The Importance of Land Surveys for New Build Buyers

No one gets excited about a property survey, but they’re vital for protecting buyers from possible legal and financial issues down the line.

A survey is a necessary tool for every potential homeowner. It’s a detailed map or diagram of a property that shows exactly where the boundaries are, the location of improvements such as buildings, points of access, and any easements or encumbrances that may affect the property. 

This critical document can help prevent disputes, ensure that buyers are aware of any encroachments or zoning restrictions, and provide necessary data for future construction or development projects.

Anyone who’s considering purchasing property should hire a professional and experienced surveying firm so they know exactly what they’re getting. This is especially critical for a new build. 

Many hopeful homeowners turn to their real estate team for advice and guidance on finding the right land surveyor, why one is needed, and what to do with the resulting data. Read on to discover more about this situation and how you can best help your clients navigate this process.  

Valuable Information

House hunters are stressed and under a lot of pressure, and they can be easily distracted by gourmet kitchens and custom baths. But the less glamorous aspects of buying a home are just as important when it comes to protecting a major investment. A land survey also satisfies certain requirements put forth by the lending institution and the title company.

While the builder’s agent will provide plenty of information, they’re always going to be on the side of the construction company. Prospective buyers need a knowledgeable broker with experience in new homes who will represent their interests through the complexities of this process and help them get the answers they need.

A land survey provides essential details about the property and confirms that the builder has built the home within the right boundaries, preventing any potential battles with neighbors over property lines. 

It also shows the owner exactly where the sewer system and utility service heads are located, where they can safely dig to install a pool or other in-ground features, and if they have any natural characteristics such as ponds, creeks, or landmarks. Additionally, it will identify any easements or restrictions that may impact the new owner’s ability to use or modify the property in the future.

Rights and Responsibilities

An easement grants a person or an entity the right to use someone else’s real estate for a specific purpose, without an ownership interest. There are three types of easements — appurtenant, gross, and prescriptive. Unavoidable situations like road or path access, utilities, and storm drainage are commonly occurring easements in most areas. 

One of the most common problems that arise without a land survey is encroachments. This occurs when a neighbor’s structure, fencing, or landscaping extends over someone’s property line. Without a survey, it can be challenging to determine exactly where the property line is, and resolving these disputes can be costly and time-consuming.

If a buyer plans to add a fence, a new driveway, or an additional outbuilding to the property, a survey ensures that they are within the correct boundaries and not encroaching on a neighbor’s property or easements.

A Fresh Start

There are pros and cons to buying a new home. It’s an amazing opportunity to enjoy a custom-designed haven for you and your family, equipped with the latest smart home and sustainability technology. 

To fully protect this major financial investment, it’s crucial to file an official land survey from a qualified and reputable expert. Look for a surveyor who is licensed, insured, and has experience working in your area. 

The Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association is an excellent way to find resources around the Chicagoland area, and the Wisconsin Society of Land Surveyors provides a handy list of certified survey technicians in that state. 
Dealing with new construction can be lucrative and rewarding, but it’s paramount that soon-to-be buyers take all of the necessary steps to protect their property from unscrupulous or careless builders, encroachments, possible defects, and any future hassles that might arise. If you’ve got questions about title insurance, we’ve got the answers you need to deliver a stellar client experience — reach out today!

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