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Land Lessons: What You Can Learn From A Property Survey

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As a homeowner, it's essential that you know your property boundaries and any key features that exist on your land. You never know when there might be a question about the placement of a neighbor's fence – or your own, for that matter – and you might need to validate the property lines to ensure that there's no encroachment. Even if you had one done when you bought the house, it can be beneficial to have a land survey done every few years, just in case any questions arise about usage or waterway access on the property. Here are a few benefits of having land surveys conducted periodically.

Accurate Boundary Evaluation

The most common reason for most homeowners to request a land survey is to clearly mark the property's boundaries. If you're not certain of where your property ends, it's helpful to have an updated survey done to find out for sure. In fact, even if the property's been in the family for generations and your great-grandfather's family built the fence around the property, it's still in your best interest to have the survey done.

There's no other way to know for certain if the fence is in the right place or possibly encroaching on the neighbors. Your neighbors could seek legal enforcement to make you move the fence if they discover the error before you do, so it's in your best interest to be proactive.

Clarified Zoning Laws

Especially when you've owned a property for a long time, you might think that you're certain of your property's zoning. Sometimes, even the most subtle changes to a zoning law can happen without your knowledge. If you have a land survey done, the surveyor will evaluate the current zoning standards and let you know what is permissible at your property according to that zoning.

This is potentially an important piece of information. If your home was in a combined residential and commercial zone when you bought it, you may have decided to start a business out of the home. If the zoning has since changed to solely residential, you could face significant fines for doing business there. Staying on top of zoning changes is just another important benefit of land surveys.

Identified Easements and Right-of-Ways

If you own a house that's been in the family for a long time, there might be an easement or right-of-way that's been filed against the property that you never knew about. These types of things typically appear with your title information, but if nobody called attention to it, you might have overlooked it.

During an updated land survey, you'll find out if there's a legal right-of-way for your neighbor to cross your land in order to access an area of his or her property if it's inaccessible any other way. This is important to know, because inadvertently blocking his or her access to this section of your land could lead to a costly and serious legal battle.

Although land surveys have the mistaken reputation for being exclusive to new purchases and home construction, they're beneficial for every homeowner periodically. As you can see from the information here, there could be surprises lurking on your land that you need to know about. Talk to experts like Arizona Surveying and Mapping for more information.