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Why is the Survey an important document?

Besides helping you visualize exactly what the property looks like and contains, your Survey gives you a type of protection. In addition to highlighting any encroachments, the Survey will help to identify any other irregularities that may result in legal disputes sometime in the future. The surveyor assumes full professional responsibility for the accuracy of the Survey and therefore may serve as an expert witness in court. The new Survey enhances your Title Insurance Policy.

What are some of the items and issues a Survey may reveal?

  1. The survey will show all existing structures, driveways, walks, walls, fences hedge row, etc., and their relationship to the property line.
  2. The survey will show recorded easements or right of way which may entitle other people to use part of your property.
  3. The Survey will show whether your property is accurately described in your deed.
  4. The Survey will show any encroachments either from your property onto your neighbor or from your neighbor onto your property.

Why obtain a new Survey when there may be an old Survey available?

The use of an old survey is not recommended since the survey probably does not reflect current existing conditions. The old survey being used may not be the latest version of the survey. The survey may have been revised to reflect some change or correct some error. Finally, the survey will not be certified to you since certifications run only to the person for whom the survey was prepared.

What is a Certificate of Occupancy Survey ?

A certificate of occupancy survey or as-built survey is used and generally required by municipalities to show a completed construction project. It may vary from a survey of a new house to a survey of an existing house with a new addition. The c.o. survey must show as built conditions in relation to the proposed plans as approved. Although a c.o. survey may include sufficient information allowing it to be used as and for a title survey, a title survey probably will not include sufficient information to serve as a c.o. survey. An extension added to an existing house would be an example of this.

What is an Architectural or Topographical Survey ?

An architectural or topographical survey, which are similar but will be quoted separately, will show all pertinent physical features required to design subdivisions, roads, sanitary and drainage systems, buildings, etc. This type of survey will typically denote existing conditions; such as, signs, poles, and underground utilities.

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