When is a Residential Survey needed you ask?
A survey is strongly recommended before buying, subdividing, improving or building on land.
- If you’re buying or selling a parcel of land (the mortgage company often requests this survey as part of the loan approval process).
- If clarity is needed between you and your neighbors as to where the property lines are, or to settle encroachment disputes.
- If you’re planning to build on your property and want to prevent possible encroachment.
- As a requirement for a building permit. Surveys should be done before making any improvements to your property. Such as installing fences, room additions, accessory buildings, or concrete installation.
- If there is no plat on file, or if it has been awhile since a survey was conducted (especially if improvements are being made on or near your land—boundaries can be forgotten over time).
Do you need a survey if the seller already has one?
Usually the answer is yes. Sometimes the buyer feels confident there are no changes, and they are willing to accept the seller’s survey. The closing attorney will usually recommend the buyer get an updated survey. On new construction, the builder/seller will sometimes provide the survey since they had to do a preliminary survey prior to construction.
The bottom line is that a homebuyer needs to understand what they are buying. That understanding includes knowing how much property they have, the boundary lines of the property, and anything that might affect the usability of their property. A survey is one part of the due diligence process for the buyer to get information about the home, town home, or piece of land they are purchasing.