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Welcome to the Flood Zone!

A nationally distributed resource for those interested in flood zone issues, land surveying, real estate, history, and educational opportunities. If you no longer wish to receive this newsletter, simply click the unsubscribe link in the footer of this message.


In this Issue of Welcome to the Flood Zone:

Message from Jim
Announcements: "New Designations Bring New Opportunities" and "Wilkinson Electronic Publishing is welcoming new clients!"
Resources: Local, Regional, and National
Useful Flood Terminology: The Base Flood and Base Flood Elevation
In the News: "North American Storm Clusters Could Produce 80 Percent More Rain"
Real Estate Corner: "6 Ideas for Selling Your Home in the Winter" and "2017 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information for Agents and Sellers"

Jim Headshot

Message from Jim

Here at Nadeau Land Surveys, the requests keep coming in for a "Class D Survey" for municipal permit, so some municipalities continue to accept them as adequate. Hopefully the following explanations will result in better choices and proper use of land surveying services.

First, remove the term “Class D Survey" from your vocabulary. This term, incorrectly used by many people to describe a mortgage loan inspection, has never existed in our standards and is often misused in referring to a boundary survey. Part of the confusion is caused with the mortgage loan inspection being used in the lending industry to satisfy the survey requirement. To compound this matter, the real estate closing statement lists this service as a “Survey” and not a “Mortgage Loan Inspection”, which creates the belief that the cost of a boundary survey ranges between $200 - $400.

The mortgage loan inspection is a product directly related to lending and should never be used for private homeowner needs. When a closing occurs, a mortgage note is created and the on-site improvements are often used as loan collateral. The intention of this product is to evaluate building setback compliance at the time of construction and if National Flood Insurance Program mandatory flood insurance is required. These two items, and only these two items, are satisfied in a mortgage loan inspection. In the simplest of terms, the mortgage note creates an investment and the mortgage loan inspection aids in determining risk for the investor. It does not establish or identify boundary lines.

What makes a boundary survey different? To begin, a boundary survey does not rely solely upon the current deed in the locus chain of title, but actually utilizes the first deed from the original grantor regardless of how distant in the past this operative deed rests. Additionally, the operative deeds of all applicable neighboring chains of title are analyzed to determine sequence of lot or line creation. This determines junior and senior rights - a process the land surveyor uses to identify excess and deficiencies present in operative deeds. It is the best method to properly render a strong professional opinion as to the location of a record boundary line. In addition, boundary surveys also identify rights of way and easement locations, original called-for evidence, on-site encroachments, accurate area, differences in record vs. occupation lines, and of course, an accurate location of a boundary line defendable in a boundary dispute.

Every boundary line determination is a professional opinion of the land surveyor who performed the survey. Boundary line disputes can be created by different levels of “prudent” effort performed in locating the operative deeds or identifying the field evidence called for in said operative deeds. A land surveyor should never assume an iron pipe, monument, or steel rebar found has not been moved, does not mark a former corner prior to a conveyance, a neighbor’s boundary corner, an easement or right of way, or was set correctly. Until all operative deeds have been defined, even if the research takes you to an abutting town or county due to the splitting or merging of towns and counties, I do not believe “prudent effort” has been performed.

A mortgage loan inspection, on the other hand, often assumes the field evidence found is correct, solely uses the description on the current or proposed deed, does not evaluate neighbors' deeds, and assumes no typographical errors exist in the deed description.

Perhaps by mere convenience or cost savings, many users of the mortgage loan inspection appear to knowingly misuse this product by choosing not to accept the many qualifying statements disclosed. A common misuse pertains to municipal permits, variances, or approvals. Remember, acceptance of this product by a municipality, even if the acceptance of a "Class D Survey" is written within its municipal ordinance, does not make it an acceptable product.

The surveyor often becomes responsible for communicating to the homeowners, Realtors, designers, and architects they were misinformed and should not use the inspection for any purpose other than the two listed above. We will continue to educate as needed, but we encourage you to do the same: educate your colleagues and clients, and save yourselves trouble and liability by using the correct product for its intended purpose.

~ Jim



New Designations Bring New Opportunities

We are pleased to announce that Jim Nadeau (Owner/Instructor) and Nikki Oteyza (Office Manager/Education Coordinator), from Nadeau Land Surveys, have both received the Certified Distance Education Instructor (CDEI) designation from the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC), founded to promote quality distance education. With these designations, we intend to offer a higher standard of professional education through a distance learning platform. Stay tuned!


Freshen Up Your Website in 2018

There is no better time to start fresh than the beginning of a new year, and a sleek, modern, and mobile-friendly website could be just what you need to start up or revitalize your business! We recommend our own web designer, Wilkinson Electronic Publishing. Jason Wilkinson has helped us with the design and maintenance of several websites over the last 8 years, including our recent transition to a mobile-friendly platform for two of our sites. He is keen on effective marketing strategies, creating attractive layouts, designing custom features for your specific needs, and much more.

Learn more about the services offered!



Presumpscot Fm MGS-300x208

Outcrop of the Presumpscot Formation in Brunswick, Maine. Photo source: Maine Geological Survey.


Maine Geological Survey

Maine Geological Survey provides the people and businesses of Maine with essential geologic information about the land where we live and work. Their geologists collect information about groundwater, mineral resources, surface deposits and bedrock materials, stability of coastal properties, and natural hazards such as storms, floods, landslides, and earthquakes.

Click here to learn more!



Northeast Regional Climate Center

Northeast Regional Climate Center facilitates the collection, dissemination and use of climate data and information, as well as monitors and assesses climatic conditions and impacts in the northeastern U.S., to further the economic efficiency and general welfare of public and private institutions and individuals in the region.

Check out the NRCC's website.

naturally resilient


Naturally Resilient Communities

Naturally Resilient Communities created a guide of nature-based solutions and case studies of successful projects from across the country to help communities learn more and identify which nature-based solutions might work for them.

Click here to explore nature-based solutions to flood issues.


Useful Flood Terminology

Base Flood: The flood having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. This is also referred to as the "100-year flood".

Note: this does not mean this level of a flood will only occur every 100 years; it can occur multiple times within a decade, or even during a single year.

Base Flood Elevation: The water surface elevation, expressed as an elevation above sea level, of the base flood. This is the minimum elevation a community must adopt for building standards in a floodplain.

Note: A Base Flood Elevation can change over time due to changes in the land from natural or man-made causes. As new data is collected, scientists reevaluate the frequency of flooding and may determine the flood waters are reaching different elevations than previously computed.


In the News

North American Storm Clusters Could Produce 80 Percent More Rain

National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), AtmosNews, November 20, 2017

"Major clusters of summertime thunderstorms in North America will grow larger, more intense, and more frequent later this century in a changing climate, unleashing far more rain and posing a greater threat of flooding across wide areas, new research concludes."

Read more!

for sale

Real Estate Corner

6 Ideas for Selling Your Home in the Winter

By Andrea Davis, Realty Times, November 15, 2017

It may not be the most desirable time to sell a house, but we can't control the weather. If your house is on the market during the winter, take note of these helpful tips for warming up the sale.

Check it out!

2017 Homebuyer Survey Contains Valuable Information for Agents and Sellers

By Bob Hunt, Realty Times, November 13, 2017

This article summarizes the results of The National Association of REALTORS' annual survey of homebuyers and sellers, highlighting what types of sources were used to help buyers find new homes.

"Buyers use multiple sources of information in the process of looking for a home. Far and away the most used sources are on-line websites (95%) and real estate agents (89%). Mobile or tablet applications (74%) have replaced yard signs as the third most used source of information. Still though, 48% of buyers indicate that yard signs are one of their sources of information. Only 15% of buyers indicate that they used newspaper ads as an information source. A mere 2% said that they garnered information from television."

Read more!

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