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Old 05-01-2011, 10:47 AM
20 posts, read 76,555 times
Reputation: 17


I am purchasing a home and just got a note that a licensed surveyor will be required to prepare a survey. Closing in a month.

I am asked to choose between two types of surveys:

Location drawing: This is a quick and inexpensive approach to locate structures, improvements, etc in their approximate relationship to the apparent property lines reflected in the deed. The location drawing is enough to satisfy the needs of the lender and the title company. The drawing does not establish actual property lines and should not be relied upon for the construction of a fence. Cost is around $350

Boundary Survey: Includes the location drawings and will identify the property boundary lines and mark the boundary corners. The boundary survey can be used in erecting a fence, and other improvements. Cost is at least $500. It takes longer to complete.

We have no plans to add a fence. However, we will have neighbors on both sides. We might add a kid's swing set.

Which of the two surveys should I order? Is the boundary survey an overkill?

Last edited by ciscovpn; 05-01-2011 at 11:44 AM..
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Old 05-01-2011, 11:41 AM
Location: Morrisville
1,168 posts, read 2,016,704 times
Reputation: 1112
Go for the boundary survey. it's more money but it's a nice thing to include should you ever sell your home (and I would imagine you could get your $500 back by including it). Plus it would (or should) tell you if either one of your neighbors have encroached onto your property.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:20 PM
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 15,590,234 times
Reputation: 2035
I second the boundary survey. It could come in handy later. You might also want to check what your title insurance would recommend or cover.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:51 PM
Status: "C'est la Vie. C'est la Guerre." (set 8 days ago)
Location: The Triad (NC)
25,096 posts, read 54,220,047 times
Reputation: 25957
I just did this on my new house.

The detail in the boundary survey will be used 20 times over the years.
It's good to have and worth the extra expense.

Have them locate the big trees and other landscape features too.
Then when you plan your gardens and flower beds and all that... you're halfway there.
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Old 05-02-2011, 12:08 PM
4,919 posts, read 18,474,075 times
Reputation: 6144
In teeny tiny wording on a location survey it tells you that its not 100% correct that the lines drawn as the boundaries are the actual boundaries. Its based on documents and those documents could be wrong. If a dispute comes up between a boundary survey and a location drawing, the boundary survey is usually the correct one.

You can get away with a location drawing but remember that you are not getting a survey so if anything is wrong that's when the money for the boundary servey was worth the extra expense. You bank don;t care what survey you get and if it turns out on side boundary was 8 feet less, you still owe the bank the mortgage but your out that 8'.

Spend the money and get what protects YOU!
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:33 PM
Status: "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" (set 16 days ago)
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
30,232 posts, read 36,605,658 times
Reputation: 37438
We got a location survey when we bought for a couple reasons:
1) MD didn't require a boundary survey at the time (that's changed).
2) we would have gotten a boundary survey anyway, see above, but the survey pins were/are still in place and locatible.

As it was the location survey with a drawing of the house has the front steps inside the front porch. A funny mistake.

Get the boundary, may make your life easier. Having the ability to locate the pins kept the Town from putting a sidewalk through the front 3 feet of our yard.
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Old 05-02-2011, 04:33 PM
Location: Boise, ID
7,917 posts, read 21,426,555 times
Reputation: 8948
I agree. If you are going to be spending $350 anyway, spend the extra $150 and get the useful one.

We have managed two rental properties that have had boundary problems. We discovered one of them a few years ago when I was browsing the county assessor's maps, and discovered a parcel number between our rental and the neighbor that showed as being owned by the owner of our rental property, but had the neighbor's garage built on about 70% of it. Found out our guy had paid taxes on it for about 20 years, and had no idea that was what he was paying on. When the legal descriptions were done decades ago, all the measurements were done from the wrong pin, and 3 lots were completely messed up. It cost thousands to fix.

The other one is even more complicated and involves about 40 properties, and is still ongoing. It will cost in the tens of thousands between all the homeowners to get fixed.

So, spend the $500 now and catch any problems before they are yours to deal with.
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