What Should Come First: the Survey or the House?

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In a story showcased by the January 2015 edition of the CALS Newsletter (Connecticut Association of Land Surveyors), one couple learned the hard way why it can be important to have a property surveyed before closing the deal on a house.

They had just closed on their dream house with the intention of building a swimming pool in the backyard. Plans were submitted, and the city promptly denied their application to build. Why?

According to the town, they only owned half the backyard their plans depicted they owned. What they had assumed was their land based on the suggested property line was, in actuality, owned by their neighbors.

So how can a property survey prevent this?

  1. A property survey will first and foremost depict the existing property line.
  2. It will also show the relationship of your property to your neighbor’s property.
  3. It will describe any discrepancies between the occupation of land and the actual property line called for in the deed.
  4. It will indicate the location of all physical improvements relative to the property line.
  5. A property survey is the only reliable way to obtain and confirm basic information about your property.

Though the cost of a property survey can seem high, relative to the investment of a new home or parcel of land, it can be penny-wise and pound-foolish to not know exactly where your boundaries are and how much you actually own. 

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