Land Surveys: Are They Necessary?

In the past, banks and mortgage companies often required land surveys before your mortgage would be approved. That practice changed in the last decade, and, as a result, many buyers do not bother to have their new property surveyed. This oversight can be incredibly costly, both financially and emotionally. If you want to save yourself a great deal of grief, hire a land surveyor.

Boundaries

Getting along with the neighbors means that you have clear boundaries, both in behavior and in property lines. A surveyor can help you with the latter. Often, the established lines between neighbors are not legally correct. The neighbor's garage could be located partly on your new property. On the other hand, the fence in your backyard may be cutting across a corner of their backyard. These issues need to be resolved before you buy the property; otherwise, you can end up in a messy legal dispute that will cost you money and cause problems with the folks next door. Investing in a land survey just makes sense. 

Easements

Even if a land survey does not reveal any boundary surprises, you may discover that the property contains an easement. Easements are agreements given by previous owners for a neighbor to use part of the property for a certain reason. For instance, the neighbor may be allowed to use a path through your land that leads to the road or other public location. Before you buy, you need to contemplate whether the easement will be an annoyance for you. If you do not think you can handle the situation gracefully, you need to pass on the purchase. 

Title Insurance

Title companies used to require a survey before issuing insurance, but that changed when the industry worked to make land sales proceed more quickly. Now, some title companies will issue insurance without the survey, but that leaves the buyer holding the bag if any boundary issues arise. For instance, if the last survey did not reveal a shed that impinges on the neighbor's property, you would probably have to remove the building if challenged. 

Having your land surveyed is an expense, but doing without one can be expensive. The complications that can arise from this omission are mind-boggling. Before you close on your new house or parcel of land, make sure you know exactly what you are buying. Having clear boundaries will definitely improve your relationship with the next-door neighbors. Contact a business, such as Burget & Associates Inc, for more information.   


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