Slide Show


Surveys . . . what they are and why they're important to the property owner.

+ What is a Survey?

A survey is a geographical description of the boundary of a particular piece of property. It gives the dimensions and acreage of the property being bought or sold and provides a tangible representation of the property.

What is a Survey?
+ Why Do You Need a Survey?

Surveys are done in order to produce a reliable, current description of the property in question. Many times a title company will request that a survey be completed because doubts about the legal description of the property may have arisen during search and examination of record-title. If you choose not to have the property surveyed you are demonstrating a willingness to assume any risk of problems that a current survey might disclose.

+ The Survey and Your Policy

On Schedule "B" of both Owner's and Loan Title Policies there is an exception known as the "area and boundaries" or "survey" exception. If not amended, this exception excluded from coverage any problems of boundary definition or determination, location of improvements on the subject lot, or location of improvements on adjoining property. Examples include lack of established corners, which result in discrepancies when corners are later re-established; conflicts between recorded descriptions of adjoining properties, which may result in boundary disputes; failure of the land description to cover all of the land bargained for at purchase; encroachment of the subject tract's improvements onto adjacent property; or protrusion of adjacent property's improvements onto the subject tract.

The "area and boundaries" exception in the policy reads "Any discrepancies, conflicts or shortages in area or boundary lines, or any encroachments or protrusions, or any overlapping of improvements." This exception can be amended to read "shortages in areas" if the title company is furnished with a complete and current survey (in plat/map form with field notes when appropriate), performed and properly certified by a surveyor acceptable to the title company.

For an Owner's Title Policy, the amendment is available only upon payment of a 15% additional premium,, calculated on the scheduled premium for policy amount.

For added emphasis, a reference to computed area in a policy will usually be qualified by the phrase "containing approximately" or "more or less."

+ Kinds of Surveys

Perimeter Survey — Shows only the established boundaries of a tract, usually unsubdivided, with no interior detail documented. Generally, this form of survey is not considered sufficient for an "area and boundaries" amendment.

Slab Survey — Done after the pouring of the slab, but prior to framing, in connection with new construction. Occasionally, a lender or owner will require such a survey in order to be assured that the completed improvements will be located entirely within the property's boundaries and without intrusion into easements or across building setback lines.

As-built Survey — Done after new construction has been completed and shows location of all features related to the new improvements.

Blue-line Survey — Defines a survey plat in hardcopy form, which is characterized by a blue-ink depiction of the property and its details, as opposed to a photocopy. Lenders and purchaser's counsel occasionally require this type of survey because it is readily identifiable as the surveyor's original work.

Survey Plat
+ Survey Terminology

Access — A legal right that connects land to a public road or street, such as abuttal, license or easement.

Easement — A right created by grant, reservation, agreement, prescription, or necessary implication, which one has in the land of another.

Encroachment — The building of a structure or any improvements partly or entirely intruding upon the land of another.

Improvements — Generally buildings, but may include ay permanent structure or other physical enhancement.

Guardian Title Company, Inc.
508 8th Street
Blanco, TX 78606
PHONE: 830-833-5007
FAX: 830-833-4383

205 Nugent Street
Johnson City, TX 78636
PHONE: 830-868-0972
FAX: 830-868-0978

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