Land surveys are prepared for residential homes and show you exactly where your home is sitting and any renovations and improvements that have been made to the exterior of the property. Some things that may show up on a survey report may include additional decks, pools, driveways and buildings that have been added. This is a legally binding document that can be called upon by the local municipality, mortgage company or the bank and its helpful when any real estate transfer is taking place.
There is no expiration date on a survey but it is a good idea to get one if you are involved in a real estate transaction. In some cases it will be required by the lending institution as part of the financial conditions for the home loan.
Are You Required to Supply a Land Survey When Selling a Home?
As a seller you do not have to provide a survey of your home but in some cases it may help to seal the deal especially if the potential buyer is considering substantial rebuilding or renovation projects. You'll want to decide whether it is worth spending the money required to get a survey done by considering the seriousness of the potential buyer that's interested in your home.
When Do You Need to Get a Land Survey?
A land survey needs to be completed any time you are planning to do a home renovation on a larger scale near the property line. This will help prevent any land disputes that could arise in the future. If you're planning on building a fence, for instance, you'll need to know the exact boundaries of the land that divides the two properties. If you don't and the fence you have built ends up even a few inches over the property line, it could cause a problem later on down the road.
How to Get a Land Survey Done
To get a survey done you'll need to contact a registered company for land surveying that has all of the necessary credentials for conducting residential surveys. The cost can run anywhere from $200-$300 up to thousands of dollars. The price you'll end up paying will depend on how old your property is, the natural features on it and, of course, the size of the land itself.
How to Find a Trustworthy Land Surveyor
The job that the land surveyor does is so important, that finding the right surveyor is critical. For many homeowners, finding a trustworthy professional can be daunting. When looking for a surveyor, start with your local business listings, or contact a local surveyor's association to find out which members live in your area.
A good surveyor will be able to provide references. Check at least two references for any surveyor you're thinking about hiring. When checking references, ask all references the same questions, to get a good sense of the overall experience that customers have when working with that particular surveyor.
Check the surveyor's insurance as well. Look at the policy summary sheet or insurance certificate to see what damages are covered in the event that your surveyor makes an error.
Finally, ask all surveyors the same questions. Each surveyor should be able to answer your questions to your satisfaction. Never hire a surveyor who does not communicate well, or answer your questions in a way you can understand.