Seeking tips on property surveys and lowering insurance costs

3 Replies

Hello. I am relatively inexperienced in the real estate world and I have a couple questions regarding property surveys and insurance. I am buying an out of state house (Florida) with cash (REO) and I was offered to have the property surveyed before the title company does their thing. My question is what kind of surveys are good to have if I want to get a good title report for a future Mortgage/HELOC, save money on property insurance and do some upgrades (install driveway, replace wood fencing, install rain gutters)?

My thinking is this:  If I'm going to order a boundary survey for the title report, should I request an ALTA survey to get more information on easements & location of underground utility lines?  

If I'm going to get a cash out mortgage or HELOC (BRRRR methodology) in the future once the house is fixed up, should I ask for Florida form 9 endorsement fro the title insurance company now? It's not required on cash purchases.

If I'm going to look for property insurance and potentially flood insurance (Florida has hurricanes) should I ask for an elevation survey? Would this even make sense if I'm over a mile from the nearest FEMA flood zone?


Dont order an elevation certificate unless your in the flood zone. You can check yourself by searching the address in the fema map service center. Your lender will order one themselves if it is in fz. An Alta is usually for commercial or high value, but really is just a means for the lenders to get a good survey. One thing you can do is have some surveyors quote you a price for an as built survey but let them know you want them to address the items in the schedule b exceptions from your title insurance policy. A poor man's Alta.😁


Flood insurance will be lower since you'll probably in zone x. Hurricane is probably covered under general coverage but ask your insurance company.

@David Cook The inspection you are looking for is called the Wind Mitigation report. The inspector takes measurements and photos in the attic to verify the wind resistance of the roof. It looks at the size of the nails, their spacing, applicable tie downs and more. 

The inspection doesn't always provide discounts but it is fairly common to see them, especially if the house is older. I hope that helps!

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you