Survey Property Before Closing

Survey Aerial view of houses in typical DFW community

Where is everything?

Get a survey done before closing on your new home. Why?

You need to know where the property lines are, in relation to the house and other structures. Does your fence fall within your property lines, or does it wander onto your neighbor’s property? Do you have encroachments from neighbors? Where and what type of easements are on the land?

Get a survey before closing.

Subdivisions are platted and approved by City Planning prior to development.
A survey is a nice visual representation of the property. It may be a requirement of the lender, but in practical terms, it is a useful document for the buyer for years to come. And it gives you an overall picture of your purchase as it relates to the surrounding property.

What is a Title Survey?

A land title survey is the evaluation of real property and includes the legal description, property boundaries, physical characteristics, matters of record, and land use. It must be done by a qualified surveyor, licensed in the state where your property is located.

The surveyor does a physical location of the property and typically flags the property points. He then draws a map that shows the property lines and all structures within the boundaries including the house, garage, fences or walls, driveways, and sheds. The survey also shows any easements, setback lines, and potential encroachments.

Why is it Necessary?

A land title survey is used in a real estate transaction when the lender requires a clear “lender’s” title insurance policy covering the face value of the mortgage. The title company must have a survey to ensure the title and satisfy the lender requirement.

Future Use, After Closing

Do you want to put in a pool, patio, new fence, storage shed? Pull out your survey. Keep an extra copy for easy reference. You’ll be surprised how many times you check the details of this convenient document.

When it’s time to sell again, pull out your survey. It may help speed things along toward the sale and closing, with you as the seller. Many times the existing survey can be used in the next transaction.

Survey Terms:

Setback Lines: The distance from a curb, property line, or structure where a building is prohibited. Setback requirements are normally provided by ordinances or building codes (provisions in zoning ordinances regulating the distance from the lot line to the point where improvements may be constructed.)

Easement: The right of the owner of one parcel of land, by reason of such ownership, to use the land of another for a specific purpose.

Right-of-Way: It is the legal right to pass along a specific route through grounds or property belonging to another. It can be on the surface, overhead, or underground. The most common usage and/or examples include drainage, irrigation canals, ditches, electric power, telephone, oil, gas, water, other pipelines, and highways.

Plat: A map of a town, section, or subdivision showing the location and boundaries of individual parcels of land subdivided into lots with streets, alleys, building lines, and easements.

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