When you buy a new home in Florida, you will likely conduct research or contact a real estate agent. You may need to tour properties and find a mortgage lender. Often, it’s important to get a survey of the property performed. If you have questions about surveys or other aspects of the real estate closing process, the experienced Ocala real estate attorneys of the Dean Law Firm may be able to help.What is a Survey?
A survey is also called a certified property boundary report. It specifies the particular traits of a parcel of land and any improvements on it. A licensed surveyor can perform the survey by visiting the property you are buying and recording information about it. Generally, surveys aren’t based on on the records at the county office, though these may inform the work of generating a final document.
As a buyer, you should be able to review a survey to find descriptions of the boundary lines for the property. The survey should also tell you the location of any improvements on the land, and how far a particular improvement is from a boundary line. Other property characteristics that are noted on surveys include where the utilities are, encroachments on the boundary line, and access paths for easements.
Everything located on top of or within the land should be spelled out on the survey. The surveyor also looks at whether improvements are in line with applicable federal or state laws and other restrictions like city ordinances or county codes. For example, does the improvement meet any federal environmental agency restrictions? Other issues to look at are parking restrictions, the height of the home, and frontage mandates. If a surveyor determines that the location of an improvement violates an ordinance, code, law, or statute, it can put a buyer on notice that the property is in violation.
Importantly, surveys should reflect any right of way easements. Under Florida Statutes section 704.01, a right of way easement is an implied grant of access on a land tract to someone else or another entity. A neighbor may have a right of way easement on land because there is a common source of water, for example. Or, the electric utility company may own a right of way. A dedicated real estate lawyer can answer any questions you have about right of way easements affecting a property you have an interest in.Purpose of Surveys
Often, surveys should be performed prior to a real estate closing. No matter how long someone has lived on the property, or how old and well-established the neighborhood of the property is, there may be boundary disputes that have gone unrecorded. Sometimes boundaries are somewhere other than the place the property owner has assumed. Without a survey, you could find yourself in the midst of a boundary dispute somewhere down the road. These are expensive to negotiate and settle or litigate.
You can use a certified survey to show in litigation that the legal description of your property as set forth in a sales contract and closing documents is accurate. So, for example, if your neighbor claims the property line is in a particular place and you need to build a fence in a place she claims is her property, and you need to obtain an injunction that allows you to build, you could submit the survey to the court. As a buyer, if there are inaccuracies regarding the property in any of the closing documents, a survey would allow you to object prior to closing.Retain a Seasoned Real Estate Attorney in Ocala
If you are concerned about buying a property and obtaining a survey of that property in Ocala, you can consult a knowledgeable real estate lawyer. Michael E. Dean and Timothy S. Dean of the Dean Law Firm have decades of collective experience representing clients. Call us at 352-387-8700 to set up a free consultation or contact us online.