Surveys are usually one page drawings mapping the approximate location of boundaries and physical improvements found at the property. Surveys are routinely required to ascertain whether others (such as adjoining property owners) have encroached on the property being purchased. Surveys also illustrate if the physical improvements to the subject property: (1) extend beyond the lot’s legal boundaries, (2) violate building restriction lines and other regulatory restrictions, or (3) are located in easements of record.

The most common type of survey required in a residential real estate transaction is a House Location Survey which shows the location of all improvements relative to the physically observed lot lines and easements of record. In this type of survey, no physical markers (such as corner posts, iron pipes, flags, stakes, monuments, etc.) are installed to aid in locating boundaries. However, any existing boundary markers will be noted on the survey.

A more detailed Boundary Survey entails the precise establishment of corner posts and marking of the lot lines, and is usually more costly than a House Location Survey.

Metropolitan Title, LLC recommends surveys for all townhome and single family home purchases. Even if a survey is not required by your lender, an owner’s title insurance policy will not cover the owner of a property for any issues or problems on the property that would have been discovered with a survey. For this reason, a survey is recommended for all residential transactions.