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  • Christina Barrett

Should I Get a Survey?

When you embark upon the journey of looking for your new home, you're bombarded with information and requests from the instant you initiate the process. It can be quite overwhelming providing all of the requested information to the litany of parties you consult with when buying a home, and you'll definitely (I know I did!) go into a "information overload" stasis.

In an effort to help alleviate or avoid the stasis altogether, I am drafting a blog series that will provide information on some of the searches and items that will be requested or ordered by the title company when clearing title on your prospective new home.

In today's post, I want to talk about a boundary survey. Do you need one? Does a new survey need to be purchased? Should you get one? What is it for? Why is it important?

Quite simply, a boundary survey is an aerial, top-down view of the property you are

purchasing. A boundary survey will review the legal description recording in the public records, and create a drawing of those boundaries, and will include a drawing of the home on the property as well as any other items noticed by the surveyors when they are out at the site. Some of those items might be a fence, an AC/heating pad, a pool cage or patio in the backyard, or any pools. A survey will also reference any existing easements recorded in the public records for your "plat" or subdivision. Easements are right-of-ways implemented by the county, generally for utilities, which state that the county may come in and dig up a portion of your property to access the buried utility lines for repair or upgrading. It is important to know the locations of any easements for your property to ensure that any upgrades or renovations (like adding a pool!) are easily moveable in the instance the easement needs to be utilized, or that the items are not built in the easement at all. A survey is a great tool to ensure that you are aware of the boundaries of the lot you are purchasing as well as any easements that may exist.

Now that we know WHAT a survey is, let's get to some of the above questions!

  • Do you need a survey?

    • Well, that depends. If you are working with a lender to purchase your home, they will likely require a Florida Form 9 (FF9) endorsement, and the only way your title agent can provide that endorsement on a single family home is to have a survey of the property. This is because the FF9 endorsement refers to any easements, encumbrances, or encroachments on the boundary lines that would be disclosed on a survey.

    • If you are paying cash for your property, a survey is considered optional. Please note that if you opt to proceed with your purchase without obtaining a survey, your final title policy will have survey exceptions on it.

  • Does a new survey need to be purchased?

    • Again, it depends! If the seller has a survey of the property, and they can attest that they've made no changes to the footprint of the property (things like adding a pool or permanent structure in the backyard!) and can sign a "Survey Affidavit" at closing, their survey may be able to be conveyed to the purchaser to help alleviate some of the closing costs. However, if the seller has made any permanent changes, a new survey will be required. If the seller doesn't have a survey, and you are working with a lender who requires the above FF9 endorsement, a new one will be required.

  • Should you get a survey? Well, there you have it! Everything that you will need to know about surveys for your next real estate transaction. If you have any additional questions about a survey that aren't referenced in this post, please shoot us an email at or give us a call at 941-822-8739 to discuss!

    • It is Skyway Title Services' stance that you should always obtain a survey when you are purchasing an eligible property. Not only is a survey a great tool for knowing the exact dimensions of your property and what is where (that IS your fence after all!), having a survey prepared will allow your title agent to remove any exceptions that would otherwise remain without a survey being completed.

We hope you have a great rest of your day, and allow Skyway Title Services to be Your Bridge to Homeownership! :)

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