Morse Engineering and Construction Industries

Recent Posts


How to Get a Property Survey

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 23, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System Inspection

Are you looking to put up a fence in your yard, but a survey may be required to show where the fence will be added. Is a property survey something you would have gotten when you bought the house?

You may not have received a property survey when you bought your home because they are not mandatory in every jurisdiction. Still, there's a pretty good chance one exists somewhere.

For the record, a property survey, often called a cadastral survey, serves to create a permanent record of property lines, easements and land placement. You've probably seen one of those hard-hat wearing people on the side of a road peering through a tripod-mounted compact telescope called a theodolite, which measures the vertical and horizontal angles on a property to provide the triangulation necessary to create a survey.

Oftentimes, lenders, title companies or both require a copy of a survey to close on a home purchase. If you can't find yours -- assuming you ever needed one for your transaction -- check to see if either entity has a copy on file. The local tax assessor or tax collector may also have one.

That's Not the Only Place to Look

Even if a survey was never conveyed to you, your local property records or engineering department may have one on file, albeit probably an older version. While such dated surveys are typically accurate on standard city lots, they can be wrong if you live on a former country parcel that's been altered for suburban development.

In case you're wondering, your HOA, in requesting a survey, wants to make sure your planned fence won't encroach on a neighboring property and conforms to its uniform standards such as no chain-link fences, no purple fences, etc. (In fact, be sure to get the type of fence you want approved by the HOA first; don't expect your fence company to know the rules and regulations or to get HOA approval for you.)

How to Get a New Property Survey

There's an outside chance you'll need to have a new survey drawn and if that's so, contact a local engineering firm like Morse Engineering and Construction. A surveyor should be able to examine your deed and its property description, as well as any remaining property markers such as iron pins and small monuments to draw a new one. While there's plenty of advice online about how to draw your own survey, most HOAs and organizations requesting one will want to see a professional version.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Fox Business

Options if the Septic System Fails?

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 16, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction - Septic System Inspection

Seller’s options

If you’re the seller, although the expense is great — generally tens of thousands of dollars — you will likely want to replace the private septic system prior to marketing the property. Marketing a property with a passing Title 5 should lead to a much quicker and less complicated sale than using a “wait and see” approach. Not to mention it’s good to get the distraction of the construction mess, inspections and document recording out of the way when you’re planning your move. A passing Title 5 report is good for two years.

There’s a Massachusetts tax credit available for repair or replacement of a failed septic system for Massachusetts residential property owners. A maximum credit of $1,500 per year may be taken over four years, up to a total credit of $6,000.

Buyer’s options

Perhaps an FHA 203k loan or other construction loan should be considered. These loans, however, may come with a higher interest rate than conventional loan products. Recently quoted rates for a 30-year fixed-rate construction loan was 5.5 percent.

You may be able to obtain a conventional loan if the seller can put funds for the repair or replacement in an escrow holdback account. Funds for this generally need to be 1.5 times the estimated cost. Not all lenders offer escrow holdbacks, and if they do, they may only allow them seasonally during winter months.

If you’re able to pay cold, hard cash for the property, a failed septic system still needs to be repaired or replaced within two years but is often still usable, depending on the type of failure. Be advised: The system will be unusable for a part of the day that the sewage pipe from the home is connected to the new septic tank (or tanks).

It’s best to research Title 5 prior to selling or buying a home. For more information, one good resource is the state’s own consumer fact sheet for septic system repairs and inspections. You can also contact your local board of health. For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.

Planning a Septic System with New Construction

Joseph Coupal - Friday, August 09, 2019
Morse Engineering and Construction Industries - Septic System Construction Fiskdale, MA

If this is the year you plan to build on your lot, it’s important to consider every aspect of the construction process. If your property isn’t served by a municipal sewer line, for instance, you’ll need to know how to plan for a septic system. Fortunately, there are many advantages of a private septic system, and understanding how these systems work, as well as how to facilitate their installation will make building on your lot go much more smoothly.

Septic systems are environmentally friendly, because they provide homeowners with a simple solution for onsite wastewater treatment. By doing so, they reduce the risk of raw sewage discharge from treatment plants and contamination of groundwater by aging sewer lines. Further, by allowing water to seep into the ground and recharging groundwater onsite, they replenish your home’s clean water supply while helping plants to grow on your property.

Before you build on your lot, contact your city officials to ask about the regulations that pertain to the installation of a septic system. In this way, you’ll be able to learn the requirements for the size of the tank, material from which it is constructed, soil composition, and where the tank should be placed. This should be one of your first steps in building on your lot, because you’ll need to know the minimum distance required from neighboring property lines, your house, and water sources.

Once you’ve determined the regulations, contact the local utility companies, so that they can come out and indicate any lines or pipes you’ll need to avoid when you build on your lot. This is also the right time to schedule appointments with surveyors and inspectors, to make sure you’ve obtained the proper permissions necessary. When you begin to build on your lot, you’ll want to make sure that everything is in order and being handled correctly.

Enlist the help of professionals to install your septic system. A company like Palm Harbor Homes, with experience building in your area, can put you in touch with the right contractors who know how to get your lot move-in ready. When it comes to something as important as installing a septic system, you want to know that you’re working with someone you can trust.

When you’re ready to build on your lot, Palm Harbor Homes can help! Customized to meet your family’s needs, Palm Harbor Homes are built under the highest standards and can be assembled on your property in a matter of weeks by professionals who know how to properly plan for construction. Visit the website to learn more, or connect with the online community on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information, contact Morse Engineering and Construction.