A property survey is a very important document in a real estate transaction. What is a property survey, though? What do you need to know about them?

When a mortgage company finances the property in question of a real estate transaction, they’ll require a property survey. This survey shows several key things. Most importantly, it shows where the house will sit on that property. It also shows the legal description of the property— which is important for recording ownership—and where the exact property lines are and where the fences are. If the property doesn’t have a fence and you’re thinking of putting one in, that will show the fence contractors where to put it on the property line.

The property survey will also note the locations of any pools, outbuildings, or driveways, and where those are in reference to any legal setbacks. Legal setbacks are the dimensions that the city or county requires you not to encroach upon when building your house. There is no set amount of space in this regard, but if you’re thinking about building a swimming pool in the backyard, you don’t want to build it within the utility easement.

“Property surveys show several important things.”

This information is important not only if you’re building a home, but if you’re buying an existing home as well. If your property is encroaching on your neighbor’s, for example, you need to know that up front so it can be remedied.

In the state of Texas, a property survey can be reused. A lot of people don’t recommend that, but our position is as long as it’s legible and the engineer’s stamp can be read, there’s no reason you can’t reuse it.

Reusing a survey, however, means that it may not show any changes that have been made in utility easements. This doesn’t happen very often, but it’s why some real estate companies require the prospective buyer to always get a new survey. That’s a decision you and your Realtor can make.

As always, it doesn’t cost a penny to talk, so if you have any more questions about property surveys, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.