A survey is typically performed to locate the boundary corners of a piece of property to show the owner the extent of their property. Besides boundary lines, a survey will define any overlaps, gaps, or gores, any rights-of-way, easements, or abandoned roads, encroachments, overhangs, or projections, cemeteries, access, ingress, and egress.
A survey will always be required when obtaining financing unless the property is a Condominium (then the survey is included in the Declaration of Condominium and is recorded in the Public Records). Townhomes are not considered condominiums, even though they are attached. Surveys are required for townhomes. Surveys can cost anywhere from $400-$1500, so it is great when a survey is existing and it can be used for the home buying process. There are many factors that affect the eligibility for the acceptance of an existing survey.
** Title insurance companies cannot accept a survey is the surveying company is no longer in existence **
- If there have been any improvements on the property, a new survey must be produced.
- If no improvements have been made on the property, both the seller and buyer must sign an affidavit stating that no changes have been made to the property since the time of the survey.
- The preferred time limit on an existing survey is 3-4 years, but exceptions can always be made
- If platted land (lot and block legal description), and purchase price is <$500,000.00 and the existing survey is certified to someone in the chain of title, an existing survey will be acceptable.
- If metes & bounds legal, a new survey will typically need to be produced if existing is over 4 years old.