Land surveys and your property

As a home buyer in the Elgin Fox Valley area, you’ve probably already been pre-screened for your mortgage.  How about pre-screening your lot and property?  Few banks today require a land survey prior to purchasing a home, however, it is still an important element of the purchase process.  Finding out if there are encroachments on your property and or any issues with property boundary lines or corners are two major reasons to consider getting a survey done.  In addition, a land survey can identify local regulations that may affect future plans to divide a parcel and/or resale value.

What are land surveys?

Land surveys are topographic drawings of landscape features used for mapping.  A professional surveyor maps and verifies the boundary lines and property improvements for a specific parcel of land.  This can include the exact placement of such things as power lines, fence lines, streets, and the locations of existing structures on the property including homes, detached sheds and garages.

Who needs a land survey?

All builders are required to have surveys done and filed for each parcel and lot number that they build on.  Re-surveyed properties are not required for most banks, however, running a fresh survey can help reinstate the property lines as well as establish ownership should something have grown up or into a property over subsequent years.  Clients who have purchased homes with old growth trees or aged fences may be surprised to learn such things have simply encroached on their land, shifting boundary lines over time and flowing into the landscape.  It is always better to be prepared with more knowledge than finding out later you’re responsible for trees you thought weren’t on your property and the costs for fixing damages caused by it may find you unprepared.

Fees for surveys

There is a wide range of fees for a land survey, so be sure to call around.  Some are as low as $250, all the way up to $500.  An acre or more to survey will often cost more.  In addition, fees will cover the new survey documentation, as well as a professionally licensed person to come out to survey the land and record it.  Be sure to check for a fully credentialed pro who is insured and certified.  Some places like Angie’s List can offer a list of land surveyors who are pre-screened by fellow members.

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