What does a survey tell you?
The physical boundaries of the property and anything that might alter or interfere with those boundaries!
- Are structures, driveways, means of access, fences, and chicken coops on your property or on a neighbors?
- Are there areas that the city or county has access to for things like sewer or drainage maintenance?
- Is it on a flood plain?!?
- Setback guidelines (i.e. do you have to make sure that structures like a new fence or shed is set back a required distance from your property line.
What things can change from an older survey to a more current survey?
- Flood plains can change and do!
- New zoning or codes are regularly introduced by neighborhood HOA’s, city/townships and counties.
- Structures and other improvements on the property can be added on to, torn down or built from scratch.
Why do buyers get a survey when they buy a home?
- In order to get title insurance which is often required by mortgage companies.
- To verify that that a driveway or fence is on the right property.
- To show which trees, structures, and pavement is belong to the buyer and could become their responsibility.
Do you need a survey if the seller already has one?
A survey is strongly recommended, even if that seller has one. If you want to be sure, ask the real estate attorney that will be helping you with your close and see what they would recommend. Doing a survey for new construction is even more important to make sure the builder’s plans and the reality match.
How much does a survey cost?
That depends on the size of the property and how many items (structures, fences, creeks/ponds, and pavement) will need to be noted, as well as the amount of research the surveyor will need to do to find easements, zoning, flood plains, etc. A typical standard and simple survey will range from $250 to $400.
It’s important for every buyer to have a complete understanding of the property they are about to purchase. That understanding includes knowing how much property they have, the boundary lines 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, townhome or piece of land they are purchasing.