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Purpose of a Land Survey with a Title Transfer

Image of a Man Surveying a Property

A land survey is a process of inspecting the physical property that is being transferred between proprietors. Surveys help the land purchasers understand what they are buying through defining precise land boundaries, demonstrating to them other people's access privileges and identifying conflict issues. Also, a survey before a title transfer allows a buyer to purchase extended title insurance coverage.

Property Boundaries

A land survey precisely measures and defines the property boundaries. The surveyor looks at the property's legal description and the benchmarks on the ground to draw the exact dimensions of the land. This kind of explicit boundary definitions can help you decide where you can construct additional structures or fences. It will also help you avoid any kind of property fraud issues regarding the size of the land.

Easement

An easement is the nonpossessory right given to someone to cross or use your land. Land surveys identify any necessary easements. For instance, utility services often have easements that permit them to enter your property to read meters. Your property might be subjected to access easement, so the owner behind you can pass through the side of your property to get to the street. Easements can be generic without an exact definition, or it can be specific about what part of your property will be accessible. You should understand the different types of easements as it can limit your rights to modify your property.

Encroachment

Through defining your land’s boundaries and easements, a surveyor will also help you determine encroachments. Encroachments happen when your property intrudes on another owner’s territorial rights. For instance, a surveyor may determine that the fence is built a few feet over the property’s legal boundary. Another more complicated example of encroachment would be a structure built 1 foot into another property's right of way. Look into the issues and try to negotiate before a title transfer. Also, title insurance will cover some issues. In the case of a serious encroachment, backing off might be the only option.

Survey Title Coverage

A completed survey is a prerequisite for an American Land Title Association (ATLA) insurance, also known as extended title insurance. ATLA insurance will pay for expenses if a third party has a claim to your property of which you were unaware at the time of purchase. A submitted survey helps the insurer be certain about your right to the property and can cover you against any such unforeseen claims.