Should I Do A Survey When Buying a Home?
There's a lot of research you have to do when you're thinking of purchasing an investment as big as a home. This research is also called completing due diligence, which is a real estate term. Essentially it means that you know exactly what state the house you want to buy is in, and that you'll be prepared for whatever happens.
One of the things that you should complete (but sometimes don't have to, depending on your mortgage company) is a property survey. It may not seem like a big deal, but not having a property survey completed, and not following up with the surveyor can create some disastrous results.
What is a Property Survey?
You can have your property surveyed at any time, but you will most likely hire a surveyor when you're buying a home or constructing something. Most mortgage companies require a property survey to make sure the property is worth the amount of money they're providing in the loan. However, the property survey is not always legally required. Some mortgage companies will be satisfied with title insurance.
A property surveyor will research into the property before they even look at the land. They'll research the history of the deed and may include a title search. This title search makes sure there are no discrepancies when it comes to who owns the land. All property surveys begin with research into legal descriptions about the land they'll be surveying and its history. Then, the surveyor will actually go out to the property and sketch out the land, its boundaries, and different elements that make up your property. This is called the fieldwork. After surveying, they will provide a type of map detailing the property's legal boundaries. The survey will also include a written description of the property, the street address, the location of buildings and adjacent properties, and any improvements a homeowner can make to the land.
A property survey also includes things like right-of-ways and easements. These are elements that detail what to do with shared yards or driveways, or if your neighbor has a right of way to the street or alleyway between your homes.
Sounds simple enough, right? Your property survey tells you about the property you're potentially going to purchase, and any stipulations that come with it. It's still important to complete your due diligence when it comes to a property survey. First, get multiple quotes from surveyor companies, and pick the one that works best for you. Then, make sure you go with the surveyor to attend the property survey. You will learn more about the land you might buy, and be the first to know about any potential problems. Finally, follow up with any questions once you've seen the property survey.
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