If you bought a home, you’d expect it to fit the description in which it was presented to you, right? For example, if the home was described as sitting on a half-acre lot, you’d expect an entire half-acre of property. But what if you later discovered that the property lines were off, and part of your yard is really your neighbors’ yard? Now, you could potentially have a huge problem on your hands. This is where a property survey would’ve played an important role.
To simply put it, a property survey is performed to confirm exact boundary lines between properties. When you’re buying a home, a property survey will be addressed in a purchase agreement and whether you would like to have one done. If you opt to have a survey done, you will have to decide which survey best suits your needs. In some cases, mortgage lenders and title companies may require a survey be completed before a mortgage application is approved or title insurance is issued.
Some different types of surveys include:
- Boundary Survey: Just like it sounds – it determines the boundary lines of a property.
- Location Survey: This is like a boundary survey, but this includes any additions and improvements made to the property.
- Right-Of-Way Survey: This helps property and utility owners determine the access right and access points on a particular property.
- Topographic Survey: This is used to identify and map the contours of the ground and existing features on the surface of the earth. This includes contours, utilities, ditches, roads, water, etc.
If you already own property and are looking to begin construction on a new project, you may want to consider having a survey done before work begins. If a project is completed and found to be on a neighbor’s property, you may have a problem on your hands.
According to Experian, the average property survey in the United States comes out to be around $500, but costs vary by location. In reality, you can expect to pay between $400 and $700, a small price to pay to potentially avoid a major issue down the road. When you buy or sell a home, lenders and title companies sometimes arrange for a survey included in closing costs. You can expect a survey to usually take a few weeks to be completed.
Before you rush to have a survey done, check to see if your property has already been surveyed in the past. You can usually check records at local tax accessor’s office. But keep in mind that the tax records may not always reflect the correct information.
If you’re in search of a surveyor in the Greater Lafayette area, the Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors offers a helpful tool on their website, www.ispls.org.
In conclusion, if you prefer to err on the side of caution, it may be in your best interest to set aside the money to have a survey completed. Better to be safe than sorry, right?