Thinking about buying a new home? You might just need a property survey. There are a lot of time-lengthening, boring parts about buying a home, when all you want to do is move your furniture in and paint those turquoise accent walls you’ve always dreamed of having. However, getting a property survey is one of the smartest things you can do. In fact, many lenders will require a survey before they’ll agree to give you the money so you can move in. Here’s what a property survey is and why you need one when purchasing a new home.
What is a property survey?
A property survey is, in its simplest form, the best way to determine the boundaries of any given property. Your deed probably describes your property in a certain way—but over time, landmarks change, property changes and the way we describe land might not be as accurate as it once was (or it might be more accurate).
When you hire someone to survey your land, they’ll go through the written records of your land—deed descriptions and legal easements or other information—and compare it with the physical boundaries of your property. After the survey, they’ll create a map of the land that will describe the legal boundaries, property elements and other important information that distinguishes your land from someone else’s.
Why do I need a property survey for buying a new home?
Here are several great reasons to secure a property survey prior to making a new home purchase:
- Make sure the land you’re buying is yours: The biggest reason to conduct a property survey is to make sure that the land you’re buying will be completely yours, once the contract is signed. Depending on where the property boundaries are, you might find that half your tiny in-law home is actually sitting on your neighbor’s property. No one wants that to happen.
- Find out exactly where the overlaps are: If there are overlaps in your property, you need to know exactly where they are and whether your neighbors are prepared to fight for them—or if they’re okay with you taking those three feet of land because the fence is already built.
- Know whether there are easements or other issues on your property: Sometimes property surveys uncover easements, rights of way and other issues that could make owning the land a bigger hassle than it’s worth. A property survey will tell you exactly what you’re dealing with.
- Find out who owns the improvements: If there are easements or improvements on your land, a property survey can help discover who actually owns them and why, and what it all means for your ownership.
- See if there are any cemeteries on your plot: Back in the day, people used to bury family members on their own plots of land. A survey will inform you as to whether there are any cemeteries located on your plot.
- Discover any zoning issues: Finally, if your property isn’t zoned for specific uses, a survey will let you know.
For property surveys when purchasing a new home, call D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. today.