Consider a Property Survey

When purchasing a home or any real estate, consider a property survey to make sure you know the true size and boundaries of the land. Questions? Ask a real estate attorney at Sebring & Associates. Click here for a PDF of this article.

Five reasons to purchase a real estate property survey

A new homeowner noticed a neighbor mowing part of her front lawn. When she asked the neighbor why he was mowing her lawn, the neighbor replied the property he was mowing belonged to him, even though the line of trees separating the two houses looked as if the property belonged to the new homeowner. She called her title agent and found out the neighbor was correct. “How can that be? Didn’t you search my property?”

Unfortunately, the new homeowner did not understand the difference between a title search and a survey and failed to purchase a survey. A title search confirms ownership of property, but it does not show the details of the property location.

A survey is a map of real property that shows where the property is located on the earth, the boundary lines of the property, the improvements on the land and access to the property.


Five Great Reasons to Purchase a Real Estate Survey

  1. Undisclosed Rights and Easements
    You may own your new home and its surrounding land, but someone else might have a right to use a portion of your property. A survey will show physical evidence of the rights of others to use your property for access, parking, utilities, and other situations.
  2. Undiscovered Encroachments
    A survey may be the only way to tell if a third party holds a claim to part of your property because their improvements such as a garage, fence, or swimming pool, are on your land.
  3. House Built on Incorrect Lot
    It may seem impossible, but sometimes a house is built on the wrong lot. A survey provides peace of mind by showing the exact location of the house you are buying.
  4. Size of the Property
    A survey shows the exact dimensions of the property’s boundary lines and how much land is included within those lines.
  5. Adding on in the Future
    Many residential platted lots have building restrictions known as setbacks which prohibit building anything within a certain distance from the boundary lines. If you are thinking of adding on in the future, a survey will help you determine if the property is right for both your current and future plans.

Sebring & Associates
339 Old Haymaker Road, Suite 1101
Monroeville, PA 15146
412-856-3500
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The information contained in this document was prepared by First American Title Insurance Company (“FATICO”) for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. FATICO is not a law firm and this information is not intended to be legal advice. Readers should not act upon this without seeking advice from professional advisers. 

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