Plot Plan - where can I get mine?

9 Replies

I'm applying for a Long Form permit for one of my properties & the city of Boston requires a certified plot plan. Any ideas where I can get this without hiring an engineer or surveyor? I tried my mortgage company & they didn't have anything on file.  Thanks in advance for the help!

@Matt Fitzgerald  

 county surveyors office ... if they have one.. but what the city probably wants is a current survey stamped by a surveyor.

I have been buying properties in SC and we get a new survey on each one before we can get title insurance... which is completely foreign to how we do things on the west coast.

but then again most in city things we do is lot and block.. and not meets and bounds descriptions.. Also finding  many surveying discrepancies and encroachments when we do new survey's  we are buying little infil lots for new construction and they are 25 to 30 ft wide by 80 to 130 long so encroachments are big deals.

Each state and even at the county level, the lad records may be divided differently unique to their administration. Everyone should know how to acquire documents in their farm area and that can be done in a couple hours usually just by going to the courthouse and tracking things down within that system.

Names of offices may be different too, as Jay mentioned the county survey office, we don't have one really that's in the loop, it begins at the Assessors Office getting the tax ID Number, from there, with that number you can get the plat map at the Planning and Zoning Office, with the plat number you can get the book and page of deeds at the Recorder's Office. A short cut sometimes is knowing the appraisers in the Assessor's Office as they usually have working papers with cross references of information, but here such working papers aren't really public records, but folks might help you.

After knowing the system in an area courthouse you can often call for info. In this case a certified copy will be in the surveyor/assessor/P&Z office and they can give you a certified copy for a fee, part of the income generation set up in many areas requiring something that only another office in the county can provide. Have fun, it's a learning experience!  :) 

@Bill Gulley  

  the joys of working on the west coast.. I just call my customer service rep at my title company tell them what I need.. and I will have it within 24 hours and all for no cost.. Just being a loyal client of the title company...

In SC were I have been buying its attorney driven and they don't have these kind of services so one needs to do it the way your describing Bill... Although for me.. since I am buying.. its just cheap insurance to get a new survey they are 500 bucks or so and are insurable.

Did you possibly get an "improvement location certificate" or survey when you purchased?  They're sometimes required by lenders and would be in your documentation from the purchase closing.  The ILC is a bit cheaper than a full survey, but was acceptable in a similar situation where I wanted to add a structure in my backyard.

Thank you all for your tips, I'll follow up on some of your leads.  The City of Boston recommended calling my lender or hiring a surveyor.  I didn't have to get the plot plan when I originally bought. 

Matt, in MA most closing attorneys will order a plot plan unless the lender waives it, so call the closing attorney's office and see if they ordered one.  If they did, you paid for it, so they will probably send you a pdf.  It may or may not be certified.

And in the comments above, substititute "City" everywhere they say County.  And the records are not at the courthouse.  Substitute either City Hall if in Boston, or Tax assessor's office.  The only thing at the County level in MA is the Registry of Deeds, everything else is by town/city including property taxes.  

If the city keeps a physical file for each property (I don't know if Boston does) it's possible there is a plot plan in the file if someone else filed for an easement or permit.  Doesn't hurt to check.  They might be telling you by rote that they need it but they don't know they already have it.  Just a thought.  It's the sort of thing a clerk will blindly tell you without looking at the file.

@annbellamy Thank you so much for the great insight. I'm all over it & will call my closing attorney first thing tomorrow. 

@Matt Fitzgerald I agree, Closing Attorney. If not ask them, who they use for a Plot Plan. Should be less expensive than going cold to a Surveyor!

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