"When Do I Need a Property Survey?"

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You should have a property surveyed anytime you buy real estate. Here are problems we have encountered because somebody failed to obtain a survey.

  • A seller of property adjacent to a right-of-way continued, after the closing, to be listed as the "owner" of a 33 foot strip of land within the right of way, and continued to receive tax bills for this useless strip of land.
  • A purchaser of property failed to acquire a triangle of land measuring 200 feet by 200 feet by 2 feet. The triangle ran through the middle of the property purchased.
  • A seller discovered, when selling property it had owned for 40 years, that it did not own 30 feet of its rear yard. The mortgage lender would not lend money to improve the property unless it received a clean title insurance policy.
  • The purchaser of a shopping center at a foreclosure sale discovered after the sale that the property did not include a 300 square feet landlocked trapezoid in the middle of its parking lot.
  • The seller discovered, when selling property it had owned for many years, that a 36 inch sanitary sewer force main ran beneath the buyer's planned building. The main, had it broken, could have produced sufficient sewage to fill Camp Randall up to the tenth row in a matter of three or four hours.

Good news: We resolved each of these situations to the client's satisfaction.

Bad news: The cost of hiring a lawyer to fix each problem was greater than the cost of obtaining a survey that would have enabled the client to avoid the problem in the first place.


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