Why is it Important to get a Land Survey before Purchasing Real Property?

Why is it Important to get a Land Survey before Purchasing Real Property?

Purchasing real property is a big investment. One way to avoid getting in over your head is to get a land survey. A land survey is used to determine the exact boundaries, monuments, and dimensions for a parcel of land. It can also tell you whether features on the real property, such as trees, fences, and driveways are actually part of the property.

Land surveys can also be a useful tool to:

1. Determine the exact boundary lines on the real property;

2. Discover unknown encroachments;

3. Locate easements on the property;

4. Locate utilities on the property;

5. Avoid boundary line disputes with neighbors; and

6. Make improvements to the property.

The Professional Land Surveyors’ Act governs the practice of land surveying. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8700. A licensed land surveyor or registered civil engineer may practice land surveying and prepare maps, plats, reports, descriptions, or other documentary evidence in connection with that practice. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8761.

Persons who are legally authorized to practice land surveying have the right to enter real property to investigate and utilize boundary evidence and to perform surveys. This right is not contingent on prior notice to the owner or tenant; however, the owner or tenant must be notified of the proposed time of entry where it is practicable. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8774(a). This does not apply to monuments within access-controlled portions of freeways. Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 8774(b). On the other hand, it is the responsibility of the owner or tenant who owns or controls property to provide reasonable access without undue delay to the land surveyor.

A land surveyor may layout the exact dimensions for a parcel of land by using the real property’s deed’s legal description.  The legal description typically contains the betes and mounds by which the exact property boundaries can be measured. If you ask, many surveyors will places the physical improvements (things like the house or fences) on the actual survey so that you can know if everything is built within the legal description of the property.  Moreover, surveyors can stake or place flags on the property to physically mark the property boundaries on the land.  This can be useful for neighbor disputes or when making changes to the property.

At Schorr Law, we are experienced in handling property line disputes and providing counsel on matters involving real property sales, purchases, and leases. We have utilized surveyors as experts, taken their depositions and use surveying experts at trial numerous times.  To see if you qualify for a free 30-minute consultation regarding your matter, please contact us by phone, email, or send us a message through our contact form.

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