Do I Really Need A Survey?
If you want to know where your property corners are located, how the boundary lines run, where the recorded easements are, if there are any building line restrictions, encroachments or right of way easements that may lie within the property lines, you should have a survey done. All of these actual facts or issues are disclosed in a current house location survey. A survey of the property allows you the opportunity to know exactly what you are buying and enables you to have any possible issues addressed before you become the record owner of that property.
Having the survey in advance of closing gives you the ability to resolve any issues, that may not be apparent with just a visual inspection of the property. Knowing what you are purchasing is very important. A survey empowers you with the knowledge you need to understand, for instance, why that tree line is planted 5 feet inside the property line or why the circle at the end of your driveway falls under a “shared easement” with three adjoining lots. This is important information for the planning and use of your property. A survey is very useful for the purpose of submitting architectural plans for improvements to the exterior of the property (especially when the property is located in a planned community, i.e. an HOA) as well as obtaining the proper building permits needed at the time of any structural changes or improvements to your lot.
Bear in mind that a title company does not do surveys. The title company will contact a professional surveyor to provide that service on your behalf and for your benefit, if one is desired. The average cost for a residential resale lot under one acre is approximately $300.00. This charge is paid to the surveying company by the purchaser on the HUD-1 settlement statement at the time of closing. Bear in mind that a survey is considered a closing cost for the purpose of calculating your good faith estimate and is an allowable closing cost under the seller’s closing cost concessions.
Catherine L. Gillman
4545 Daisy Reid Avenue, Suite 100
Prince William, Virginia 22192