Dallas Realtor Debbie Murray recommends new surveys when you buying a new home.
Years ago Debbie’s home buyers purchased a home on acreage. At her recommendation they purchased a new survey, and when they received it, to their surprise, and everyone’s surprise, the survey boundary lines did not match the original survey provided by the sellers to the home buyers. The next-door neighbors fence line was encroaching 5 feet onto the property that her buyers were purchasing. It turns out that many sellers who had sold their homes on the street had experienced the same issue, as the homes had been miss-surveyed when they were built. A real estate attorney prepared a boundary agreement for the buyers, sellers, and the homeowner’s next door that would pass on to future buyers of the two properties that basically said that the neighbors could not build any other structure (there was already a putting green and play fort) on this 5 feet of property. It also said that if the two structures were ever removed, that the fence line would be moved to the proper boundary line.
That same real estate attorney told Debbie a true story. A home buyer had purchased an expensive home that was located on a desirable creek lot in Dallas. The buyer did not purchase a new survey, and after closing demolished the current structure in order to build a new one. When the buyer went to the city of Dallas to get permits for building, they were denied a permit because the home was now in a floodplain. The home that had been torn down was a grandfathered home in the floodplain. That was a very expensive mistake to not get a new survey. Remember that flood plains may change through the years and affect surveys.
Lastly, regarding surveys. They must be legible in order to be used in a real estate transaction. Today it is common place for surveyors to put a copyright on their survey, so that their survey is not reused without compensation to the surveying company.