Six Ways A Local Land Surveyor Can Help With Commercial Real Estate Diligence During Covid-19 Travel Bans

The economic slowdown prompted by the Covid-19 Virus Outbreak means business will be looking to convert land into cash. Savvy investors and land developers will be scooping up good deals over the next few months. But travel bans in place because of the virus can make it hard to physically inspect a property before closing the deal. Should you purchase a parcel from a buyer under pressure if you can’t travel to inspect it?


You might not need to walk away from the deal because you can’t be on-site. In many parts of the US, land surveyors can still travel in their local region. Land surveyors work alone or in pairs. This means they can get to parcels that are otherwise shutdown while obeying requirements for social distancing. How the land surveyor help with due dilligence as your “boots on the ground”?

Here are 6 specific ways a good land surveyor can help:

  1. They can provide you with photos from a UAV. These photos can include oblique aerial photos that let you see things like the sides of buildings, parking lot spaces, and landscaping. They can also provide a low-altitude high-resolution color orthophoto. (An orthophoto is a image without normal photo distortions. You can you can use to measure distances and areas like on a map.)
  2. They can map and review the impact of easements on the physical site. For example: They can determine if there are overhead utility poles outside of the public utilities easements or if a conservation easement covers the best place to put a building pad.
  3. They can look for property corner monuments. If property corner monuments are missing two (2) bad things happen. The risk of encroachments increases and disputes with neighbors will be more common.
  4. They can inspect physical improvements (like walls and fences) along property lines. They can then evaluate the risk that these improvements cross a property line. They can also check for structures on the subject parcel or neighboring parcels that may violate building setbacks.
  5. They can check for physical site access and compare it to legal site access. There check could include: [a] Determining the width of physical access. [b] Looking for gates or other obstructions. [c] Evaluating issues with drainage and fire truck access.
  6. They can look for utilities like water, electric power and gas. They can check for: [a] Evidence of underground utilities that you might not find from the land title report. [b] Primary utility connections to each building. [c] Utility laterals that fall within private or public utility easements.

Our team at Redefined Horizons can provide this sort of help in Central California. This includes help with commercial real estate transactions in the Bay Area and Sacramento Metro Region. Reach out to us about getting a Surveyor Inspection and Review Report or a Land Title Survey if you are working to buy property from a seller under pressure in Central California. In most cases, we can turn around a land title survey in 5 working days!