Map of neighborhood property lines

What Is a Property Survey and Why Is It Important?

A property survey, often called a Plat of Survey, is a document created by a surveyor that shows the property lines and other details of a property you are planning to purchase.

Depending on the lender and how recently the last survey was done on the property, the lender may require a current survey as part of the loan process.

Why is it important for your lender to know the property lines of a home for which it intends to lend money? It’s often less about the property lines themselves than what’s on them.

One example is fences. If there is a fence that you believe to be on your neighbor’s side of the property line and it turns out to be on yours, there could be unforeseen costs for you down the road.

These include maintenance and possibly replacement. Keep in mind that you can’t go by any “agreement” the current owner has with the neighbor for this, based on the property lines they believe to be correct.

The same goes for trees, which need occasional trimming and may eventually need to be removed altogether.

In more extreme situations, there could be an object such as a permanent shed that sits on both sides of a property line.

These situations can get sticky, so it’s important to complete a current survey that clearly delineates property lines and establishes what is and is not on the property.

If the survey reveals encroachments or other property issues, real estate attorneys can help you sort through these issues.

They are invaluable to have in your corner during real estate purchases, especially when situations such as survey issues arise.

If you need a real estate attorney, I can recommend trusted professionals from my preferred provider list who can help guide you through this process.

Scroll to Top