A survey is vital in ensuring that you know the precise boundaries as well as any possible encroachments or other issues with the property you are buying. Without a survey, a landowner's title insurance can be deemed null and void if an encroachment or other such issue is discovered after the purchase. Any such property issues that would have been revealed by a survey will then be the sole responsibility of the buyer.
know the property
The survey determines your property's boundaries, size, and locates any improvements. The resulting survey plat or map will disclose all building setback lines, the location of any easements crossing your property and possible encroachments. An encroachment is any structure, fence or building crossing the property line. Surveys also show topography and water flow, the elevation of any structures, and the location of any septic and drain lines.
Without a survey, you may be unaware of encroachments or violations that exist on your property. A survey also ensures that planned improvements such as pools, fences or decks do not violate setback lines, easements, or even your own property line.
WHY HIRE A SURVEYOR?
You would never buy a home without a home inspection and you should not buy property without a survey. A survey will show you exactly what part of property is being purchased and any improvements on that piece of property. Don’t assume more risk than necessary when a survey can easily be included in the buying process!
There are often boundary discrepancies in real estate transactions. Problems can be minor (a fence is over the property line) or more serious (a driveway, pool, or even a house is over a property line, the deed outlining the parcel of property is incorrect, etc) and affect the property value. Some problems may be irreparable and require negotiations with neighboring property owners. These complicated situations require an experienced surveyor to find the right solution and to minimize your risk.
MINIMAL COST VS. SUBSTANTIAL RISK
The lender does not require a survey and thus the buyer may not be aware of the risk he or she is taking if a survey is not done.
Problems can cost many times more what a residential survey would cost. If a fence is over the property line, for instance, it must be replaced. If a driveway is over a property line, it must be cut and re-poured. If your air conditioning unit is not on your property, the unit must be rewired. A problem that may initially seem small can quickly become complicated and expensive.
More serious problems are sometimes irreparable. If the house is over the property line, for example, the buyer negotiates with the neighbor to buy a piece of their property. Problems such as these can greatly reduce the value of the property.
Considering the potential expense, the cost of our average residential survey — between $500 and $1000 — is well worth the protection. When a buyer obtains a survey and owner’s title insurance on that property, the title company will insure you for any surveying issues that may arise.
Getting a survey before closing is key. Other people involved in the real estate transaction are most interested in finalizing the deal. By getting a reliable survey from a respected company before closing, the buyer has a negotiating tool to use regarding the price of real estate if a property issue arises.
One of the roles of a surveyor is to divide land into smaller parcels. There are several ways to do this and we can ensure that your property division is as close as possible to what you had intended. Avoiding discrepancies here is vital. For instance, property law in the United States dictates that monuments set by the original surveyors or the original owners supersedes that of a deed description or pocket deed. Hiring a qualified surveyor will help ensure that the boundary lines are clear and distinguishable.
Boundary Line Disputes
We can help settle disputes between neighbors by surveying both lots and settling the matter out of court. We do not take sides. We simply report the facts and let the two sides settle the dispute from there. If you do go to court, our expertise will help clarify the location of your boundaries.
Boundary Line Agreements
When neighbors reach a resolution to change a boundary line, we can create a “Boundary Line Agreement,” which is a survey plat with a property line that is noted as having been changed based on agreements among all parties. This Boundary Line Agreement will then be recorded at the courthouse. Usually a Boundary Line Agreement is needed when one party has mistakenly built a structure, fence, pool, driveway or other feature over the property line.
When an equitable division of land is listed in a will, we can divide the property as the will’s author intends, preferably when the will is created. Too often, a surveyor is an afterthought and the landholder is deceased before the land is divided.