Physical real estate is undoubtedly one of the most valuable assets you can own. However, before you invest your hard-earned money in real estate, it is important to find out if the property in question is indeed worth investing in. One way to find it out is to get a land survey done. What exactly is a land survey and why is it crucial? Let us take a look.
Land Survey in Alabama – What You Need to Know
A land survey is a process through which a property’s legal boundaries and other features can be accurately determined. It also provides a wide range of information about the property – from easements to rights-of-ways – so that you can decide whether the property is as valuable as it is claimed to be and worth investing in.
There are several reasons why it is prudent to get a land survey done before you purchase real estate in Alabama.
Knowing the Boundaries of the Property
The primary reason for getting a land survey done is to find out where the property in question begins and where it ends. Unless you know it, you cannot build anything on the property – as you might inadvertently encroach into your neighbor’s property.
Even if the property owner provides you with a copy of a land survey, it is still advisable to get another survey done, as you have no way of knowing how accurate the previous survey was. If the survey was done a long time ago, there is a good chance that the boundaries marked might not be accurate anymore.
This is because surveyors in the past did not have access to the technology that surveyors today have. In relation to this, it’s possible that the measurements might not be as accurate as they thought.
More importantly, since the time the last survey was done, the neighbors might have encroached into the property – unknowingly or deliberately. The only way to find out whether the property is free of encroachments is to do a proper land survey.
A land survey is particularly important if the property is located right next to a public road, as the last thing you want to do is to accidentally erect a fence or pave a driveway on public property.
Knowing about Rights-of-Ways and Easements
If your neighbor’s property does not have access to a public road, and if the only way they can get to the road is by crossing a trial or private road located within your property, then you must allow them to use the trail or road when they need to. This arrangement is commonly referred to as an easement.
Easements are extremely common in Alabama, as many properties are landlocked and do not have proper access to public roads. This is another reason why you should get a land survey done as it’s crucial to find out whether your neighbors have any right to access the property in question and if so, to what extent.
Knowing about Underground Utility Lines
Doing a comprehensive land survey is the best way to find out if any subsurface utility lines are running through your property. This is because utility companies generally have a say in how you should maintain your property.
Before starting any construction work, you might have to inform them and make sure they approve of what you intend to do. If you do any excavation or construction work without getting their permission and end up damaging the utility lines, you might have to pay penalties.
Knowing about Building and Zoning Restrictions
A land survey can also tell you about the zoning and building restrictions that you have to comply with – should you choose to build anything on the property. For instance, many residential properties tend to have restrictions called setbacks, which prevent you from building anything within a certain distance from the property’s boundary lines. Knowing about these restrictions can help you decide whether the property is best suited for your plans.
Looking to Buy Real Estate Property in Alabama? Choose a Trusted Legal Team to Protect Your Interests
If you are planning to buy residential or commercial real estate in Alabama, the attorneys at Davis, Bingham, Hudson, and Bucker can help you. We can assist you and guide you through the whole process – from land survey to closing.
Our attorneys have deep knowledge of Alabama’s real estate laws and have decades of combined experience in contract preparation, negotiation, title examination, financing, and a wide range of other issues related to real estate transactions. With our skilled legal team by your side, you can be sure that you will not be taken advantage of by the other party and get what you pay for.
To find out how we can help you with a land survey and other related issues, call our firm today at 334-821-1908 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation with one of our reliable Alabama real estate attorneys.