Do I Need a Survey When Buying a House?

June 23, 2022

Real Estate

Do I Need a Survey When Buying a House?
You have big plans in mind for your new home. You want to plant fruit trees, add a bird bath, and put in some pavers. Every plan will fit within HOA guidelines, but there’s a catch – where exactly does your property end and your neighbor’s property begin? You’d hope you could be neighborly and share the same taste, but massive disputes have erupted over much less.
You’re wondering, do I need a house survey done to avoid clashing with my neighbor? Take a look at what a property survey covers and make an informed decision for yourself.

What is a Property Survey?

The question on the minds of many homeowners is: do I need a land survey when buying a house? Finding out what belongs to you is at the heart of a property survey. It is typical to survey a property to mark out the borders of newly developed or purchased plots of land.
It is also possible to validate existing defined land boundary lines by having an updated survey. Knowing where your property stops and your neighbor’s starts is critical for any construction project. A property survey may help you identify this information.
Do you need a survey for a mortgage? Surveys are required by many lenders and title companies, although they are not needed everywhere. Prior surveys completed by prior homeowners may also suffice, as long as it isn’t out-of-date in any significant way.

Why is a Survey Useful for a Home Buyer?

If you want to divide and sell your property in the future, you need to hire a land surveyor. They’ll be familiar with local ordinances that may impact your future goals. Some may even assist you in obtaining the council or county board of commissioners’ permission.
Property surveys may also give you peace of mind when thinking about future renovations like a deck or an extension to your house. Anyone who builds on someone else’s property will be asked to take it down immediately.
On the other hand, it’s possible that your neighbor already has plans to construct any of the above on your prospective property. Protect yourself against these problems by arranging to survey the home.
Identifying the owners of a shared fence may be necessary if you share one with your neighbor. Unless it falls precisely on the property line, you and your neighbor split the expenses of maintaining it if it falls on their side of the fence. The surveyor must accurately survey your fence line, or it will cost more in the long term. Tree and shrub lines are the same.
A land survey is essential to avoid the financial burden of having to knock down and start from scratch again when building a new addition, such as a garage, driveway, house, deck, or patio on your property.

How Can You Get a Survey of Your Property?

Don’t save money by employing an unlicensed, uninsured, or unskilled property surveyor. An accurate survey completed is priceless. Title insurance won’t cover errors made by the unlicensed surveyor, and you’ll be stuck with the bill.
If you’re looking for a surveyor, ask around or contact a reputable real estate agent. You can also do your research and look for them online.
The prior surveyor on the site may have the existing survey on hand, making it more cost-effective to work with them. Surveyors who inspected the homes next door may be able to help you identify the previous surveyor as well. Don’t be scared to contact your title firm or lender for advice in the process.
A surveyor should be able to practice in the state where the property is situated if they have a valid license. It would be best if you also took the time to interview your surveyor before hiring them. To be confident that they can meet your demands, discuss your needs in advance with them.

How Much Does a Property Survey Cost?

For a professional survey of a property, prospective homeowners should expect surveying costs to run between $400 to $700. The property’s size, geography, and location all impact the survey’s price. A heavily forested area will cost more to survey than an area that is mainly level and vacant.
A professional surveyor will charge you for the time they spend researching your property. It will take less time and money to investigate and inspect a well-documented piece of property. It’s also a good idea to stay close to home since the cost of travel is included in the final payment.
In general, the simpler it is to survey the area, the lower the cost.


How does a residential survey help buyers? When purchasing a property, a house survey is an essential element of the process and is often paid for by the individual buying a home. As a buyer, you’ll want to confirm that the property’s trees and fences are situated correctly. Also, to properly lay out your property, you’ll need to know where the utilities are, where you may dig and where you want to put plants, walkways, a pool, fences, or other features. 
You can actually find out about your property boundaries without doing an official property survey through a title search for informational purposes only. Still, you won’t get an official document with a legal description, and your findings won’t be admissible in court if you want to sell your home or engage in a legal battle over it. 
What if someone else wants to utilize, install equipment, park cars on your land, or travel over it? Hiring a surveyor is a smart move in these situations.
You can use the land survey results to reaffirm your legal boundaries. The existing owner will be able to take care of an ongoing problem for you, or you may negotiate a reasonable reduction on the selling price.
Remember that whatever you do, it is best to hire a registered professional property surveyor when taking this step. 

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