Getting a Home Survey? What You Need to Know

Getting a survey is often a necessary first step of performing a remodel. Here's what you need to know about getting a survey done on your property.

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Getting a Home Survey? What You Need to Know

Posted by Gary Ashton on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018 at 9:08am.

What You Need to Know About Getting a Home SurveyWhether a person is buying a home, adding to their existing home or erecting a new structure on their property, there's a good chance they'll need to hire a surveyor. Many states actually require a survey on property before a title is transferred. Understanding the need for a survey and when to get a survey is important.

What Is a Survey?

A survey is a scientific, mathematical study of the land to determine the legal boundaries of a property. The purpose of a survey is to determine where one property ends and another begins. A survey is a public record. The document stays on the public record forever, so the surveyor continues to be liable for the work done for the rest of his or her life.

Who Needs to Get a Survey?

Many people see the need to order a survey at some point or another. One of the most common reasons that homeowners choose to get a survey is because they're planning to make an addition onto their Nashville home. When a homeowner is adding on a room or building out a room of their house, it's vitally important to ensure that the addition they're planning won't fall on their neighbor's property. The survey can help prevent this from happening. In most locations, there are building guidelines that specify how close a building wall can be from a property line. In other words, most places don't allow a building's wall to be located right on the property line.

In addition, some mortgage companies will require that a property buyer get a survey to ensure that the purchase includes all the land listed on the home sale contract. Additionally, some homeowners will get a survey if they get into a dispute with their neighbors over the location of a fence or another property-border related problem.

How Is A Survey Performed?

Surveyors use a variety of tools to get the job done. Common tools surveyors use include:

  • The home's deed.
  • Altimeter.
  • Digital theodolite.
  • GPS device.
  • Historical data.
  • Landmarks.

The surveyor begins by doing research, then he or she sets up markers that can help the homeowner determine where, exactly, the property line lies.

What Does a Survey Include?

The survey will document the boundaries of the property as well as the location of structures within the property. The survey also includes a written description of the easements and building setbacks. The survey may also describe the ground elevation at its lowest and highest point.

Are Surveys Expensive?

Surveys vary in price depending on details like the size of the property and complexity of the survey. Some surveys cost as little as $100 or $200, while the most expensive surveys can be $1,000 or more. The mid-range price for a survey is about $400 to $500.

That said, many homeowners find that surveys are worth the cost. Surveys resolve disputes, prevent disputes and can even improve the value of the home, depending on the findings. Many homeowners who get a survey find themselves happy overall when the survey is complete.

How Do You Find a Good Surveyor?

The best way to find a good surveyor is to get a referral. Many people get a referral by contacting a lawyer or a real estate agent in their area. It's a good idea to get quotes from several different surveyors before deciding on the final one. A surveyor who low-balls the bid may not be the best surveyor for the job. As with other things, homeowners get what they pay for.

If you're a homeowner who needs to get a survey performed soon, contact reputable surveyors in your area and get started today.


Gary Ashton

The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage

The #1 RE/MAX team in the World!

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