When a survey is completed as a part of a real estate transaction, the surveyor references items shown in the title commitment for that particular purchase. There are several reasons why a title company many not allow you to use an existing survey drawing.
Here are some of the most common reasons why:
- The company who performed the survey is no longer in business. Most title companies will require that the company that performed the work is still in business. It gives the title company peace of mind that the product is still “good” and that any potential issues can be made to the surveying company who performed the work.
- The survey is “old”. Many title companies will allow you to use a survey that is up to 10 years old, but that varies. I know of title companies who say seven years, three years, and one who even says six months. The fear is that the information is out of date and no longer accurate.
- The property conditions have changed. If a new fence has been erected, a new patio added to the property, or a retaining wall has been installed, chances are it is not shown on the original survey. The title company cannot issue a current policy based on inaccurate information.
- A boundary survey was not performed. If a Surveyors Real Property Report was initially performed, most title companies will not allow a new buyer to use that product to obtain survey insurance coverage on a new policy. Remember, a SRPR is not a survey. Coverage will only be available if a boundary survey is performed.
The examiners and attorneys at the title company will advise you if you can use an existing survey or not for a home purchase. If you want to protect your investment, I would recommend having a new boundary survey performed at the time of purchase by a reputable licensed land surveyor.
Information provided should not be considered legal advice and all buyers, agents and title companies should consult their attorneys for legal advice.