Professional developers almost always obtain a new survey before buying property for further development, yet consumers buying homes or building lots for personal use, and casual investors buying investment properties such as existing office buildings or apartments, get a survey infrequently. What do the developers know that you don’t? They know that a survey could reveal problems that could substantially undermine the value of your investment and that are not discoverable by other means. Surveys disclose issues that do not appear in title searches, such as violations of zoning setback restrictions, evidence of unrecorded easements, boundary discrepancies with adjoining properties, property description errors, acreage content, and encroachments. Most if not all of these issues are excluded from coverage under ordinary Owners’ title insurance policies.
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