Friday, June 9, 2017

Why Landowners Need The ALTA Land Title Surveys Georgia Realtors Recommend

By Laura Howard

When people buy homes or lots in subdivisions, the acreage purchased is usually less than an acre with regular boundary lines and few easements or overlaps. The situation can be very different for individuals who buy acreage tracts for farming or development. If you are buying property by the acre, you need to know exactly how many acres are involved, and that is one reason why ALTA land title surveys Georgia purchasers order are so important.

Not all legal descriptions are metes and bounds. If they are old, they may reference a point, like a particular tree or creek, that no longer exists or has changed in configuration. Without a new and detailed survey, it may be impossible to accurately access where one person's land ends and another's begins. This can be especially unfortunate for a landowner who inadvertently builds a structure that encroaches on his or her neighbor's land.

It is possible that you and your neighbor share ownership of a driveway or road located on the boundary line between your two properties. If that is the case, you are both responsible for maintaining the shared space. If you have a neighbor whose property is landlocked, there may be a recorded easement through your property that allows your neighbor access through your land to get to a street or highway.

Utility companies normally have the right to access any utility poles or underground cables that run over or under your property. Your survey will show you where the utility easements are, which will be important if you decide to build a house or barn or dig a pond. If you are going to farm your acreage, you will need to know where the wells are.

Many counties have regulations about curb cuts and driveways. They may only allow a certain number within a particular area. The county may determine the allowable width of the drives as well. This can be especially important for commercial developers planning entrances to parking areas and construction sites.

Surveyors don't just map boundary lines. They also position any existing improvements on the property at the time of the survey in the drawing submitted for recording. This will let the owner know whether there are any height or setback restrictions that have to comply with county ordinances. Surveyors will also outline the position of any cemeteries located on the land.

When you buy a piece of property you probably know whether it is zoned residential or commercial, but there are a lot of variations within those two categories. A survey will include the zoning classification and jurisdiction. You may have to consult a professional to find out if you are in violation of zoning ordinances.

A detailed metes and bounds survey can be expensive, and many property buyers are tempted to skip it to save money. Experienced landowners will advise against this. You may save some money on the front end, but it might cost you dearly in the future.

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