Q&A: Why Surveys Are Important When Purchasing a New Home

Q:  Should I get a property survey before purchasing a home?

A.  A survey of your property marks the boundary lines of your little corner of the world. It also shows easements, utility pipes, fences, walls and other potential encroachments which may affect the property or the dwelling. A survey will also show whether driveways are located completely within the boundary lines of the property and whether the structures on the property encroach upon building lines or neighboring properties.

When you go under contract to buy a property in Georgia, your agent, closing attorney or lender may ask if you’d like a survey performed. This is usually a value-added service they provide, as most lenders no longer require a survey to be purchased as a part of the loan transaction. But, because lenders no longer require a survey, many purchasers do not think they need a survey.

The reason that lenders in Georgia no longer require surveys is due to the fact that the lender’s title insurance policy now insures most survey risks to the lender, therefore any problem a survey would have shown is covered in a lender’s policy. But hang on — this is not true of the owner’s title insurance: the enhanced owner’s policy does provide some survey coverage, but is subject to a deductible and a maximum loss limit of $25,000. With a survey, there are no limits on coverage.

Often, a purchaser may think that a title exam will reveal any problems, and that the survey is just redundant. This is not true. A title exam may show the existence of a sewer easement, but it will not show that the easement runs directly through the house. Also, title examinations do not reveal fences, walls, and improvements that might sit on or over the property line, or violations of building lines or encroachments onto neighboring property.

Bottom line, if you’re buying a property in Georgia, it’s always a good idea to request a survey be completed before you go to the closing table. Having a survey in hand before the property closes makes it easier for you to address any concerns about the property when it’s still the SELLER’S problem to solve, rather than after closing when the seller no longer has an interest in the property.

If you’d like more information on why it’s important to get a property survey as part of a real estate sales transaction, contact a Red Robin REALTORS® agent today by calling 404-564-2634 or by emailing info@redrobingroup.com.

posted: May 13, 2017 | No Responses

Posted by:  Wakamo & Associates

Melissa Wakamo and her dynamic team of agents and support staff provide buyer and seller clients with exceptional service and proven results. Since the start of her real estate career in 2004, Melissa has proven to be a true advocate for her clients and has consistently performed in the top 1% of agents

“When I started my real estate career, I wanted to work in my local community and get to know my neighbors. Now, I realize how important that local expertise is to our clients. At Red Robin REALTORS®, all of our agents are specialists in working with buyers and sellers in Atlanta’s intown neighborhoods.”

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