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Should I get a property survey?

April 13, 2014
In the state of Georgia, surveys are not required when purchasing a property.

Most home buyers do not opt to have a survey done, in some cases due to cost. More often than not, it is because the buyer is purchasing in a planned community.

The buyer might assume that because the builder probably had surveyed everything when building out the community, there isn't likely to be any boundary line issues.

More often, surveys are done on larger parcels of land.

This may be done by the seller in advance of putting the property up for sale, or by the buyer while under contract.

When purchasing raw land or large-acre tracts, a survey is critical, as property lines change within families and easements often occur and may have been done many years ago.

On more than one occasion, we have seen fences and driveways over property lines in a planned community.

Additionally, you may want to put a fence up after you move in and a fence company will ask you for a survey in order to stay on or within the boundary lines of the property

Finally, a title insurance policy on your new home won't cover you on a boundary line problem without a survey.

In fact, you won't be covered on any boundary line problems that are discovered with a survey. But the survey may identify the issue so a boundary line agreement or some resolution to that issue may occur.

More often than not, the survey will reflect exactly what you think you're purchasing, but better to pay for a survey for peace of mind than have a dispute or disagreement with your new neighbor later.

BUS 04-16-15

Bob Strader is a local realtor with the NORTH Group of Keller Williams Realty. Visit his blogs or or email him:
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Tags: Business News, Community & Outreach

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    Surveyr's Perspective
    April 22, 2014 | 07:37 AM

    As a rule of thumb, I advise all potential clients that if they don't have a survey (no matter how old) that shows all of the improvements on the property (house, garage, shed...), they need a survey. Never assume that someone did one when they built. Never assume that the home has been there for x years and there can't be any issues or they would have come up by now.

    The cost of a survey is relative small. In my area, it is on par with a home inspection or an appraisal. A survey is better insurance against issues then almost anything else you can do.

    If in doubt as to needing a survey or not, call your friendly neighborhood surveyor and ask. Any worth their salt will walk you though the process and help you make an informed decision. Besides, most of us don't typically charge for advice.

    Timothy J Howell
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