Why You Need a Survey
As property values fluctuate, knowing just how much property you’re getting for your money becomes increasingly important. Enter the property survey. A survey is a legal document that typically resembles a map, and also features a written description of the property. Surveys illustrate a property’s boundaries, indicating the lot size, and the location of any permanent structures, such as the house, garage, fences, walls, driveways, sheds, etc. A survey will also reveal any registered easements. On a property (a fire lane, drainage ditch, power poles or telephone box, for instance) or any encroachments onto or off of the property, such as a fence or driveway. The information contained in a survey is extremely valuable to a home buyer. After all, any easements on a property may affect its owner’s ability to make improvements to it; easements may even affect legal title. Encroachments may affect a buyer’s decision as to whether to purchase a property; if a survey reveals encroachments, the buyer can postpone the purchase until the issue is rectified or if need be, back out of the deal entirely. Surveys benefit sellers, too. They can be a valuable tool in marketing a home and provide peace of mind for a seller armed with the knowledge that there won’t be any unexpected problems with their property that could stall or kill a sale. Many lending institution require a survey before they will approve a buyer’s financing. Make sure the survey is up-to-date and reflects the current situation. A new survey may be needed if the original is lost or out-of-date.