Property/House Surveys: When and When Not?

3 Replies

I want to hear everyone's opinion here.  Under what circumstances do you guys order a survey of your property and when do you not?  

Are there any low cost strategies that you use to minimize risk without ordering the survey?

Hi @Matt Vaughn  

I have never ordered a survey before I bought a property in my area. I have ordered survey for other reasons. Putting up new fence, new front steps, running new main water line, etc., but never have had need to get a survey done before purchasing a property.

What are your main concerns about ordering a survey?


Originally posted by @Sharad M. :

What are your main concerns about ordering a survey?

 I'm buying a property that's already fenced, and it's in a relatively established neighborhood (.2 acre plots).  I'd prefer not to get a survey, but I didn't want to be cheap and leave myself exposed to risk out there.

@Matt Vaughn  

In CO there are "surveys" called ILC's (Improvement Location Certificate). I quote surveys because it is not a signed, recorded document. However, it is performed by a survey company & is exactly what you're looking for. What it is is a crew will come out & locate your property pins, locate improvements on said property, produce a plot, & give it to you. It will answer your fence question, any setback issues, etc... It will NOT be a legal document as title work, easements, encumbrances, and the like have not been gone through by a licensed surveyor. It may be different city to city, but here they run about $200-300, far less than a full blown survey. You can think of it as a lot inspection. Much like a home inspection, they try to uncover defects, minimize potential risk & use the info to inform the buyer. I'm sure VA has them as well. Just look up a local surveying company & they should be able to get you going.

JH Bridge

@Sharad M.  see above text about it being similar to an inspection.  Not saying you need one on every property, but if you ever run into something a little fishy, it might be worth the few hundred dollars to avoid boundary disputes down the line.

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