Why You Need a Home Survey When Buying a Home

The Importance of Getting a Home SurveyWhen buying a home, it's important to consider whether to get a survey or not. Home surveys are a way to find out the details of the property lot or land, and diving beneath the surface to uncover potential problems before they crop up at a later date. Some states require surveys whenever a home or land is sold, while other states make a survey optional.

There are several types of surveys a home or property buyer could choose, depending on the age and condition of the home. However, they're all designed to specify the boundaries of a property and list any hazardous conditions on the property. Home buyers should learn more about surveys and why they might be a good idea for a home or land purchase.

Asking the Questions

A Palos Verdes home buyer may have the opportunity to follow the surveyor around as they walk the property, so they can get a better sense of what lies beneath the cosmetic features of the home. They'll learn the topography of the land, as well as any important markers that may mark the property boundary. The surveyor may also assist the buyer with any potential issues that may arise in the future.

For example, if the neighbor's maple tree is likely to grow roots in the next five years that will interfere with a gas pipes, the home buyer will have a heads up long before moving in. Home buyers can also get definitive answers to the question of boundaries. Ownership disputes are common, as lot lines are often not clearly marked. A surveyor that claims the hedge as the boundary needs to give firm coordinates so there's no ambiguity over who owns what.

Verifying the Facts

Land surveyors today are making the most of the available technology so that buyers are satisfied with their results. Today, tools like Computer Aided Drafting and navigational software make it possible to draw boundaries and hand them over to buyers so they have physical evidence. If neighbors ever contest the ownership of the land, these documents and programs can be used to verify exact property lines. Before hiring a land surveyor, potential buyers should check to see what type of equipment the company is using.

Tips for Hiring a Land Surveyor

Surveyors are trained to look at the land and determine the most important facts about it. They're extremely careful about what they do and how they do it. However, they're not infallible, which is why the buyers may want to ask about their liability insurance. If there is any damage during the survey, the surveyor will need to have insurance to cover the cost of the damages. In addition, should the survey be contested at a later date, the insurance company may step in to handle any disputes.

Home buyers looking to construct a new home on a piece of property should be especially careful as a survey will often demonstrate to the buyers how they might best configure their home on the property. The survey can also assist with locating any existing water or sewer pipes, as well as determining any utility rights-of-way before the home is built.

Hiring a land surveyor is a precaution that few homeowners can afford to skip. Along with the home inspection, it's the best way for buyers to feel completely confident by the time escrow wraps up.

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