Before purchasing a property, most lenders will require a land survey before lending you money on any type of real estate. And that’s a good thing! A survey will provide an overhead picture of all the property’s boundaries complete with an outline of the structures, improvements, easements and building setbacks.
Can we use an existing survey?
An existing survey may be provided by the seller as long as it is acceptable to both the buyer’s lender and the Title company. It must be legible and stamped and dated by a qualified surveyor. The seller will also be asked to sign an affidavit saying that there have not been any changes to the property since the survey was issued or when they took ownership whichever is later. If changes have been made, a new survey may be required.
Reading the Survey
When reading the survey, look for the legend. It will show you what all the markings and icons mean and you should be able to locate the property boundaries, fencing, building setbacks and easements. Look to be sure that any buildings do not encroach over your neighbor’s property line. If you’re buying a property in a platted subdivision, there aren’t usually any red flags but if you’re not, you’ll want to read it carefully. Larger pieces of property or non-subdivision plats can be a little more complicated. If you don’t understand anything, ask us! If we don’t have the answer, usually the Title company does as they see many more surveys in a day than we do.
Your survey can also be used whenever you’re doing any landscaping, adding decks and patios or digging of any kind.