You’ve probably seen a property surveyor in your neighborhood or around town without knowing they’re a surveyor. These folks sometimes wear orange vests, but sometimes they wear plain clothes, and they have a brightly colored tripod topped with a metal device at their side. You will need a property surveyor when you are buying or selling a house, or if you need to settle a property dispute with one of your neighbors.
Think you might need a surveyor? Need more information? Here’s an overview of what property surveyors in Texas do.
Definition of a property surveyor
A surveyor is a person who works for the county or is employed by a private company to conduct surveys of properties and determine boundary lines and identify encroachments and easements.
The job of a property surveyor is to take precise measurements to identify the boundaries of a parcel of land. They prepare boundary reports, maps and plots that can be used for construction, deeds and a variety of other legal documents. They are also skilled at determining the exact location of structures, roads and other features on the land that are used in the decision to make changes to the property line, as well as determine building restrictions, such as the types of structures that can be built, their size, location and depths for building foundations.
Reasons to get a land survey
You may need a land survey if you plan to construct a new home, building or other structure on your property. Getting a professional land survey is the legal way to identify precise boundaries with neighboring properties, as well as any potential restrictions you may have to adhere to during your planned build. This is important to know, especially since some parcels have a right-of-way that allows adjacent property owners to access their homes through a road or driveway on your land. Or, your property may have easements. For instance, local utility companies have a right to access certain areas of your property to do inspections and make repairs.
Once the property survey has been completed, you’ll know if there are any issues that require you to modify your construction plans. You may have to move the location of your planned build in order to meet county requirements or to avoid violating local ordinances or the rights of neighboring property owners.
Another reason you might need a property survey is if you and a neighbor are in a dispute over the property line, which is common when it comes to building a new fence. A property survey could reveal that your neighbor’s fence is sitting on your property, or that part of a garage extends over the property line.
The fact is, it’s always a good idea to hire professional surveyors in Texas before moving forward with major property improvements or home additions, like new rooms, swimming pools, fences, garages and guest houses. This will save you from expensive legal disputes later, or even having to tear down a structure after building over portions of land that is not actually yours.
Check before you build! For more information about property surveys, call D.G. Smyth & Company.