What a Real Estate Survey Tells You About Your NJ Property

May 28, 2024

Surveys Uncover Important Details Related to Where the Property Begins and Ends, What it Includes, Possible Encroachments and Easements that Could Affect Your Future Plans.

What a Real Estate Survey Tells You About Your NJ Property A real estate survey is a complete map of a property deed, including the land and any easements and rights-of-way. It details everything on the property, including structures, fences, driveways, and walkways. In other words, it includes where property lines begin and end, among other details that make up the property.

How Real Estate Surveys Empower Buyers

A land surveyor using specialized equipment conducts a real estate survey to verify the property’s size, encroachments, and legality, such as zoning law and code compliance regarding utility easements for power lines, poles, and pipes. Home buyers typically need a survey to secure a loan so that the seller may provide a property survey.

However, a land survey may also help resolve boundary disputes with neighbors or inform projects on a property, such as backyard ponds or patios. A homeowner may want to build a shed or fence that may infringe on the neighbor’s property or a structure with setback requirements (a mandatory distance a structure must be from boundary lines or other structures), so knowing the exact boundary lines is essential.

How Real Estate Surveys Help Avoid Future Problems

The homeowner also wants to know what lies beneath the soil supporting a garden or patio and whether groundwater levels rise during heavy rainfall. More importantly, a landowner wants to see if they own the land below the surface rather than some other individual or entity who may have mineral rights below the property. So, a land survey allows a buyer to plan and avoid future lawsuits, violations, or property damage.

How Land Surveys Prevent Renovation Headaches

A land survey can also ensure a homeowner complies with zoning laws or does not violate such laws when renovating the property. For example, a homeowner may want to build a tiny home or additional unit in their yard, but zoning laws forbid it. Zoning may restrict how many stories high a building may have on a specific property. Zoning allowance is information better known before starting construction, making plans, or even purchasing a property. Likewise, running a small home business may not be appropriate in certain zones, depending on the business and property location.

Additionally, knowing what is underground or the position of trees in relation to powerlines is essential for planning pool construction or gardens and how high trees can grow before one must prune them back from hitting power lines. Under or overground easements and zoning laws also establish good title for sale purposes.

How Title Companies Use Real Estate Surveys

A title company relies on a land survey for title insurance because a survey includes the property’s measurements in metes and bounds as described in a deed. A purchaser can verify with a survey how much property they are buying and what they can do with the property, for example, whether restrictions apply to any part of the property.

Surveys Expose Easements and Encroachments Before You Buy

One such restriction is an easement that allows utility companies to come onto the property to maintain utility facilities, fixtures, and structures. Another type of easement allows vehicles or pedestrians to pass on some part of the land. An easement means the property owner does not have unfettered use of a portion of their property.

Encroachments, too, appear in a land survey. A property purchaser wants to know if someone else’s fence or driveway is on their property or if a planned property improvement will extend over the property line onto a neighbor’s property. A survey can help avoid or alert a buyer of future neighbor disputes over fences, overhanging tree branches, or ownership rights that affect the property value.

Land Surveys Inform Smart Real Estate Decisions

Land Surveys Guide Smart Real Estate Decisions with Help from our Belmar LawyersFinally, a lender may want a land survey to obtain title insurance to cover boundary disputes, zoning, and code compliance for the property’s use. A land survey may show slight variances from the legal description, which the title insurance may not cover in future issues. However, when a lender does not require a land survey or the buyer is not financing the property purchase, a land survey is optional, and a buyer may opt-out.

Whether that is a sound decision should be a discussion between a buyer and their attorney. If you are purchasing property, a real estate lawyer can help you decide to get a land survey by knowing what you intend to do with the property and your general wishes. When you do not know what you will build on the property in the future, an attorney’s review of the land survey can help you understand what you can and cannot do with the property and future issues that may arise.

Additionally, knowing the zoning laws affecting your property can help you anticipate future property devaluation and development that may impact your peaceful enjoyment of your home or business.  A land survey is valuable for current problems you may need to know that affect your use of the property, as well as future issues you may have with your property. In some cases, a land survey gives you the necessary insight to ensure that the seller cures any defects in the property regarding title or land use or that the seller reduces the property purchase price commensurate with the diminished value regarding defects.

Talk to our Real Estate Attorneys about Your Surveys in Monmouth County, NJ

When you plan to purchase property in Freehold, Middletown, Lavallette, Asbury Park, Monmouth Beach, Long Branch, Highlands, Red Bank, and other Ocean County and Monmouth County areas, you can be better prepared with the advice and advocacy of a real estate lawyer at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh who can help you complete the transaction.

Call our West Long Branch office to speak with a real estate attorney on our team to represent and advise you about such a significant purchasing decision. Contact us online or by calling (732) 440- 3950 to learn more.

Categorised in: Real Estate Law