Is It Really Your Property? - What Are Property Surveys? - On The House

Is It Really Your Property?

By on June 23, 2018

If you need to put in a fence and aren’t sure where your land ends due to a natural disaster, fire, or you haven’t had a fence before, a property survey is a great start!

What is a property survey?

A property survey is usually required by the settlement agent/attorney responsible for closing a property purchase transaction. The agent/attorney must have an accurate survey to issue a title policy which includes survey coverage. This protects the buyer and lender. A survey includes a legal description, property address, and locates all improvements, i.e. home, driveway, sidewalk, fence, and also shows easements for power or gas utilities, or any road access to an adjoining property.


How does a survey benefit me?

A property survey verifies the location and dimensions of all boundary lines, and identifies any potential encroachments, i.e. structures that extend over boundary lines onto a neighboring property. A survey includes other measurements also, like the distance between a dwelling and road. Surveys are often reviewed by contractors before making improvements to confirm setback or other code requirements.


How much does a survey cost?

Data from HomeAdvisor:

National Average $502

Typical Range $337 – $669

Low End $200

High End $1,000

A survey verifies acreage

It’s critical to have a survey done when buying a property. A seller may misrepresent boundary lines, intentionally or unintentionally. You may be told you’re buying 2 acres and a home. Without a survey to verify the exact property dimensions you can’t be certain the parcel is in fact 2 acres. It’s important to know all boundary line dimensions, and have all corners flagged or pinned for future reference.


A survey reveals flood zone data

A survey will reveal if a property is located in a Flood Hazard Area. If the property is in a Flood Hazard Area, order a Flood Elevation Certificate. This certificate will show the Base Flood Elevation and show the Base Floor Level of the home. If the floor is below the Base Flood Elevation determined by a Current FEMA Flood Map, you will need Flood Insurance. For more details visit:


How do you find a surveyor?

Surveyors can be found at the National Society of Professional Surveyors website Or you can find your state or regions association of surveyors at



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  2. Derek Dewitt

    June 25, 2018 at 9:01 am

    My wife and I are moving to a new home this summer, but we aren’t sure if we need a house survey or not. I like your point about how a property survey can help protect the buyer and lender. Knowing where our property lines are would be helpful for when we start working in the yard, so we’ll look into this more.

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