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28 Apr VIDEO: Talking Surveys with Shelly Clark, President of Cardinal Surveying and Mapping

Owner/Broker Adam Kruse talks to Shelly Clark, a professional land surveyor and president of Cardinal Surveying and Mapping about what a survey is and why you should get one BEFORE closing on your new home.

Table of Contents

Visit cardinalsurveying.com for more information

Adam Krusehttps://hermannlondon.com/realtor/adam-kruse/

Shelly Clark – Call 636.922.1001 or email Shelly@CardinalSurveying.com



0:42 Shelly and her husband started Cardinal Surveying in 2003. Surveying is a science and surveyors practice law which is why it takes almost 10 years to become licensed.

2:35 Think of a survey as the 2nd inspection after the home inspection is done. A survey looks at the ground, fence location, and easements.

3:38 What is the difference between a survey and a surveyor’s real property report (SRPR) and is a surveyor’s real property report even needed anymore?

5:25 A boundary survey, sometimes called a stake survey, is a survey that is recognized by the courts. A boundary survey denotes where the property starts and stops and can be used to erect a fence.

6:30 It is smart to have the boundary survey done before closing

7:07 During a boundary survey 18 inch metal pipes are put in the ground and then a wooden stake will stick up out of the ground

8:54 There are laws against moving the iron pipe

9:10 An elevation certificate can reduce or remove the amount of money paid for flood insurance

10:55 A survey provides title coverage

11:41 Don’t wait to get a survey done after you have already purchased the property. Getting the survey done before you close means the seller will have to take care of any problems. If you wait until after closing it now becomes your problem.

14:21 A survey never goes bad. Get the survey before closing even if you don’t plan on immediately building a fence.

14:56 How are surveys priced? How hard is it to get the past records? How big is the property? How easy is it to use GPS and laser tools in the lot? How old is the subdivision?

19:16 Cardinal Surveying makes it a point to use simple English so everyone understands what is being talked about.

20:00 There is a state statute in Missouri where when a surveyor is in possession of a signed work authorization form they can go onto any property needed to find out the information. One time they were in a neighbor’s yard and had a gun pulled on them.

23:40 Find out more at CardinalSurveying.com and make sure to check out their blogs and frequently asked questions.

25:09 Shelly has written articles for the St. Louis Post Dispatch and appeared on radio and TV.

Blog-  https://hermannlondon.com/resources/
Website – http://hermannlondon.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/HermannLondon/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/HermannLondon
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/hermannlondonrealtors/
Office Address – 7350 Manchester Rd, St. Louis, MO 63143
Office Phone Number – 314-802-0797
Search For Homes on http://www.wizah.com/
Producer – Joey Vosevich


Good morning everybody thank you for watching this wonderful video about surveys I’m joined here with my very special guest Shelly Clark from Cardinal surveying how are you doing Shelly give us just a little bit of an intro about yourself and about Cardinal I guess I’ve known you for I don’t know now 10 years or something like that a long time yeah a long time and I remember when you were going through getting your surveyors license right and that seemed like that was crazy and so there’s a lot to surveys and this video is meant to be for our Hermann London clients and people that are buying properties and we want them just to have more information about surveys yeah so Cardinal surveying my husband and I started the business oh my gosh 18 years ago well I know a long ago I have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau I have been since we started 2003 surveying is a science and it’s also an art form we’re also practicing law so they don’t give just anybody a surveying license it actually takes about 10 years to get a license which is why it seems like the whole entire time you’ve known me I’ve been studying for that exam that’s because I was but I did pass and so I am a licensed surveyor my husband Will is also a licensed surveyor and we specialize mainly and residential surveying we also do commercial surveying but we do not do subdivision lay out anything that has to deal with engineering services we specialize strictly in surveying and honestly I believe we’re experts at it we’ve surveyed over 25,000 different properties within the St. Louis metro area never had a complaint filed never been you know filed against our board more very reputable and the biggest thing about us Adam is that our communication is what sets us apart I know this can be very stressful time as far as being a buyer and there’s so many moving pieces communication is really key we are always accessible our cell phones are always on and the biggest thing is we want to make sure that as a buyer you understand what it is that you’re buying outside of it because there’s so much more to it than just buying the house on the lot and you say make it known what you own right that’s right yeah so actually you know survey is really a second inspection you know you guys get a home inspection which you know they go into the house they check your HVAC they check the roofs they want to make sure everything is working and functional the survey is really the inspection of everything outside of the house so we’re looking at the ground we’re looking at fence locations are they in the right place because usually fences are not in the right place you know so and we’re also looking at things like you know are there easements running through the middle of the backyard that might prohibit you from being able to put in that swimming pool that you’re thinking about doing so we’re really the inspection for the outside and for the land and to your point you know we want you to know exactly where you own and what you own so that you can take full advantage of that property well I find you extremely interesting to talk to you know you’ve come in and give a lot of classes to our to our company and I’ve come and seen you give classes at other places I’m gonna do my best today to kind of stay on topic because I love asking you questions about all the interesting things that you come across I guess would you give us a brief description of survey versus surveyors real property report sure so there are two main products that are associated with surveying when it comes to purchasing a home the first product is called a surveyors or a property report it was really used mainly about ten years ago or so in the title and lending industry just to make sure and prove that the house was located on the lot now in our world today that product really is not even needed because the title companies and and lenders have worked out a deal where they don’t even need that report anymore because the risk is so low however do note that in the twenty five thousand surveys that we’ve done we’ve actually done two surveys where we prove that they had the house built on the I remember one of them you told me about recently yeah so it does happen um what the chances are very minimal and because of that the lending community in the in the title company have come together to say you know what we don’t even need to worry about that product anymore that’s the survey or a property report that’s the one that’s usually going to run about 175 to 200 dollars that’s the joy right versus mistakes in the ground correct yes you get a you get a sketch a drawing that shows the approximate location of the house it’ll show approximate locations of easements but even though we do go out to the property and actually survey we do not mark any property corners so you actually would never even know that we were there but we do still provide you know a product that gives you at least an idea of is there an easement variance with no your house right the the type of service really that has clout that is recognized by the courts is called a boundary survey or you might hear some people call it a stake survey that’s what we actually come out and we put metal stakes in the ground to mark and denote exactly where your property starts and stops so that if you’re gonna put up a fence you can you know tie a string Line from stake to stake and put your face inside the line so that you’re not building on your neighbor’s property you know none of us want to be in a in a war with our neighbor I mean we have to live next to these people hopefully for you know years and years to come and we want it to be a good situation so you know making sure that you’re building on your own property can be very important and even if it’s not a problem today you never know who’s gonna live in that house next year or you know six months from now so you know you don’t want to take on that risk financially as a buyer to have to move offense that’s why you want to have the survey done before you close so if there is a problem you can go back to the seller ask them to take the financial burden to pay to have that fence move or pay to have that retaining wall relocated or maybe it’s just pay the neighbor $500 for them to sign a written agreement giving you permission but you want to have that go on that seller versus taking that on yourself later on down the road I want to go back to something you said you are you guys using metal stakes now or is that the part that goes under the ground and the wooden stakes is what we see or what’s the deal correct so the the property corners themselves those are all mandated by the state as to what we are and are not allowed to use most survey monuments are going to be a metal rod or an iron pipe that are 18 inches in length at a minimum and those are set down flush with the ground okay so that’s the actual thing you’re putting in the ground correct and it’s about an inch in diameter is what you’ll see at the top and usually there’s a pink or an orange or a yellow cap plastic cap on the top that has the company’s ID number that set that Monument but because you I mean this even on a quarter girl’a is really hard to find we’re gonna take a wood stake that sticks up in the ground about two feet or we might use a property corner pin flag that says a lot corner that’s gonna go in the ground stick up out of the ground so that you can see but once you know where that corner is that wood stake you can take out and remove you can remove the pin flag we just want to make sure that you know where that item is that because obviously grass grows uh-huh and even though we spray-paint the grass pink that’s going to go away and we want to make sure that you know exactly where it is that you own – that’s good to know and that tempts me to get off on other stories about neighbors moving the wooden stakes thinking they’re tricking somebody or something but it’s good to know that there’s always the metal stake in the ground and you know you can’t argue with where that is right correct yeah and and you know there are people that will move those wood stakes they’ll move those flags and like move them by feet you know it’ll scuff off all the pink paint on the grass you know iron five is still there that’s right and and I’ll be honest like if somebody removes that pipe and if you have video or you can prove they’ve removed it there are hard walls that says they probably don’t even know about the iron pipe though probably they think they have to move them wooden stake exactly unless they’ve seen our video now there we go and I know that this video is all about surveys but I just wanted to ask quickly you also do elevation certificates can you kind of give us a quick overview of that sure so if you’ve had a property that’s in the floodplain located you know close to a water source and you have to pay for insurance there are some options as far as potentially either reducing what that insurance could be or possibly even proving that you are not in the floodplain now for example if you back to a creek in the back of your lot goes you know down to the creek but you’re sitting up higher that the elevation certificate takes into account just the elevation of your house and they compare that to the floodplain and depending on what those results are insurance agents are able to take that data prove to FEMA you’re not in the floodplain and not require flood insurance for that mortgage and there’s a lot more we could talk about with that maybe that’s a whole other video at some other time yeah basically it’s it’s good for people to know that they have sort of their property boundary and then they have their house or their building and you guys can kind of figure out which part of that is in the floodplain in which part isn’t and maybe even solutions that people can do to make sure that their house is not technically in the floodplain right yeah and there are things that you can do you can raise up the elevation around the structure depending on what kind of water source you back to I you know I know where a couple of neighborhoods have come together gone to MSD MSDS come through and cleaned out a creek and then that then changed the capacity of what that Creek was able to hold water wise and so it completely changed all of the floodplains and we were able to get I think it was like 15 houses removed from the flood point okay so back to surveys I think that I’m guessing you get a lot of common questions or maybe you don’t get a maybe the Realtors get a lot of common questions but it’s like do I really need one why do I need a survey you know and so I think a lot of times people think that you only need a survey if you want to put up a fence or if you want to build a garage or something like that but you’re saying that you also need one if you want what we call survey coverage from the title company but they will insure in case the neighbor does come and say get your fence off my yard or something like that right correct but what are some other kind of like common reasons that people need a survey or common questions that you get you know I think my biggest stances is this is probably going to be one of the most expensive things you’re ever going to do in your life whether you’re sure thousand yeah purchase of the house you know but you know you’re gonna spend a hundred thousand two hundred thousand five hundred thousand dollars you know the average cost for our survey you’re looking at four or five hundred dollars and this ensures that you know exactly what it is that you’re buying and sometimes it’s not even you know people don’t care today which is fine I mean if you’re to the point yours like you just want this house and it doesn’t matter and there could be an easel earning rights for the middle and you don’t care that’s fine the problem isn’t always necessarily today but it’s when you go to sell your home in three five three five seven how many years you go to sell it and now all the sudden there’s a big problem that headache now becomes yours and you have to deal with it and you have to resolve it so really getting the survey when you’re buying makes it so that that risk is really on the sellers side to get things resolved versus you as the buyer but eventually you as the buyer are going to become the seller exactly well I tell you what I think that Herman London agents at least we like to be kind of sticklers about the survey and issues that come up you know I don’t know if it’s just from coming to your classes and stuff like that but a lot of agents and people in general seem to not care if it’s like oh well the fence is in the neighbor’s yard by an inch or the sidewalks in the neighbor’s yard by two inches or whatever it’s no big deal and but then the Hermann London agents when were representing the buyer we kind of make a big feel about it because it is all about to me it’s all about power and we don’t want the neighbor at any point or the new neighbor like you’re saying to ever be able to come over and say get your fence or your sidewalk or whatever off of my lot and so we we do end up fighting that a lot and it’s good that we have you know the survey to kind of on our side and so you know the biggest thing is if the title company is willing to insure whatever those items are so maybe your your fence is over the property line an inch if the title company is willing to insure or you know say hey you know that’s such a small risk we’ll take the risk on if they’re going to insure then it’s fine don’t worry about moving the fence an inch because if there is a problem that title company is then going to have that financial responsibility right yeah and there are so many times where people are like oh you know we’re gonna put a fence in but we’re gonna have to wait six months or a year the survey never goes bad like I’m responsible for those results so the day I died so now it may be you’re down the road and you’re like hey I can’t find those corners yeah we might charge you you know one hundred two hundred dollars to come back out remark the corners for you but the level of coverage that you get from the title company which cost you no additional money whatsoever right is free if you do it at the time of closing but you can never go back and add that afterwards and make it the old sellers problem correct correct I guess you kind of mentioned this but how our survey is priced is it based on the size of the property is it based on is it in the city versus in the woods does that matter yeah there’s a lot of different components the first one being County location and the reason county matters is every county has different accessibility for research and records so for example in St. Charles County everything is available online however in St. Louis County nothing is available online so you have to go through a third-party vendor who charges probably about four times as much as what the county does okay unfortunately those costs get passed on to the buyer sure hungry for the seller depending on who’s paying for the serve a second factor is going to be law size the larger the lot the longer it takes to serve a a larger lot typically is going to have additional buildings it’s typically going to have more brush trees be more be covered more and in foliage and all of that detracts from our ability to be able to get in and get out quickly our instrumentation is typically using a laser beam laser beams are super cool but they don’t shoot through you know leaves and greenery so you have to take a machete to cut a sight line to get back to that corner and in heavy wooded areas you can’t use GPS because you can’t get a signal up through the canopy so size does matter also the age of a subdivision is going to greatly impact the cost the numerous survey is the more likely it has been recently surveyed the older the area city for example I mean those properties are 100 150 years old some of those properties have probably not been surveyed in a hundred years and so something like done in the city of St. Louis it can take us an entire day to accurately locate where a 50 foot by 100 foot wide lot is so sometimes size doesn’t matter as much as has there been surveying done in that area because our job really is to retrace the steps of the original surveyor who laid that tract of land out and so we have to do everything we can to try and recreate those steps and mark the corners accordingly and everything that we’re doing is based off of that title commitment that the title company is preparing because that is legally what you’re purchasing so if they say you’re buying a lot v we want to make sure that we’re surveying a lot v and telling you everything that is on lot v is there something else do you think we should cover in this video you know all I can say is you know there lots of examples out there they Adam I know that you and your company have used us for years there’s a level of trust that goes along with working with a professional and you know if you value the opinion of your realtor then you know listen to what they have to say learn the lessons that they’ve already learned so that you don’t have to relearn them and really we’re all in this together we want this to close we want this to be a successful experience and sometimes that can be you know having to get bad news but it doesn’t mean that we can’t resolve it so just be patient as we work through the process that has definitely been one of the best parts about working with you guys over the years is you know I I don’t know the difference of like a quality of a survey necessarily if I’m looking at one survey or the other but I’ve definitely know the difference of quality of like the experience and the communication and being able to call and talk to you or talk to will or something like that and get answers when we need them and boy oh boy when we have these kinds of questions it’s a stressful time and so being able to get those answers is super important and you know you mentioned that at the beginning that you guys are good at communicating all that stuff and I wholeheartedly agree and I think that it’s it’s like you’re there when we need you and when we need you we really need you you know if that if that makes sense well and I like to think that out that we speak English and I know that sounds kind of funny but when I when I say that I mean that we do not use technological and very you know in-depth words like we try and speak simple English like hey as you’re standing in the street looking at the house on the left side uh-huh I don’t want to tell you that that’s the northeastern corner nobody knows where North is so you know we try and explain it in words that make sense to you and that can be understood and just so you know our phone number is on every survey so if there is a question people can come straight to us you know to get that explanation because we want to make sure that people know exactly what it is that they own well I want to ask you if you won’t if you wouldn’t mind and not switch the spot but I know that you guys have a lot of interesting stories I mean it’s funny you’re sending these people out with laser beams and machetes right and they’re there you guys are legally allowed to like hop a fence and go into someone’s yard right what’s that what’s that like jurisdiction that lets you do that I forget yeah so there’s actually a state statute in the state of Missouri that says that when we are in possession of a signed work order form which Adam you know it’s part of your guys’s contract it’s one of the forms that you sign giving authorization but when we’re in possession of that we can legally go on any property that we need to go on to do the survey and keep in mind that doing the survey is like doing a giant puzzle where our property is the middle piece of the puzzle so in order to know how that middle piece fits in we have to know where all of the outside pieces are which means that we’re surveying really all of the neighbors properties sometimes the neighbors neighbors properties you know and sometimes you end up being a block away you know I think one of the most interesting stories that we’ve had is you know we were probably about ten houses away from our house looking for property corners along the road I’m Airi you have to find multiples or that’s like just where the closest iron pipe was well in order for us to feel comfortable to mark your property corners we want to have several different monuments to check and it’s all about geometry and mathematics and trigonometry and if you’re really that interested you know call me and we’ll talk you know shopsite we’re about ten Lots away and and we’re digging in somebody’s front yard because we get a metal reading with a metal detector and the guy literally comes out on this front porch with a shotgun and says get off my property and what do you guys do you back up yep well here’s I think if we really need to go there then we call the authorities show them the paperwork give them the statute they look it up they verify and then they go have a conversation with that individual about our need obviously we don’t want to have any kind of confrontation of course not um you know and you do have laser beams and machetes but that’s nothing to a shotgun I guess well but here’s like everybody thinks that the instrumentation that we’re using is a camera so are you taking a picture of because you don’t see the laser beam it would actually like burn you’re right now if you look straight into it so you know but stuff like that happens all the time so even if you don’t know if you do or don’t want to serve a still sign the form because it’s always easier to check a box later as to what you need but we will not do a survey without that authorization form because we probably get the cops calling us about once a quarter but as long as we have that documentation you know it’s usually a moot point it’s usually diffused very calmly our biggest thing is you know neighbors come out all the time and who did they sell the house how much does it sell for what are they coming in do you know do they have kids they have a dog we don’t know any of that information and it’s a I’m sorry me I’m all I know is that we’re here to do a survey and you know we go on our merry way but people are interesting for sure I love it thank you very much Shelley I know you’re very very busy lady so thank you for taking the time to talk with us today and you know we’ll be using this video for years to come but we’re both well I guess you’re at your office I’m at my house because of Covid so this will be kind of a little something we can remember yours from now so anyway yeah and there anything that we can do to help you agents buyers please feel free to get ahold of us directly Cardinal serving calm and like I said you know we’re excited for this opportunity for you to get into the home of your dreams and we’re glad that you’ve chosen a Hermann London agent to work with that’s wonderful Shelley thank you very much I’m gonna I’m gonna share my screen which is your website that’s a great because it’s got well a it has your obviously your website is Cardinal surveying comm but also then people can see your phone number six three six nine two two one zero zero one um in most cases the clientele are not reaching out to you directly right there we’re filling in Cardinal surveying on that title survey work order form that you mentioned and then the title company is reaching out to you guys generally right but that is current yeah there doesn’t thank you get some orders though we do um you know and there are a lot of resources on this website actually if you go up to the find your own yard or those blogs frequently asked questions you know I’m an educator at heart and so we have got all kinds of very real information and again it’s written so that everybody can understand it it’s not technical jargon but it has some great examples of lessons you can learn from other people and not have to learn the hard way and they know we are talking to a celebrity here because I’ve seen you have articles in the news and the post-dispatch and stuff like that too so congratulations on that now know about celebrity status but okay yeah all right Shelly thank you very much I appreciate your time and look forward to talking to you soon all right you guys have a great day and good luck thank you take care bye bye



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