You found a home you love and want to purchase it. It has had several owners in its lifetime so you figure everything is okay, right? The previous banks would not provide lending if there were issues with the property lines. You assume everything is just fine and move forward despite the fact that the seller does not want to provide a survey. Unfortunately, this is the worst thing you could do. In fact, most lenders will not close a loan without knowing what may or may not stand in your way on your property.
What is a Survey?
It helps to know everything the survey can do for you. It is more than a piece of paper that shows your property lines; although, this is a crucial component of it. This piece of paper also helps you know what else runs through your property. You would want to know if there were water main lines in your backyard that the city may have to gain access to, right? What if the subdivision had some type of easement on your property that gave them access to your yard to make it a walkway to a public area in your neighborhood? No one likes to find these things out after the fact. Getting the facts before you close on a home could save you many headaches down the road.
Do Surveys Expire?
You might think that the original survey conducted when the original owner purchased the home is enough. The home doesn’t get up and move, so what could change? In reality, there are many things that may change, some of which have nothing to do with you. Whether you need a new one conducted depends on when the original one was performed. Was it when the house was originally built 50 years ago? Then it may be time for an update. If it was within the last few years, though, you may not have to secure a new one. Every situation differs.
What really determines if you need a new survey is what went on not only on your property, but also on any surrounding property. If anyone installed a pool, fence, or room addition, you want to make sure everything is still on the up and up on your property. What if a neighbor’s fence encroaches on your property lines? This may not be a problem now, but could pose a problem down the road when you decide to sell the property.
Why You Need a Survey for Every Purchase
Whether your jurisdiction requires a new survey for a home purchase should not matter. If you want to protect yourself against any future property issues, you should secure one. It may be an investment, but it is one that will protect you from many further issues with your property. How do you know that the original one the seller claims is still good doesn’t have any mistakes? You probably don’t want to find out the hard way. Instead, you can invest the money now to protect yourself later.
Talk to your Lender and Attorney
Before you assume you don’t need a survey or that the one given to you is adequate, talk to your lender and your attorney. Your lender may require a more recent look at the property depending on the age of the one provided to you. Any attorney will likely recommend that you have one done just to protect yourself. What if there is something wrong with the property lines? It may be a battle you don’t want to fight. If you find out before you close on the home you may be able to back out of the purchase. If you find out after you close, the house is yours and the battle is now yours too.
Requiring a survey is not a punishment or a way to get more money out of you. It is a way to protect your investment. It lets you know what you may or may not do to your property in the future. It also lets you know what you may be in store for if there are any public easements on your property line. The more informed you are before you purchase a home, the better off you will be when you make the decision to sign on the dotted line.