Does Your Home Remodel Require a Land Survey? 

If you have thought about purchasing a new home but just can’t find something in the current market that meets your needs, you may consider renovating your existing home. This may leave you wondering, do I need a land survey for my home remodel project? If a land survey is not required, is there a benefit to having one done anyway?  

What is a land survey?

A land survey allows you to understand your property’s boundaries by locating, describing, and mapping the boundaries and corners of a parcel of land. A land survey also might include the topography of the parcel and the location of buildings and other improvements made to the property. 

When is a land survey required? 

As a property owner, you are able to have your property surveyed at any time but you will most likely hire a surveyor when you’re buying a home or constructing something. Land surveys aren’t always required in a real estate transaction, but even if not required they can be useful for a variety of reasons in helping to protect what is oftentimes your largest investment – your property.  

Land surveys play an important role in both residential and commercial real estate transactions, providing many important pieces of information needed for the closing including, but not limited to:

  • Confirming the correct property is being sold or mortgaged and insured
  • Confirming the dimensions of the property
  • Identifying easements of record such as for utilities and access;
  • Detailing encroachments that affect the property. 

Even if you are buying a property with no plans of construction in mind, you may want to have your land surveyed so you know exactly where your boundaries of ownership lie; you’ll know what’s yours, and what’s not. 

Do I Need a Land Survey for a Home Remodel Project? 

As long as your remodeling activities are within the confines of your existing home, you should not need a survey. So, even projects as dramatic as basement finishing, moving interior walls, full-scale kitchen or bath remodeling, etc. should not provoke the need for a land survey. Projects impacting the exterior of your home or the surrounding land, however, may require a land survey. 

There are different types of land surveys and the type of land survey you need will depend on what type of information you need about your property.  

Mortgage Location

A Mortgage Location is used to confirm that what is described in the property’s deed is what is actually transferring in real life as part of a real estate transaction. This product is solely for the use of lenders and title insurers.

A mortgage location shows the property lines per the legal description and any recorded easements, right of ways, etc., of which the surveyor is made aware and locates any and all improvements on the lot in relation to the property lines. A mortgage location is not intended for a homeowner looking to put up a fence, install a pool, or build a shed. 

Boundary Survey

Boundary Surveys are highly accurate calculations of your property lines that can be relied on for property construction and other property improvements on both residential and commercial properties. 

Are you planning on building a fence on one side? Maybe a new deck? If the work you are planning to do requires a permit, a boundary survey is the way to go. In addition to being necessary for permitting, a boundary survey also can help if you run into issues with your neighbors. Knowing exactly where your property lines are, and knowing your rights to build on your property, can extinguish any fires before they start.

Topographic Survey

Topographic Surveys include field measurement and preparation of a plat to establish land elevations. These surveys are typically contracted by a residential or commercial property owner before making improvements to the property such as, but not limited to, additions, landscaping, or parking lots.

Still unsure of whether your home remodeling project requires a land survey? That’s what we’re here for. With 50+ years of experience in surveying in all 88 counties of Ohio and surrounding counties, McSteen is a leader in the industry. Contact us or Get a Free Quote and let our team of survey professionals take on your surveying needs.

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