Cost-Effective Land Surveying: Identifying the Least Expensive Survey Type
April 2, 2024
By: Cook Surveying Engineer
cost-effective land surveying salt lake city utah

Navigating the world of land surveying can uncover a range of services with varying complexities and costs. In the quest to meet legal, developmental, and personal property needs, especially in regions like Salt Lake City, Utah, understanding which type of survey offers the most cost-effective solution is essential. This article explores the different types of land surveys available and identifies which is generally considered the least expensive, providing insight into how property owners and developers can make informed decisions.

Exploring Various Types of Land Surveys

Boundary Surveys

Boundary surveys are among the most common and are essential for determining the perimeters of a property. While thorough, they can be more expensive due to the detailed research and fieldwork required.

Topographic Surveys

Topographic surveys, which map the elevation and features of the land, are crucial for engineering and construction planning but tend to be costlier due to the level of detail involved.


These surveys are comprehensive, covering title, boundary, location, and improvement details, typically used in high-stakes real estate transactions and thus, are among the most expensive.

For more information on survey types and their applications, visit the National Society of Professional Surveyors website.

The Least Expensive Survey: Mortgage Inspection Plans

Mortgage Inspection Plans

Often considered the least expensive type of survey, Mortgage Inspection Plans (or sometimes called Mortgage Location Surveys) are less detailed and primarily used by lending institutions to confirm the general location of buildings and improvements on a property. They are:

  • Not as comprehensive as boundary surveys
  • Intended for mortgage and loan purposes, providing a basic overview of the property
  • Typically quicker and less involved, thus costing less

However, it’s crucial to note that while mortgage inspection plans are less expensive, they may not be suitable for all purposes, such as legal boundary disputes or detailed construction planning.

Understanding the Trade-Offs

Cost vs. Detail

Choosing a less expensive survey type often means compromising on the level of detail and legal robustness. Property owners and developers must consider their long-term needs and whether a more detailed, albeit more expensive, survey could save time and resources in the future.

The Role of Professional Advice

Consulting with experienced land surveyors in Salt Lake City, such as Cook Surveying, can provide clarity on the most appropriate type of survey for your specific needs, balancing cost-effectiveness with necessary detail.

Conclusion: While mortgage inspection plans may be the least expensive type of land survey, understanding the specific needs and requirements of your project is crucial before deciding. In the realm of land surveying, the cheapest option may not always meet the comprehensive needs of a property development or transaction. Therefore, seeking professional advice to determine the most suitable and cost-effective survey type is imperative.

External Links:

Have any questions, give us a call here at Cook Surveying & Associates. (801) 364-4051

Click HERE for more News and Projects here at Cook Surveying & Associates.

Suggested Articles