Purchasing a home or a property is probably the most important and most expensive investment that you will have in your lifetime. Because of this, we will always want that the property that we are about to buy does not have any problems with regard to its title and legalities. However, not all buyers are cautious when purchasing properties which cause them problems in the future. There have even been known situations in history when people were duped into purchasing worthless swamplands in Florida. Problems in purchasing properties can be avoided with the help of land surveyors.

What are Land Surveyors?

Land surveyors are licensed professionals that work with architects, contractors and engineers to create a precise description of the surface of the Earth. A licensed surveyor conducts various tasks such as identification surveys, boundary surveys, construction staking and topographic mapping in order to produce and accurate map of an area.  Land surveyors will inspect your land and take note of all the improvements and variations against previous land surveys. If there are not previous land surveys available, a licensed surveyor will take measurements on all the infrastructures that are currently installed on the land and compare them with the corresponding land documents that are filed with the government’s land agency. If there are inconsistencies in the boundary line, land surveyors will look for the reason behind them and will indicate it in the new survey.

What are Identification Surveys?

An identification survey is a thorough inspection of a parcel of land done by a reputable surveyor. During an identification survey, the surveyor will ascertain the territorial boundaries of property and determine any improvements done to it. Land surveyors will inspect the land boundaries and improvements and compare it with the original legal documents pertaining to the said property to determine if there are any inconsistencies. Possible reasons for having inconsistencies during an identification survey is that either the neighbouring territories are encroaching on the property or the property being surveyed has encroached upon the neighbouring lots. If inconsistencies occur, the land surveyors will be responsible in correcting them.

Why are identification surveys important?

In every land purchase deals, there are basically three players that are involved namely: the property vendor, the purchaser and the mortgage company. A current identification survey will affect the outcome of any property deal. An identification survey will show the purchaser that the property that is described in the sale contract is indeed the right one. If the purchaser plans to buy the property through a mortgage, an identification survey will assure the mortgage company of its authenticity.

An identification survey of the property being sold will also show the purchaser that the property has complied with all the necessary government standards and requirements such as payment for real property taxes. This will prevent the purchaser from being surprised with a land purchase with delinquent tax payments to the government. The survey will also determine if the improvements that have been done to the property adhere to government rules. For example, if the property has added a back wall, did the construction pass the standards? If not, then the purchaser can ask the vendor of the property to rectify the problem first before the purchase.

Another importance of a current identification survey is that it shows any encroachments that have been made against or for the property being sold. Property line encroachments are serious concerns and can cause grave property disputes. If a building or any infrastructure has encroached upon the property, an identification survey can aid you in winning a legal claim to have the encroachment addressed.

Mortgage companies will want security on any property that they will get as collateral. If you wish to seek financial help in purchasing a property, most mortgage companies will ask for a current identification survey and not rely on a survey affidavit. A current identification survey will give both the purchaser and the mortgage company piece of minds that the property title that they will purchase is clean and has no legal issues.

For the vendor, an identification survey is important because it discloses all the defects that the property may have. A vendor with his own identification survey from a reputable surveyor will give the impression that he is a good person to deal with. A purchaser may ask the vendor for a current identification survey to verify the land described in the Contract for sale. If the vendor refuses to sow a current identification survey, it may give the purchaser doubts that the land has hidden defects which can ultimately give the purchaser the right to rescind the contract.

When you plan to purchase property whether or not you are going to pay in cash or through a mortgage, a current identification survey will prevent you from making the mistake of purchasing worthless land or land that will give you lots of problems in the future.