One of the most stressful, but enjoyable moments in your life is when you purchase a house. Most would describe it as an experience like no other. Most would also agree that just going out and finding a plot or house you like and immediately buying it is ill advised. Since there are many things that could be wrong, getting a land survey before you purchase the land is the best bet.
Land surveys serve many purposes. The survey shows the boundary measurements of the land to make sure that the plot you think you are buying is actually what you are buying. The survey can tell you what lies on your property and what falls out of your property line. It also shows features of the property such as trees, buildings, fences, sidewalks, driveways, and the like.
A land surveyor can also be very helpful when purchasing a piece of real estate that you hope to eventually build on, as they are often familiar with zoning and building regulations. Further, if you plan to subdivide the land, a survey will provide the necessary measurements to determine whether that is possible for you to do. Essentially, the surveyor is able to take into consideration what your objective is with the land, and reach conclusions that will either make you want to go forward with the transaction or realize that you almost just entered into a very bad deal.
The most helpful pointer when it comes to land surveys is just to make sure you get one. Do not try to save a few dollars here! You do not want to rely on an old survey by the current landowner, as it may not describe recent changes to the land, or building or neighborhood.
Bottom line: Buying a home is a big purchase, and should be an educated one. If you cannot get a land survey before making a formal offer, at least have one done before the deal closes-that way you will not be stuck with a piece of property that you cannot do anything with! Peter Klose has represented countless real estate purchasers who purchase homes in Dutchess, Columbia, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, and Ulster counties.