What does Terrorism have in common with a Survey?
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING!!!
Your realtor is in a unique position to help identify problems that call for further investigation. Consider the surveyor to be like a good law enforcement officer. Even your closing attorney can’t help unless the realtor alerts him to issues that presented themselves at home inspection, walk-thru, or when showing the home. The selling agent may have the best chance to see the problem and call in the experts.
top 10 signs that a survey may be needed:
(10) property seems to be 10′ wider than others on the block – it could be that the extra land is really a “paper street”. A survey may be able to determine if it has become a closed street or could some day support traffic outside the bedroom window. Similarly, An Alley in the back by give additional access, parking, utility services, etc., or it may be shut off and parceled out to adjacent owners. The difference can be important!
(9) whose driveway is it anyway? OMG, do homeowners on both sides of the driveway get to use it? Fencing may be out of the question and privacy lessened.
(8) any property with the words “private easement” in the legal description.
(7) buyer plans to improve or change the footprint of the house, widen a driveway, add a pool, shed or fence.
(6) non-rectangular lots are especially susceptible to later surprises or disputes over the exact location of the boundary lines.
(5I) shrubs, trees, structures very close to line definitely cry out for a survey. Fences may be adjusted to go around trees and may lead a buyer to believe they have land that is actually the neighbor’s land. Also, it may affect plans for where to plant expensive hedges, shrubs or trees if the location is actually the neighbor’s property and subject to fencing.
(4) weird utilities. sometimes all the sewer or drainage lines or even septic fields of adjacent properties can come under the buyer’s new home. Most would like to know in advance!
(3) If a sales price is being set by acreage, most buyers would prefer to get a survey to make sure they don’t overpay. (2) Developer’s townhome fences ‘ENCROACH’ by 3′ into the buyer’s back yard a year after his closing. A modern survey may have revealed the boundary overlap. Surveying science is changing. Old overlaps were sometimes the result of Different points of reference miles apart.
(1) I got way more than I expected. I need a degree in Herpetology. Occasionally a new homeowner without a survey gets MORE land than they wanted. A lovely corner lot in one small subdivision in a formerly rural and low lying area was just too good to be true . . . turns out it came with the BMP pond as part of the lot! instead of the quarter acres lots that all the neighbors bought, the corner lot was nearly a full acre, but most of it was a pond! With steep sides. . . . With steep fines for not cutting the grass around it.
Next time . . . . more fun and interesting facts about surveys.