We get asked this question quite a bit. A survey reveals a great deal about a property, some of which is obvious and some of which may not be so obvious. A survey shows the location of the boundary of the property, as well as the location of any improvements on the property. Why is this important? It is important because anyone acquiring property wants to know that the house they are buying does not violate any setbacks, is not located on an easement, and is actually situated on the property to be purchased. The same holds true for pools, sheds, fences, detached garages, driveways, and a laundry list of other improvements. If these improvements are not properly situated, under a worst case scenario, they could be subject to forced removal. So for obvious reasons, a survey is critical to protect one’s investment in the improvements located on real property.
An equally significant, yet less obvious reason for getting a survey is to verify that the property has legal access to roads, and if the property is on the water, access to the water. One cannot assume that simply because a parcel appears to lie next to a road or waterway, that it indeed has legal access to the road or waterway next to it. Only a survey can confirm if such is the case. Indeed, there have been many instances where a parcel did not have legal access to a road, or a waterfront parcel did not actually have legal access to the waterway, that appeared to be right next to it.
For these, and a myriad of other reasons too numerous to mention here, it is critical that a thorough survey review be performed before purchasing any real property. As always, if you have any questions about surveys and proper survey review, we encourage you to contact your real estate attorney.
Happy Holidays from Berlin Patten!
Berlin Patten, PLLC
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