Surveys, do you need one?
The house location survey is an accurate drawing of the property that will show the corners, fences, driveway, house, shed, deck, or patio and include some very important measurements. For the survey, here are the options:
Location drawing - This is a quick and inexpensive approach to locate structures, improvements, etc in their approximate relationship to the apparent property lines reflected in the deed. The location drawing is enough to satisfy the needs of the lender and the title company. The drawing does not establish actual property lines and should not be relied upon for the construction of a fence. The cost is around $350
Boundary Survey - Includes the location drawings and will identify the property boundary lines and mark the boundary corners. The boundary survey can be used in erecting a fence, and other improvements. Cost is at least $500. It takes longer to complete and is more typical on larger parcels of land.
In many situations the survey will be a requirement of the transaction due to the Title Insurance coverage that needs to be provided to the Purchase money lending institution. The policy issued to a lender will typically require no exceptions for matters of survey and the only way to remove such a requirement is to perform an accurate house location survey. While the survey will not reveal all issues it will provide a general idea of the location of fences, property lines, locations of easements or encroachments if there are any, government restrictions such as a Building Restriction Line and other matters that are valuable for a homeowner of which to have knowledge.
Also, it is important to have a survey done to disclose issues you might not otherwise be aware of. For instance, putting in a pool over a utility easement could certainly be a costly mistake if the utility company needs to excavate to service their equipment. Or planting your award winning rose garden in the back of the property in a Sewer Authority easement that needs service could destroy some if not all of that hard labor. A survey may not always be required, but is always recommended, especially when purchasing a property not located in a subdivision, or one that has a good deal of acreage.When do I need a house location survey?
Zoning approval is required for all improvements to a property. Specifically, a house location survey is required to obtain approval for: fences, sheds, gazebos, decks, additions, second kitchens, wet bars, retaining walls, driveways, patios, swimming pools, sidewalks ramps, hot tubs, garages, and porches. Also, if you want to make any change to the exterior of the property and it requires approval from your HOA, they will ask for a copy of the survey to ensure that what you want to do falls on your property. Even something as simple as putting in swingsets!