Before closing on a piece of land, it’s important to check the land survey report. In this article, we will take you through how to find land survey records.
How do you find land survey report? Where can you find land survey records? Is it hard to find a land survey report?
To find land survey records, you should check the land’s title company, the local tax assessor’s office, the local engineering department, as well as the local land’s surveyor’s office. If you can’t find any survey report or the current one is outdated, then you should commission a fresh one.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how to find land survey records. So, if you are looking to purchase a piece of land and you want to check the survey report, then all the answers you are looking for are right here.
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When it comes to buying land, there are some processes that you should undertake before placing your offer and taking ownership of that land. And one of those processes is checking the land’s survey report.
Usually, land surveys are undertaken to confirm or determine land boundaries. Such surveys may also help to determine whether there are any conditions or restrictions placed on the land, such as encroachments or easements.
So, where can you find such reports when you are about to purchase a piece of land? Well, this post has the answers.
About Land Survey
So, what exactly is a land survey? A land survey is simply determining the extent of the land you are purchasing. For instance, if you are looking to fence a piece of land after buying it, you will need to determine where your piece of land begins and ends. And, a land survey will provide you with such details, if one has already been undertaken for that land.
Besides helping to determine the extent of your land, some lenders may also require you to conduct a land survey, if one hasn’t been undertaken yet. You may also be allowed to use an existing survey, if it isn’t outdated. Such a survey will help the lender with the valuation of the land and to its legal status.
Importance of a Land Survey
A land survey is important for several reasons. As mentioned earlier, it will indicate the actual boundaries of a piece of property. So, you don’t have to guess where your property begins or ends, since you will have a document that provides actual and clear details.
Besides helping to determine property lines, land surveys may also be needed by lenders for title insurance purposes. Most lenders will request a survey report for a piece of land, to determine whether there are any encroachments on it prior to closing.
Furthermore, some contractors or municipalities may also require you to produce a survey report before certain permits may be pulled, if you intend to undertake a major development or renovation project on the piece of land.
As you can see, a land survey report will come in handy in several instances. So, if you are looking to buy land, you need to check the survey first. And if the existing survey is severely outdated, it will be highly advisable to hire someone to conduct a fresh one.
How to find Land Survey Records
It’s undoubtedly important to check a land survey report before signing the closing paperwork. But, where can you find such records? Or can you find land survey records? Well, there are several ways to go about this.
First, if you are purchasing a piece of land, you should request the seller to check with the title company to determine if there’s a survey report on file. Also, such a report may be available at the local tax assessor’s office.
If such a report is already there, you should check its date. A survey report is only reliable if it’s current. So, if some recent developments have taken place around the piece of land, it will be highly advisable to commission a fresh one, since the old one may prove to be extremely unreliable.
Also, if the piece of land that you are eyeing has already been developed, either partially or fully, then the local engineering department may already have one on file. Also, the area’s local property records may also have such a report. You simply need to go there in person and request to see the report. And, the people working there will be more than willing to issue you with a copy.
The local physical planning department may also have a copy of the survey report, if the land that you want to buy has some developments. You can also check the local land’s survey office for a land survey report. However, it’s highly likely that the report you will find in the physical planning department or lands survey office will be outdated. And in such a situation, you should also consider undertaking a new one.
Cost of a Land Survey
If a survey has been taken on a particular piece of land, then you can find the report in any of the places that we’ve mentioned above. However, if you simply can’t find any or the available one is too outdated, then you will have no option but to commission a fresh one. So, how much will it cost you to undertake a land survey?
Well, the cost of the survey will depend on various factors such as the size of the land, its location as well as history. But in general, a basic land survey will cost you around $100 to $600. However, you can expect to pay the surveyor more if that piece of land has complex features, which are complicating the process.
Hiring a Land Surveyor
Having determined that you will need to conduct a survey on a particular piece of land, the next step is to hire a land surveyor. Fortunately, hiring a land survey is not a complicated process.
You simply need to conduct an online search for land surveyors in that area. Every state in the country has a surveying society. And, each of these societies has an active website. And on this website, you can see all the registered surveyors in that state. From there, you can compile a list of potential land surveyors that you may want to work with.
After compiling a list of 10 or so land surveyors, you should then proceed to conduct a basic interview, to help you determine their expertise and experience. And from there, you can select the survey who aligns best with your needs and requirements.
After hiring a surveyor, the survey process will take approximately a week or so. However, the actual duration will depend on various factors such as the availability and quality of property records as well as the land’s topography.
Wrapping It Up
Whether you are closing in on a piece of land or you are planning to undertake some developments on a piece of land that you already own, it’s important to determine its precise boundaries. And, a survey report will provide you with this information. You simply need to check with any of the places we’ve mentioned here and you should find one. In case you can’t find one or the existing one is outdated, you can hire a surveyor to conduct a fresh one.
About THE AUTHOR
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.Read More About Brittany Melling