I am trying to get a copy of the last property survey done in my home.
Can anyone give me advice as to how I can do this? I got a copy of the
plat from the court house and I found out it's not what I need because
it contains the whole subdivision. I am the second owner and I can't
contact the previous owner since he moved out of state. When I bought
my home I don't believe there was a survey done. (I couldn't find a
copy of one in my closing documents from 12 years ago) Is there a
possibility that one doesn't exist? Or could it be possible that one
was done when the house was built back in 1981? Where would I find this
info? Please help! Mrs. Rose
If you took out a mortgage when you bought the house the bank would have
insisted on a new survey. Start with your mortgage holder and if they don't
have a copy, they can tell you where you can get a copy of yours.
That's a custom that varies greatly by state. I'm not aware of any
lender in Washington that requires a survey for home financing. Even
raw land can be financed without a new survey.
The last survey of my property was when the city was first platted,
just under 100 years ago. Neighboring properties have been surveyed
and those surveys left enough monuments and records to reliably
locate the property lines.
firstname.lastname@example.org is Joshua Putnam
Be careful -- just in our short street, several errors have been discovered
in recent surveys, done at different times for different owners, which
resulted in one homeowner (who built right up to the then-surveyed setback)
finding out after-the-fact that his house was actually 1 1/2 feet into the
setback. What this will do in the future for a resale is problematic. At
the least he'll have to try to get a variance approved -- Regards --
We have the advantage that our house was here *before* the city was
platted. The town has grown up around it, many other surveys have
been done near it, but it has not needed a survey of its own since
the original plat.
For an owner who inadvertently built too close to the property line,
if the construction was properly permitted and approved at the time,
it should be a legal nonconforming use, not requiring any variance to
continue. Any *additional* nonconformance would be a different
issue, but at least around here, he wouldn't have any trouble selling
if it was legal when he built it.
email@example.com is Joshua Putnam
The original subdivision survey is an important beginning. Any subsequent
survey of your individual property will rely upon that.
Start with the Town/City hall. Maps on file are typically kept in the
Town/City Clerk's office.
You bought property without seeing any survey, dumb. If you know the
previous owners name contact all the survey companys around to get a
copy if your land records office has none. Get your own survey done,
that is the way its done.
You have a mortgage right? Then there must be title insurance. Find
the title insurance documents and look through them. The title
insurance company and/or mortgage company would have required a survey.
Somewhere in that paperwork there should either be a copy of the
survey of the name of the company that did it. Also, check your old
checks from the closing period. You may have written a check to the
My mortgage cited a numbered plan on file with the Town. I believe the
bank had that checked but in any event, I was forced to purchase title
A few years ago, after the mortgage had been discharged, I decided to
see exactly where the corners of my lot are and paid for a survey.
Surprise -- I own about 10 more on the sides than the "obvious" lines
are and the back of my land goes back another 150' from what was
assumed. That gave me a nice pond at least from Fall through the
Spring. This year has been so wet that it is still full of water.
(Global warming, no doubt.)
m Ransley wrote:
In my area a survey ordered for a property transfer is usually paid for
by the seller, with a copy to the title company and the buyer, and the
surveyor will usually not release a copy to anyone after some set
period, here it's generally 5 or 10 years depending on company policy
As a survey is a snapshot of the conditions on the day the survey was
performed they have a point; improvements, and in some cases even the
land itself, may have changed since the survey, that's why building
departments generally require a current survey as part of the building
permit application for exterior modifications, putting up fences and
Paragon Home Inspection, LLC
Depending on the city and how the property is configured, the original
survey of the subdivision may have been sufficient for any lender or
previous buyer. It may be all there is. If so, if you want a more detailed
drawing, you need to hire your own survey.
If you just need a bigger drawing for say a site plan to get a building
permit, then you can likely do it yourself with AutoCAD or a good drawing
program. Be sure to include a note that the identifying marks were not
surveyed and reference the document that you took them from. In this case,
they mostly want to see the structures relative to the property lines and
setbacks and have the area of work to be clearly indicated.
In the case of my (Milpitas, CA) house, property lines are very obviously
deliniated by fences. A detailed survey would be a waste of money for me as
there is really no chance for error with these small regular sized lots (55'
My sidewalk has marks on the sidewalk which appears to be just like
they took a masonry saw/angle cutter and marked the lines with a two
inch cut. Eyeballing the thing seems like the mark runs down the
middle of the block wall....city life.
I just don't think I own a vertical half of three block walls. I'm
trying to determine who needs to fix some things (later topic) on a
"in my case" dosen't mean "in her case" too
I sure hope she recovered $15,000 worth of land or it was a waste of money
(defined as when you spend more than you recover). Around here property is
about $50 to $100 per SF depending on if you count the structure's value or
not (just taking my assessed value and dividing by the total SF). But when
you fued with your neighbor, those things are moot. Future gains in land
value will eventually mitigate that cost.
She won't get a refund unless the lawyer was negligent and she sues him too
for legal malpractice. Or unless the settlement included payment for said
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