4 Common Reasons for a Land Survey
Most likely, you had a land survey when you bought your home. Most homeowners are unclear as to why lenders often require one. Even less clear to homeowners is why that is not the only time you may need a land survey. So, what are some of the common reasons for a land survey?
1) Protecting your investment
The primary reason lenders require surveys before lending money for your property is they want to protect their investment, and ultimately, your investment. Many mistakenly believe that since developing land requires a survey, the results are apparent. After all, wouldn’t the fence be located on the property line? Unfortunately, this is often not the case. So, the bank wants to make sure the property is worth the amount of the loan.
2) Protecting your rights
Commonly, there are easments on property. To protect your rights, property owners often need to know and understand the boundaries of these easements. There may be restrictions on what you are allowed to do within easements. Since easements can affect your property value, this is a common reason for a land survey.
3) Preventing future land disputes
Building a fence or other encroachment on your neighbor’s property may not cause an immediate problem, but may down the line if they sell the property and someone realizes that your fence is 3 feet onto their land. When this happens, you can be required to remove your property and relocate it. Changing the location of fences and other encroachments can be an expensive proposition. Before building, getting a land survey can prevent future problems.
4) Understanding who is responsible for the care of the property
Often, near the property line, there is a small bit of land that is difficult to know who is responsible for its maintenance. That somebody may be a neighbor or even the city. (Although often, if the city owns the the land, you may still be responsible for the maintenance.) However, there will be restrictions with what you can and cannot do with this land. A land survey can clarify this issue.
While this list is certainly not all inclusive, it does give you an idea of how essential land surveys are. When in doubt, have a survey done. This small investment can save you thousands of dollars later.
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