Agriculture Keeps Us All Alive

What Can a Residential Survey Really Tell You?

by Gregory Howell

Although most homeowners and prospective buyers are familiar with the fundamentals of a property survey, many do not understand the role that these surveys actually play in property ownership. You might wonder why a property survey really matters or when you should get one. In fact, survey reports provide you with a lot of valuable information.

Identifies Your Construction Boundaries

A current land survey provides you with clearly defined boundaries for your property to protect you against building a shed, barn, or garage on your neighbor's land. It also protects you from erecting a fence on the wrong side of your property line. Installing a fence only to have to move it because you breached your neighbor's property line is costly, so have a survey done first.

Protects Your Access to Your Property

A property survey also illustrates any features or structures on your property that belong to your neighbors. Since many states have laws in place that allow a neighbor to claim a part of your property if their structure remains on it for enough years without a complaint, it is in your best interest to recognize this as soon as possible.

Details Any Easements Or Other Legal Declarations

Depending on the structure of your property and the neighboring ones, there may be easements for your neighbor or even the local municipality to use parts of your land. In other cases, a neighbor might have a right-of-way through your property to access a portion of theirs. These legally-established rights are a part of the property deed, but you may not be aware of them. Your property survey will detail them for you.

Verifies The Legality of Additions

If you install a shed, barn, fence, or other structural addition to your property, the survey will incorporate it into the property description, assess it for legality, and confirm the structure's status and condition. This protects you and ensures that there are no structural or placement conflicts that could lead to problems later.

Locates Underground Utilities and Lines

Most property surveys also mark the location of any underground utilities, lines, wells, or other elements on your land. These are important when you need to dig on the property.

Land surveys reveal a variety of features on your property and may even identify historical elements you were unaware of, such as a cemetery. Talk with a local survey contractor at a company like Dunes Land Surveying for more information and to schedule a survey of your land.