Should I Really Get a Survey When Buying a Home?

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We get this question a lot, and the short answer is: yes…but it may not be important to every buyer.  Helpful, right? Let us explain…

Most closing attorneys will give you the choice to get a survey when buying a home (although there is the occasional one that requires it). So this question comes up often with our buyers, and making the decision comes down to your personal preference, worries about the boundary lines, and what type of home you’re buying.

FIRST THINGS FIRST, WHAT IS A SURVEY?

Basically, a survey confirms the property boundary lines and legal description. It can also turn up any recent encroachments, and determine other restrictions or easements included in the property. If there’s anything that you want to get figured out before closing in regards to encroachments, you may want to know about that (i.e. get a survey).

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

A survey is usually around $500 and, as we said, some buyers get it, others don’t.

WHAT OTHER DETAILS SHOULD I CONSIDER?

If you’re thinking about getting a survey, but aren’t sure, you could have your agent ask the sellers if they had a survey done when buying the house – some are happy to share that with you, and that can help you decide (and save you some cash by not getting one yourself).

Another detail to think about – what type of house are you buying? If it’s a townhome, a survey may not be as necessary as if you were buying a house. Surveys can give you peace of mind that down the road you don’t have to worry about issues popping up about boundary lines or encroachments.

A LITTLE CLEARER? WE HOPE SO!

There’s a lot of info out there about surveys, and it can get confusing, so if you aren’t sure, ask us! We’re happy to help (and give you our honest opinion about its necessity).

And if you’ve decided to get a survey, you are given the option to choose your own surveyor. Some buyers enjoy that, but your closing attorney can also recommend the ones they use (which can make that process easier, as it’s one fewer decision to have to make!).

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