When purchasing a new home, you’re not only purchasing the physical home, you’re also purchasing the land it resides on. Purchasing a home is a major investment, so it’s important you have a well-rounded understanding about everything that you’re buying. Land surveys are an important part of the home buying process and they are worth the cost. A land survey will give you a better understanding of your property from a legal standpoint and is typically required by mortgage lenders.
Here are 4 reasons that homebuyers need to conduct a land survey:
1. Map out the property line and property corners
When conducting a land survey the land surveyor will map out your property to establish a property line and property corners. This will give you a scientific representation of the property you are purchasing. It will allow you to have accurate specifications if you plan on adding any structures, like a fence, to your yard in the future. It will also help you resolve any property disputes with neighboring properties if a structure were to encroach on your property line.
2. Learn about zoning restrictions
When purchasing a property on a large piece of land, some home buyers view this as an investment opportunity. In certain circumstances families will purchase a home on a large plot of land with the intention to split the property line and build a second home for a family member or friend who is sharing the investment. However, you have to be careful, because some zoning restrictions and property requirements do not allow for land to be split in this way. That’s why it’s important that home buyers conduct a land survey before purchasing a home so that they know the legality around where their home is zoned.
3. Analyze the surrounding area
Your property value is determined by the surrounding area of your property just as much as it is the land you own. For example if you live in a neighborhood with large lots of land and adult vegetation your property will be appraised at a higher value than a home in a neighborhood which has houses very close to each other. Even if at the time of purchase your lot appears large and sight lines to nature or other views aren’t restricted, this could change over time as neighborhoods become more established. During a land survey you can get a better understanding of the area surrounding your home. This will allow you to understand what potential changes the future might hold and how they could affect the value of your home.
4. Protect current investment and recognize future investment opportunities
A final reason to get a land survey when buying a home is to understand what aspects of your property are contributing to the overall value of your home. When you buy a house with a fence on the property, a paved driveway and a shed in the backyard for example, those elements are calculated into the appraisal value of the home. When getting a survey of the land you will have a better understanding about how those property elements affect your current investment. It will also help you recognize future investment opportunities. For example if you purchase a home that does not yet have a paved driveway, you could pave it down the road to create value. Just like making improvements to the inside of your home to create value, this also goes for the exterior of the home.
When purchasing a home there are plenty of fees for added services that it can feel overwhelming. However conducting home inspections, land surveys and other important home analysis's could save you a ton of money in the long run. Conducting a land survey gives you legal information about your property so that it’s not a guessing game when you purchase a home.