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Determining the Cost for a Property Boundary Survey

Last Updated: December 08, 2023

To truly know your legal property boundary lines, you need to get a boundary survey done.

Boundary surveys are commonly performed when property owners need to determine the boundaries for a DIY or professional construction job, when selling the property to ensure the description of the property's size is accurate, or when settling a property dispute.

A survey should be performed any time the legal property lines are considered necessary information.

How Much Does a Property Boundary Survey Cost? #

A property boundary survey typically costs between $400 and $1,000 on average. However, prices can vary significantly depending on several factors:

Property Size

  • Small residential lots (less than 1 acre) - $400 - $700
  • Large residential lots (1-5 acres) - $700 - $1,000
  • Large rural properties (5+ acres) - $1,000 - $3,000

The total cost is also affected by permit fees and whether additional services are needed, like tree surveys or elevation certificates. Getting quotes from 2-3 licensed surveyors is recommended.

Property Boundary Survey Cost

Cost Per Acre #

Property SizeCost per AcreTotal Cost Range
Less than 1 acre$400 - $700$400 - $700
1-5 acres$200 - $500$700 - $1,500
5-10 acres$100 - $300$1,000 - $3,000
10+ acres$50 - $200$2,000+

The cost per acre tends to decrease as the property size increases.

Smaller properties under 1 acre are typically a fixed rate.

For medium to large acreages, the cost generally ranges from $100-600 per acre depending on terrain complexity and other factors.

Real-World Property Boundary Survey Costs #

Here are some examples of what real homeowners have paid for property boundary surveys, with cost details:

I paid $950 for a survey on my 2.5 acre wooded rural property. There was a decent elevation change and small creek that made it more complex.

Had a survey done last year on my 0.3 acre suburban Chicago house lot. With the markups and fees it was $575 total.

Just had a survey done on 60 acres of flat timberland. With a lot of boundary markers to place, it cost me $1,800 which breaks down to only $30 an acre.

I've got a high desert house on 5 acres with boulders everywhere. It was a pain for the survey crew and I paid on the higher end at $1,375 for the full survey.

We needed a survey on our 100 acre farm that has been in the family for generations. Some original boundary markers were still in place making it easier. Total cost was $3,500, so only $35 per acre.

I have a 0.15 acre plot in a crowded San Francisco neighborhood. The survey cost $480 which I thought was crazy for such a small property.

Paid $425 for a property boundary survey on my 1 acre wooded rural lot in Alabama. I got quotes over double that from some other surveyors.

The per acre cost can vary drastically depending on terrain, permit requirements, credentials of the surveyor, geographic location, and other factors. Be sure to get multiple quotes before selecting a surveyor.

Property Boundary Survey Subdivide

Contributing Costs to Hiring a Boundary Surveyor #

As stated above, there are additional factors that contribute directly to the cost of the survey. Some of those factors include:

  • Date of the last survey: The more recently a survey has been performed on your property, the more accurate the information is. A newer survey means less work for the surveyor and therefore a lower cost.
  • Deed to the property: Even if the property does not have a recent or current boundary survey, the deed should have some description of the initial survey markers. This information is a great deal of help to the surveyor.
  • Difficulty of the property: Plots of land that are flat and easy to navigate are every surveyor's dream. It makes it easier to establish property lines and takes far less time. However, if your property has rugged terrain or is difficult to get around, it is going to be harder to get an accurate survey, increasing the overall price of the job.
  • Property development: If there has been any development on the property without a survey, there is a possibility that any previous markers were destroyed or removed. This adds to the tasks of your surveyor, driving up the price of the services.
  • Water boundaries: More difficult to survey than land boundaries, water boundaries definitely increase the cost of the survey. There are laws in place that give people who own property along lakes, streams, and other bodies of water ownership over that water. These laws are complex, taking rising and falling water levels into account, and make the boundary survey process more complex as a result.

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