If you're buying a home or a piece of raw land (land that has not been built upon or has not been improved at all), you are going to need a land survey. Land surveys are legally binding statements prepared by a licensed land surveyor that will provide information on property boundaries, topographic information, zoning features, and more.
When this information is prepared in a land survey, it will usually coincide with one of four types that are used when buying and selling a home or property. You'll find one or more of these types of surveys to be required if you are getting ready to sign that purchase agreement:
These are the most commonly employed land surveys and are almost always utilized when purchasing a home. As its name suggests, a boundary survey will locate and record all property lines and limits of the parcel you're purchasing. This will show you where your property ends and where your neighbors' property or other property begins.
Topographic Land Surveys
If you're planning on building upon a piece of raw land, you will need a topographic land survey. This type of information will show you where your utilities—water lines and plumbing, electrical lines, and natural gas lines if applicable—will need to be located. Topographic surveys also show you where your property elevations are located, which can, not too surprisingly, be used to determine whether or not you'll need flood insurance down the road.
Land Title Surveys
If you are planning to apply for a home buyer's loan, you will most certainly be required to have a land title survey. Most of the time, these types of surveys are quite extensive, taking into account much of the information provided by a boundary or topographic survey. The information then serves to provide a sense of ease for you, the buyer, and for your lender and the title company. These surveys will include information on any public easements, encroachments, and even zoning issues that might arise within the purchased property.
Mortgage Inspection Surveys
These types of land surveys are the least extensive type of survey. Most mortgage lenders require an inspection survey upon your purchase agreement with the seller. When performed, these surveys merely take into account any buildings located on the property as well as if any of those buildings encroach upon a neighbor's property or public easement. Most of the time, these types of surveys don't provide property boundary information at all.
When you plan to purchase your new home or property, you will most likely be required to have your parcel surveyed. Your licensed land surveyor will operate within all laws, and provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your land so you can get on to enjoy your new home. Contact a company like Michael E. Rapier Surveying, Inc. to learn more.