Why You Need a Land Survey

Land SurveyBuying a home is usually the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime – which is why it makes sound financial sense to protect this important asset. A land survey is a cornerstone of protection of home ownership.

A land survey provides important information to you as the buyer. The map will show the land limits and identify any conflicts in your deed. It will also allow you to see if improvements such as driveways, fencing, or wells encroach on the property.

Below are a few situations that may arise when the owner needed a survey:

Access

  • Does the owner have “reasonable”, “legal”, or any right of access at all?
  • Example: Physical access is over a private road, even though they abut a public road, and no one is sure who is responsible for maintenance of the private road.

Acreage

  • Was actual acreage important to your owner in determining the value of the property?

Waterfront

  • Does the property extend to the lake’s high water mark or is it just lake view?
  • Have creeks moved, rivers or beaches eroded?

Utilities

  • Electrical, sewer, or other rights-of-way, whose location or size would be clearly apparent on a survey, may inhibit construction or replacement of improvements on the property

Governmental Exclusions

  • Illegal subdivisions, revised flood zones, street widenings, and other governmental matters not covered by title insurance are shown on a survey

Liability

  • Most importantly, if the owner does not obtain their own survey, they have no claim against a survey for an inaccuracies in a prior survey

Remember, a lender’s policy protects the bank but not the homeowner. As you make the major investment of purchasing a home, you should insist on an Owner’s Policy of Title Insurance with the Survey Endorsement and current land survey certified to you.

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