I recently posted a vlog about Surveys. Here is why you need to know what they are and why they are important. (I also am constantly running into situations where the seller does not have one at all or has one over ten years old).
A survey of a property usually describes the property
A survey maps out all of the borders, structures including landscaping, fences, helps to define value, shows right of way, easements, encroachments, and shared driveways amongst a lot of other information. The Survey will also show the section, block and lot to match the Deed of the home. It shows adjacent properties and defines streets surrounding the home. The cost can be anywhere from $600 and up based on individual property and several parameters.
Surveys are not necessarily required by a lot of banks when purchasing a property.
You also want to check with your title company because they may not give you insurance on the property itself if a new survey is required and you choose not to get one.
As an example, let’s say you don’t get a new survey and didn’t close with one at all. A neighbor then puts a concrete path down the side of their property but actually it is on your property and someone falls on it, you may get personally sued. This can be prevented if you knew where your property line was prior to the construction. The bottom line is you are most likely spending a few hundred thousand dollars for your home and a survey is well worth the cost to prevent the long term aggravation and possible financial crush of a lawsuit by not having your property insured. If you are going to order one it is better to do this in the beginning of the transaction. A survey could take one -two weeks to be ordered and done. Then it needs to be recorded and go to the title company and lender to be confirmed prior to closing.
I always feel it is better to be safe than sorry and of course understand the ramifications of not getting one. Your agent should explain to you your potential out of pocket costs prior to closing and this is one of them! If there is no survey at all it is important to make sure you have prior to closing.