Buying or selling a home can be one of life’s biggest decisions. Securing a mortgage, doing a title search, getting an inspection and negotiating a price are just a few of the details that make for a successful closing. One part of that equation people should take seriously is a land survey.
The best way to protect a large investment such as a home, whether buying or selling, is to hire a licensed surveyor to conduct a boundary and improvement survey, which will provide a verification of the property boundaries and a visual plot of the property. The size of the lot will be determined, where buildings are located, such as sheds and garages, and any easements or right-of-ways for utility companies.
While the deed describes the property in words, a boundary and improvement survey will set the property corners and offers a visual plot with measurements that help the homeowner get a feel for the property. Surveys also come in handy should a neighbor dispute a fence installation, landscaping or a tree location.
Surveys are also useful when homeowners renovate or add an improvement to the property or house. Should you install a driveway, a retaining wall, a fence, a patio, a deck or swimming pool and accidentally encroach on your neighbor’s property, you may be responsible for a very expensive redo on that renovation/improvement. The survey will also locate recorded easements which should also remain clear of any improvements to the property.
Unfortunately verbal and handshake agreements across the driveway won’t stand up in court. With a survey, details are there to help forge an agreement.
Keep your survey in a safe place, preferably offsite, and you’ll be set for years to come.