The commonest mistake made by home buyers is not having a survey done prior to purchasing a property.
Why is this a mistake? Without an ALTA (American Land Title Association) survey you have no recourse if at a later date it is found that your fences encroach on a neighbour’s land or that there are rights to easement by one of the service companies (this means that an electric, sewerage or water company has access rights to your property to carry out maintenance and repair). Consider the examples where a property owner has built a garage over part of the access rights and these service companies have then been known to remove the garage to carry out maintenance.
However most problems arise when improvements done to the property such as patios, pools, drives, garages and building extensions are either outside the building limits or encroach on a neighbour’s property. An ALTA Land Survey would DEFINE the dimensions of the lot and the POSITIONS of easements and building limits. Very importantly, they OUTLINE any improvements (garage, pool, patios, house, drive, etc.) and show whether they encroach upon a neighbour’s property, are outside building limits or create a barrier to access.
ALTA Survey— why doesn’t the Bank, Mortgage/Lender company request one?
Simply they insure themselves against any future problems that arise due to no survey being done prior to purchase.
So if the title insurance excludes protection against Survey matters (boundaries, access rights, building limits), who is responsible for these if a problem arises after you purchase the property? YOU!