Why You SHOULD Have a Land Survey Completed Before Purchasing Land?

The importance of a land survey

Buying land, whether commercial or residential, is always a really expensive endeavor, regardless if prices have eased somewhat lately. That’s why selecting a lot which you like and making an agreement for it without performing a land survey within the area is likely to be the greatest mistake that one could make.

Here’s why it’s crucial that you have land surveying done first:

Land surveyors can evaluate if you’re actually getting what you’re likely to pay for. This simply means uncover whether the sidewalks, trees, driveways and even the bird bath is part of the property you’re gonna buy.

Land surveying would also check if the neighbors are encroaching into the property, which might then mean you’re going to have problems at some point with your neighbors.

Having a land surveyor doesn’t only mean they evaluate which you’re getting or otherwise not getting – land surveyors are the experts, and they can help with building regulations, wetland regulations, etc. Note that that these regulations can change anytime, but land surveyors should be updated on these regulations, or they’re going to refer you to a person who is.

Let’s suppose the existing landowner (the one selling the land) supply you with old land survey documents? You should still hire your very own land surveyor to determine if the boundary monuments continue to be in place.

Also, land surveying done quite a while back will possibly not show recent changes to the land. When the existing survey is older than about 10 years, you must get the most current survey. Technology and surveying standards are significantly better now and may provide you more confidence in the survey work.

Second, that survey was completed for that owner. He could have instructed the surveyor not to show specific factors on the drawing. At least have a land surveyor get out there and look at the parcel with this particular survey in hand.

We have witnessed numerous cases where a whole new land survey would save the customer thousands so don’t become a victim.

I’ve heard many individuals say having a land surveyor is nothing but unnecessary expense. I’ll show you what’s unnecessary: the worry brought on by paying thousands for something and finding yourself not getting what you were expecting. If you’re smart, you’d hire a licensed land surveyor prior to any land purchases.

For any questions about land survey and how it can help you, call us at (903) 525-6404 or send us a message by going here.

ALTA Land Title Survey: Its Value for Hotels and Motels

ALTA Land Title Survey

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

Hotels, unlike many other businesses, solely rely on a high turnover of clients to survive. There can be a lot of hotels in one place, so they have to compete hard with each other in order to get more clients.

In order to do this, hotels need to constantly upgrade and renovate their facilities in order to remain competitive. With a new structure and possible new technologies, a hotel or a motel business can entice more clients.

Whenever any renovations or additions are made to the structure of a hotel, this requires funding. Commercial lenders typically require an ALTA land title survey may completed on the property and premises.

What is an ALTA Land Title Survey?

This type of survey is completed based on the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements and Accuracy Standards for ALTA/ ACSM Land Title Surveys. The guidelines for performing this survey are regularly revised by a combination of Title industry and Surveying industry professionals. The newest document is the 2011 revision.

An ALTA title survey is a lot like a boundary or a lot survey except that it’s stricter in terms of the requirements placed on the land surveyor as he or she carries out the survey in both field and office.

One of the biggest problems when upgrading a hotel (or motel) or building a new one is meeting the number of parking spaces required by local zoning codes. These zoning codes change regularly. So much so that about anytime an upgrade is done, the requirements have probably increased.

Other planning and zoning ordinances are also important. Landscaping changes, signage requirements, maybe even the zoning itself has changed. If another use is proposed, say a hotel wants to add a restaurant or bar.

These are changes that would require lots of approvals by the zoning and planning boards of most cities. An ALTA land title survey can be used to identify these new or changed requirements.

Another item that has come up recently in a lot of areas is that flood zones have encroached on areas formerly not expected to flood. This is because of more detailed studies that have been done in the past.

Increased government spending has allowed these studies to be undertaken across the nation. It would be prudent for a commercial lender to question whether a hotel or motel is located within a special flood hazard area.

Knowing that the zoning and planning conditions, as well as other physical conditions change over time, the most prudent step for a commercial lender on a hotel or motel project, or any commercial project for that matter, is to have an ALTA Land Title Survey completed by a licensed professional land surveyor.

For more questions regarding ALTA Land Title Survey, give us a call at (903) 525-6404 or send us a message by clicking here.

Subdividing Land: How to Subdivide Your Property

At some point, you might decide to subdivide your property. This usually happens when you decide to divide it among family members as a part of your will, or when you want to sell off a part of your property.

So, how do you go about subdividing land?

The first and most crucial step is to make sure that you are allowed to subdivide your land. For example, if your lot is located in an existing subdivision you may be limited to what you can do by the subdivision covenants and restrictions.

If you are in or near the city limits of a municipality then you may be restricted to what you can do by that cities subdivision regulation. Even if the city doesn’t regulate the subdivision of land, the county may. So, in my opinion, the first call should be to a land surveyor who will be familiar with the local subdivision regulations and what you can and can’t do.

subdividing landIf subdividing land is permitted, the next step will probably be to have the land surveyed. If you want to divide the land into several parcels of land, you’d have to work with a surveyor to do the measurements as well as stake out the individual lots.

The surveyor will be able to determine the lot size, whether you need to build a street for access, what easements will affect the lots, and other important matters. If the land is not accessible to a common sewer system then the surveyor will also need to conduct soil and percolation testing to determine if the land is suitable for an on-site sewage system.

Once you and your surveyor are done working out a plan of development showing the entire property subdivided into lots, it’s time to plat the property. Again, depending on the local regulations, this may involve meetings with the City or County officials or commissions and possibly the local health department.

After having that approval, the plat should then be filed in the county probate office to inform them that the property is being developed and will be changed from being taxed as acreage to individual lots in the future.

If you’re subdividing a property to sell, each lot should go through a closing process or at least some preparation of deeds for the intended future owners. The plat can be referenced for this process and the surveyor can help with any legal descriptions that are needed.

subdivide your propertyIt is also possible that the new owner will want to know where the property lines are located in order to place a fence or any other improvements on the property. This step should ALWAYS be done before building on the property.

As you can see, when subdividing property, it’s very important that you choose a land surveyor who has experience with these kinds of jobs. The surveyor is important in every step of this process so choose one who has the proper knowledge and experience to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Otherwise, you might have a problem with neighbours, local authorities, health departments, and future land owners. Other than spending money on a new survey, potential buyers might be turned off knowing that there are problems with the transfer of property and that they might run into additional problems in the future.

For more help in subdividing land in Tyler, TX and the surrounding Shelby & Jefferson Counties areas, call Tyler Land Surveying today at (903) 525-6404 or send us a message by filling out or contact form.