Is A Survey Required For Title Insurance?

Title insurance does not necessarily require a survey, however, without a valid mortgage location, your title insurance may not cover any problems that would have been revealed by a survey.

When building a new home, a land survey, specifically a boundary survey rather than a mortgage location, can identify things such as a flood zone, property lines, encroachments from neighbors, lot dimensions, building setbacks, and property elevations. Keep in mind that the location of a fence or driveway or a row of trees cannot be relied upon to indicate accurate property boundaries. 

What is title insurance? 

Title insurance is an insurance policy that protects the owner of a property from financial losses due to defects in the title to the property. This can include issues such as undisclosed liens, disputed ownership, and other problems that could affect the owner’s ability to use and enjoy the property.

While a deed is evidence that you might own it, it is not definitive proof of your ownership of real property. In real estate, the property deed is a physical document that conveys the title to the new owner upon sale of the property. After the deed, a mortgage location or boundary surveyand the title insurance policy are the two most important documents in establishing and protecting ownership. 

Why do you need title insurance when buying property?

Title insurance allows you to confidently buy real property, or to obtain a loan to buy or develop real property, as it provides some assurance that one’s investment is not at risk. Lenders often require title insurance to ensure that the real property collateral is protected, as well as a land survey that can uncover unforeseen problems that could be detrimental to the integrity of a property’s title. 

Why is a survey required for title insurance?

A mortgage location is a detailed map or drawing of a property that shows its boundaries per a provided legal description, location of buildings and improvements, and other relevant features. It can be useful in identifying any encroachments or other land title concerns that may affect the property.

Land surveys play an important role in both residential and commercial real estate transactions, to both the parties involved in the transaction and the title company insuring the land. Surveys provide 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. 

A survey for property transfer really consists of two different questions (1) what is the property? and (2) where is the property located. The deed establishes ownership of the identified property, but it is the land survey that determines exactly where that property is located and, in essence, insures the property improvements.

Buying a house in Ohio is oftentimes your largest investment, and a mortgage location helps to protect that investment and provide you with peace of mind that both now, and down the road your property is protected. With 50+ years of experience in surveying in all 88 counties of Ohio, and now in surrounding counties in Indiana, McSteen is a leader in the industry. Contact us or order a survey and let our team of survey professionals take on your surveying needs.

More from McSteen

Interested in a Career at McSteen?

View Open Positions Learn More