You don’t have to get a survey done when you’re buying property, but having one done now can save you headaches down the road.
A survey will tell you where the boundaries of the property are and whether anything is encroaching on your property – or if something on your property is actually encroaching on a neighbor’s land. A location survey will tell you where improvements on the property are located. It involves a physical inspection of the property and will be accurate plus or minus a few feet. They generally cost a few hundred dollars.
A boundary survey is more in-depth and accurate. The result of a boundary survey is a detailed plat or map of the property and the improvements on it. The cost of this type of survey depends on the size of the property and the complexity of record review.
While your lender may not require a boundary survey, it’s a good idea to have one done. Fences aren’t always built on property lines, and it’s better to know about problems now rather than down the road. Plus, as the experts at Angie’s List point out, you’ll know that you’re getting exactly what you expect for the money you’re paying for the property.
And if you don’t have a survey done when you purchase, it’s recommended that you do one before building fences, sheds, or making other improvements to your property.