Property Surveys – What They Are

The property survey describes and indicates the boundaries of the land and other physical features. Each property owner should obtain a property survey before purchasing land and before building to avoid problems that may arise from incorrect assumptions. Individuals often become involved in a dispute when a neighbor decides to build on or near a property line. If the property owner crosses the line, this could lead to a dispute that results in numerous lawsuits. Disagreements have often occurred from fences that crossed property boundaries, buildings, houses, trees, livestock, and others. Whenever the property changes ownership, a survey should be conducted.

Mortgage lenders require potential owners to perform a property survey prior to receiving a loan from the bank. Insurance companies may also require a land survey. The property survey is typically required whether or not there was one completed in the past. Some states have local laws and ordinances that mandate the survey when the property exchanges hands. The property survey will outline exactly what is being purchased and dispel any questions regarding the acreage, boundaries, zoning and the type of terrain. Most property surveys should be completed within 6 months of the closing date.

Upgrades and Renovations

Owners usually receive property surveys before any renovations or property upgrades may occur. For instance, the property owner may want to add a secondary driveway, an addition to their home, or a swimming pool. A property survey will confirm the boundaries and indicate where the easements are located, as well as, public utility lines, telephone lines, sewage lines, or gas lines. Individuals who do not use a property survey may rupture a line. If this happens, not only will the owner have a dangerous and inconvenient interruption of service, but they may also incur the costly repair bills as well. This is an avoidable expense. Individuals who build on the wrong property may incur the expense of building the property and also tearing it down.

Property Disputes

Unfortunately, disputes over boundary lines between neighbors are common. Crossing a boundary line is called “encroachment” in most cases. These cases may be decided in court. Court fees add to the expense of building and “tearing down” a building that violates property lines. Land surveys can help owners avoid these problems. Detailed property surveys are required to resolve property disputes.

Insurance Purposes

Before a property is insured, many insurance companies must know about the risks the property may pose for the insurance company. For instance, a property in a known flood zone will require a flood zone rider. The rider will increase the property insurance, but it will lower the risk for the insurance company. A home in a flood zone increases the likelihood that a claim will be filed.

Although residential properties are the focus of this article, property surveys should be completed in both residential and commercial zones. There are two types of residential property surveys:

House Location or “Drive-By” Survey: This survey is the most basic and least expensive survey on the market. This type of survey will show the location of the house, as well as, other structures located on the property. This type of survey may be suitable for mortgage lenders and land transfers.

Detailed Survey: This type of survey involves a detailed description of the property through the use of precise measuring. The property survey will mark the boundaries of the property with metal or wooden stakes. Property surveyors often refer to old records to establish the original boundaries of the property. These types of surveys are generally more expensive. However, they are good for disputes and other legal matters. A detailed survey will save the owner incredible time and energy.

A licensed professional should be hired to perform a property survey. Property surveys completed by individuals who are not licensed will not be deemed credible in a court of law. Disputes will not be resolved with a survey that is completed by a non-professional. Individuals should graduate from a four university or possess 10 years of experience prior to taking mandatory licensure examinations. Individuals with a 4 year degree may require 2 to 4 years of experience prior to becoming a property surveyor. After obtaining a license, the individual may also obtain a professional certification. Property surveyors also known as land surveyors should have proper training in Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Verifying the property surveyor’s credentials will ensure that the client will receive a credible survey and complete report.

» Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.