
doing is up to code. having a permit also states legal hours
to do the work. you can report such activities anonymously.
if reported, a stop order is issued and the contractor is
fined and can not perform any work until a permit is pulled.
though now you are in a situation where the culprits know
you dont agree with whats going on there (and so anonymous,
not so much). if you have not been able to get a response
from your landlords in regards to this - then maybe they
don't care too much about it since it is not them being
(generally) affected by it. have you talked to your other
neighbors in the neighborhood? has this bothered any of
them? they too can report it. Good luck!
You can call the police about noise. Call the planning
department about permit violations. And check your lease for
contractual information about driveway access. I think it
would be easier to move.
Perhaps the East Bay Community Law Center can help. (2921
Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703)
They help mediate disputes, and don't cost an arm & a leg.
Andus H Brandt, RA
You need to look at your lease. That is what governs your
relationship with your LL. Specifically, did they rent you
a portion of the garage and driveway access? The TIC
agreement should also govern the relationship between the
two owners, and typically they say that tenants have to
abide by the obligations of the owners. The agreement may
require you to reasonably accommodate the neighbor's
construction project. It also may require that they obtain
permits for any work they do. Check out the lease/rental
agreement and the TIC agreement, if there is one.
We are just beginning the process of planning an addition to our
house (adding a family room, bath, and remodeling the existing
kitchen), or at least, exploring whether such an addition is
feasible for us. We have been told that the first step before
going to an architect is having a survey of our property done (or
is it called a site plan?) Does anyone have recommendations of
local surveyors? What does something like this cost? Thanks
We are mid-construction on a small addition to our home. Having
just gone through the planning process from start to finish, I
would start by talking to an architect. They should research the
codes for your area to determine what the setback requirements
are (how far from your neighbor's house or the curb you need to
be). Depending on what you are trying to do, the city planning
dept. may request that you do a survey. We didn't have to. If
you have the time, you can go down to the planning dept. and look
at the monument map for your property. This will tell you the
exact dimensions of your property and how far from the curb your
line is. But, as a first step, I would talk to an architect or
My general contractor hubbie says go straight to the city
planning dept. A survey will cost $1-3K, and it might not be
necessary if setbacks and property lines are pretty clear. City
Planning can tell you if a survey is necessary.
You will need a survey if you are adding on to your house. But I
don't think you need one *before* you go to an architect. We are
in the process of adding on to our house, and it was our
architect who told us to get the survey and recommended the
company he uses a lot. They were horrible about getting back to
us when we called, but then the architect called and gave them
hell, after which we got great service. So, I won't heartily
recommend our surveyors (Gilbert Fitch & Associates), but I would
recommend working through your architect with one. It came in
handy to have that back up. As for price, ours was around $3,300.
I don't know whether the size of the lot affects the price, but
we have a one-third acre lot.
In the end, I wouldn't shell out the money until you know for
sure that you are going forward with the addition and are already
working with an architect.
My wife and I recently purchased a house in Montclair. We did
not bother with a survey of the property line at the time of
purchase and the map and description in our prelims are quite
A few weeks ago our immediate neighbor hired a crew to cut and
trim some Eucalyptus trees on his property. The problem is that
we are pretty sure that some of the cut trees are on *our* side
of the property line (the neighbor did not contact us before
cutting the trees). When we noticed, we asked the neighbor to
stop the work until we could assess exactly where the property
We called a few surveyors in the area and their phone-estimates
are in the $2500-$4000 range. We have no idea if this is what we
should expect, or if there is any other (reasonably priced) way
to establish a property line.
Also, we would appreciate any suggestion about what we can do if
it turns out that -as we unfortunately expect- the trees were on
Same situation happened to us...our neighbor trimmed/cut
trees which were on our property. We had recently moved
in, and the previous owner told us his father had planted
the large redwood tree in dispute.
I called MANY surveyors and found that they wanted min.
$2500- 3500 to survey just one property line and map the
house out for us. Ridiculous!
Then through my realtor I found Don Vegvary of Vegvary and
Vegvary Engineering. Really nice guy, competant, quick
and very inexpensive - we got everything done and
addiotional work for $1500 on a 1/3+ acre property. He
also did not come with an "attitude", which so many
surveyors I interviewed had! Don can be reached at (925)
Needless to say, the tree was on our property, and turned
out that we had MORE property than previously thought!
We live on a piece of property that is surrounded by empty
lots. We'd like to do some landscaping but there are so
many different markers on our property that we are not sure
where our property lines really are. We contacted a
surveying company and they want $3500 to come survey the
lot and set markers. My questions are, do we need a
surveying company to determine our lot lines? If so, is
$3500 a reasonable fee for this service?
Yes, you need a surveyor if you want to accurately
determine the property lines. That's what surveyors do!
And the price you were quoted sounds very reasonable to me,
though I admit my experience hiring surveyors is mostly
with respect to commercial properties. You will get the
best price if you can find someone who has surveyed your
property, or the neighboring property, previously, so it
would be worth your while to figure out who placed the
stakes and markings that you say are already there.
If, however, you want to avoid the cost of the survey
altogether, you may be able to simply come to an informal
agreement with the owners of the neighboring property. Or,
if you don't know who owns the other property, you could
use your own best guess and landscape as you like. You
would just be taking a risk that the neighbors will later
make you tear out your work if it turns out you've
encroached; this would most likely happen if and when the
other property is developed. Therefore, if you go that
route, I would suggest putting only relatively transient
stuff (flowers, grass) rather than planting large trees or
building decks in areas where you have any doubt.
I am having (unfortunately!) a dispute with my neighbor
regarding property lines. She insists on planting trees
and plants without consulting me on our shared strip of
land between her driveway and my sidewalk. I checked with
the county, and there is no survey on file for my
property. Is there a way to resolve this without the
expense of a survey? (suggestions welcome!-although I have
tried twice to speak with her about this, so that doesn't
seem to work... she believes she has been here 20 years,
and I don't have any real rights since I've only been here
Assuming I must resort to a survey of the property, does
anyone have a recommendation on land surveyors? Note to
Moderator: I did check the archives, to no avail...
anonymous and frustrated in Oakland
We recommend Moran Engineering on Shattuck in Berkeley.
They have quite a few Land Surveyors and Land Surveying
services to offer. We employed them (namely, Jeffery
Black, LS) in early 2000 and they were extremeley easy to
work with and kept to their initial quote. We were given
drawings, new property markers, and a summary of the
work. They can be reached at www.moraneng.com and (510)
848-1930 & (925) 254-5464
I would like to recommend surveyor Jeffrey Black of Moran
Engineering 510-848-1930. Jeffrey has lots of experience
with boundary disputes. There is no charge for initial
I've used Moran Engineering several times for my clients and
received great service at fair prices. Theymre at 848-1930.
I could have written your letter, as our neighbor has done
the same thing. We are at a bit of a stalemate at the
moment, as we have shown him our survey and he doesn't
seem to care. As he is a lawyer, we have to decide how
much we want to pursue this. For the moment, we have sent
him a letter drafted by our lawyer giving him ''permission''
to use our land for the time being. We did use a
surveyor, and I can recommend Chris Bailey of Bates and
Bailey in Berkeley. Their number is 510.843.2007. You
might ask if he can only survey the property line you
share with the aggravating neighbor, rather than the whole
property, to save on the cost.
this page was last updated: Nov 3, 2010
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