Purchasers Beware: Why You Really Need a Property Survey

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While most of the world is out finding holiday presents, you may be preparing for a much more significant purchase.  Are you in the midst of buying your dream home?  There are many things you should know when it comes to entering into a real estate purchase agreement.   Before the transaction is entirely complete, you’ll want to make sure you’ve secured a property survey.

All things considered, this may be your first time buying real estate.  Understandably, you might even know what a property survey is, or its significance.  For starters, a property survey details where your property line starts and finishes.    You can immediately see why this would be important.

Your property survey will be an important document when it comes to the title of your new home.  It can actually save some headaches when it comes to documenting existing easements and encroachments.  In rare cases, a property survey may be the basis for breaking a real estate deal.

 Can You Rely on an Existing Property Survey?

In many cases, the seller may already have a property survey available for review.  However, the date of the survey is critical.  Like most homebuyers, you may plan on obtaining financing for your new home.  Therefore, it is important to realize that the mortgage company or bank will have some requirements.

Most mortgage lenders will allow a real estate closing to go through with an existing property survey.  However, the rule of thumb is that the survey must be less than ten years old.  Notwithstanding, even that timespan is long enough to miss some crucial details.

Many times an older property survey will fail to make reference to existing encroachments or easements.    In areas like Linden or Elizabeth, many of the lots are small.  For that reason alone, it is not inconceivable that your prospective new neighbor has crossed onto your property line to plant some ugly bushes or even put up an unsightly storage structure.  This would be an example of encroachment.

Of course, the seller may share that he gave verbal permission for the new additions.  However, unless there is some indication of the encroachment on the property survey, you could be looking at trouble.  Therefore, the buyer should always consider ordering a new property survey to avoid property line disputes.

What the Property Survey Clarifies

Generally speaking, property surveys show more than boundary lines.  Throughout Union County, many homes share common driveways.  When developments were built in towns such as Clark and Rahway, the concept of sharing driveways was used as an ordinary means of saving space.   Obviously, this is something you will want to be documented.  Again, you need to know your rights and obligations as it comes to your prospective home ownership.

Meanwhile, the property survey documents easements on your property.  Does another homeowner need to cross over your property line to get to theirs?  Additionally, you might be surprised to learn that there is an easement that allowed your neighbor to build a fence on your side of the boundary line.

The bottom line is that a property survey can save you time and disputes with new neighbors.  Whether you are buying your new home for cash or financing it, you need a property survey.

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Lawrence M. Centanni has been handling real estate transactions for a number of years.   Give us a call to see how we assist you!

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