Walk the Line: Two of the Most Common Mistakes People Make When Having a Property Survey

Construction & Contractors Blog

A property survey generally only occurs in two instances: when a piece of land is being sold to another party, or when land is being evaluated for tax purposes. Most people are familiar with basically what a land surveyor does, but since it's a fairly complex art, there's a lot that most people don't know. Because of that, it's easy for mistakes to be made.

Here's a look at two of the most common mistakes make when having a land survey done.

Not Properly Accounting for Easements

In basic terms, an easement is a legal right to cross over a property line for a specific purpose. When conducting a property survey, it may be true that the line ends in one specific spot, but there's a good chance that an easement allows for a few feet more (for the right purpose). If a structure is built close enough to the edge of a piece of land, there's a good chance it could be torn down if, for example, a utility company needed that land. Make sure that any easements are accounted for on a survey, and that potential structures are located far away from these easement lines.

Not Comparing Records with the Title Commitment

A title commitment is a promise from an individual or a company to issue a title for a plot of land within certain dimensions. In many cases, especially when a survey is done close to closing, it's easy for a title commitment to not match what a survey shows. And if a deed is in fact issued for a plot of land that doesn't mesh with what the survey shows, the new land owner could be in store for legal problems, and possibly even court proceedings. When a survey is done, make sure those numbers are the same as what appears on the title commitment.

Land surveyors are licensed professionals, meaning that they have insurance and are liable for any mistakes or damaged caused by their mistakes. But if you happen across an unlicensed surveyor (or attempt to do it yourself), you're not afforded that same protection. If you need a property survey, trust the job to a professional. While some municipalities will accept a survey completed by an individual, there's just too much that can go wrong with an untrained eye. And when it comes to a property survey, a minor mistake could lead to a major headache. If you have any questions, consider speaking to a property surveying service to discuss your concerns.

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