Do I Need A Survey When Buying Raw Land? | askBAMLand

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Do you really need a survey when buying raw land? Let’s explore the role of land surveys in your buying decision with strategies for savvy raw land purchase.

Yes, getting a land survey when buying raw land is highly advisable. A land surveyor can delineate the precise boundaries of your soon-to-be property. They reveal any potential discrepancies that could lead to legal disputes or building complications down the line.

Having worked alongside many buyers and sellers in the real estate industry, I've garnered a wealth of knowledge on the importance of accurate land surveys. My experiences have shown that investing in a land survey early in the purchasing process can preempt issues that might otherwise go undetected. As such, I’ll help you make an informed decision backed by a professional land survey for successful land ownership.

Key Takeaways

  • A land survey defines property boundaries and helps prevent boundary disputes.
  • A survey is essential for planning site improvements and obtaining necessary permits.
  • It supports title insurance and mortgage requirements, protecting your investment.
  • Land surveys facilitate construction and land development, optimizing land use.
  • Innovative technologies are revolutionizing the way surveys are conducted.

Table of Contents

Do I Need A Survey When Buying Raw Land?

When I consider purchasing raw land, questions about property lines and the exact amount of land I'm buying inevitably come to mind. A land survey might seem like an additional step, but it goes a long way in clarifying these details.

So, yes, I need a survey when purchasing land. A survey ensures that you know the legal boundaries and helps prevent disputes with neighbors or issues with public records. Whether you’re dealing with small plots or large acreage, knowing exactly where your land starts and ends is crucial.

Not only does it help with determining boundary lines, but it also identifies if there are any easements or other restrictions on the land. For development purposes, a land survey can guide site planning.

Now, let's explore the compelling reasons why a land survey cannot and should not be overlooked.

Defining Property Lines

A land survey is the cornerstone of determining your property boundaries with precision. This is essential to avoid potential conflicts and disputes with neighboring property owners.

Boundary disputes with neighboring property owners can be costly and time-consuming legal battles.

Conducting a recent land survey helps prevent such disputes by providing clear evidence of property lines and land use. This can save you from headaches, legal fees, and the strain of litigation.

Identifying Legal Boundaries

Legal boundaries are not always self-evident from a visual inspection of the land. A land survey provides an official, legally recognized description of your property's boundaries.

This legal description is crucial for property ownership, ensuring that you have a legally defensible claim to the land.

Planning Site Improvements

If you have any plans for site improvements like adding structures, erecting fences, or building a pool, a land survey is invaluable. It helps in creating a site plan survey, which is often required to obtain the necessary building permits.

The survey ensures that your planned improvements are within the property's boundaries and comply with local regulations.

Fulfilling Title Insurance Requirements

Title insurance companies often require a current boundary or mortgage survey as part of their underwriting process. This survey details boundary lines, easements, and existing structures, ensuring that the title insurance policy accurately reflects the property's status and potential risks.

Supporting Mortgage Survey Demands

Lenders may insist on a current survey to protect their investment when providing a mortgage. The mortgage survey verifies that the land matches the legal description and reveals any potential issues or encumbrances that could affect the lender's interest.

Providing a Base for Construction

Before commencing any construction, it's crucial to have a construction survey. This survey establishes firm reference points and markers that align with your proposed building plans.

It ensures that your construction aligns with the property's physical dimensions and legal boundaries.

Evaluating Land Features

A topographic survey goes beyond property boundaries and identifies natural and man-made features of the land. This includes elevation changes, drainage patterns, and potential obstacles.

This information helps confirm if the land is suitable for your intended use or if it presents any unique challenges.

Clarifying Subdivision Layout

If you're buying land within a subdivision, a subdivision survey is typically necessary. It confirms lot lines, delineates public and communal spaces, and outlines the layout of essential infrastructure.

This survey ensures that you know the boundaries and communal amenities associated with your property. Watch this video for a more detailed explanation of the importance of land survey when buying raw land.

Types of Land Surveys

When I ventured into the process of acquiring raw land, I quickly realized that different types of land surveys exist, each serving a unique purpose.

From establishing legal boundaries to planning construction efforts, these surveys are crucial tools in land development and ownership.

The following table shows some of the essential ones that could be your roadmap to confidently navigating the terrain of land ownership.

Type of Survey Description Primary Use
Boundary Survey Determines the exact boundaries of a property. Identifying property lines and corners.
Topographic Survey Maps the natural and artificial features of the land. Planning developments and designs.
Construction Survey Helps in laying out structures according to design plans. Guiding construction site tasks.
Location Survey Similar to a boundary survey but includes the location of interior improvements. Real estate transactions.
American Land Title Association(ALTA) Survey The detailed survey follows strict standards set by ALTA/NSPS. Comprehensive reports for lenders or buyers.
Site Planning Survey Combines boundary and topographic surveys for site design. Pre-construction design and permit approval.
Subdivision Survey Divide the property into smaller lots. Property development and division.
Topographical Survey Measures the elevation of points on a piece of land. Planning and design for various projects.

Each of these surveys plays a crucial part in ensuring a smooth transaction and development process for raw land. It's a vital step in due diligence that can give a solid foundation to your land ownership journey.

Cost of Land Survey

As you navigate the terrain of purchasing raw land, it's essential to understand the ins and outs of land surveys. Over the years, I've learned that property survey costs can significantly vary based on several factors.

These factors include:

  • Plot Size: Generally, larger acreage translates to a higher price due to the increased effort in surveying expansive areas. Conversely, smaller parcels may incur lesser surveying costs.
  • Terrain and Accessibility: The existence of hills, dense forestry, or water bodies on the land can add to the complexity of the survey, potentially ramping up costs.
  • Other Features: Additional features on the land, such as buildings or previous improvements, may require extra resources to survey, increasing the overall land survey cost.

Understanding these factors can help set your expectations before contacting professionals for their services.

When it comes to estimating expenses, transparency is key. I've seen estimates for land survey costs range between $376 to $745 for smaller plots, with many factors influencing the final fee.

Costs often surge for large acreage or when special assessments are needed. A comprehensive survey for a considerable tract could cost between $11,000 and $15,000.

Innovative Surveying Technologies on the Horizon

As I navigate the intricacies of land acquisition, I'm always on the lookout for new advancements that might make the process smoother. One area that's teeming with innovation is land surveying.

Emerging technologies in land surveying include the use of LiDAR, which is revolutionizing the way surveys are conducted. With LiDAR, surveyors can rapidly collect accurate topographical data even through dense vegetation.

Imagine a 3D map of the land, detailed down to the smallest bump on the surface, created in a fraction of the time traditional methods would take.

Another technology that caught my attention is the development of blockchain-based land registries. Blockchain can offer a level of transparency and security that traditional record-keeping simply can't match.

The potential for reducing fraud and disputes over land ownership is enormous, and it could transform the land registry into a system synonymous with trust and efficiency.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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