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3 Reasons To Get A Property Survey When Buying Real Estate

When you are purchasing real estate, there are a lot of decisions to be made, information to be obtained, and documents to be signed. It may be tempting to skip having a property survey completed, but you should give some serious consideration as to whether that is best. A property survey can do more than just define the boundaries of the real estate you are acquiring. It can alert you to issues that may cause you headaches, or even jeopardize your ownership, down the road. Here are three top reasons you should consider having a property survey done before you close:

  1. Solve property disputes quickly. The seller may not be aware of any encroachments. If there is an encroachment on the real estate property you are purchasing, you need to know about it as soon as possible. Without addressing the encroachment, you could lose that part of the property. You also want to be aware of any encroachment of the seller on your future neighbors’ properties. For example, if the seller built a fence that encroached on another’s property, there will be costs associated in moving the fence. It’s best to handle such an issue before you make your purchase, either by establishing an agreement about the encroachment or having the structure moved.
  2. Become aware of any restrictions. If the property you are buying is subject to certain zoning and/or building restrictions, you’d want to know ahead of time. If a homeowner association has restrictive covenants for a home, you’d want to understand what they will expect. Having a property survey completed will alert you if there are existing violations and make you aware of future limitations on your use and improvement of the real estate property. Depending on what the restrictions cover and how you expect to use the real estate, they may be a deal breaker.
  3. Understand the rights of others in regard to the real estate. In some cases, a property survey may help you understand what easements or rights of way exist for the real estate you are purchasing. If there is an easement, you’d want to know who can use your property and for what purpose. You’d also want to be aware of any rights of way where others may need to pass through the property. Understanding how others can legally use your property will help you figure out how their use will affect you.

Addressing these topics before you purchase real estate will provide you with peace of mind and help prevent arguments with your neighbors or homeowner association after your purchase. Not every real estate transaction needs a property survey, though. If you’re unsure whether you should get a property survey, or you need a closing attorney, schedule an appointment with us to discuss your situation. We have more than 30 years of experience guiding clients through their real estate transactions. Our firm can help make the process less confusing.


Photo by Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0

Photo by Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0


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