Need a survey for seller financing?

With the modern appraiser’s websites showing property lines pretty accurately overlaid onto an aerial photo, I’m wondering if I really need to spend the $2,500 or so on a survey that I’ll need to get redone when I do refinance.

I will say that it’s pretty obvious that one of the homes is over the property line about 3 feet, but the land it extends onto can never be used for anything. It’s opposite a drainage ditch that empties into a small retention pond. There is no way it could ever be used for anything or built on. So in other words, it looks like a no harm, no foul.

Everything else looks pretty good.


If you read the disclaimer on the on the appraiser’s websites, you’ll see that they don’t guarantee accuracy. I spend a lot of time in county records and I have seen their lines drawn incorrectly from time to time. I think $2,500 is a small price to pay for peace of mind and I wouldn’t skip that step. One thing that may save you a little money is to try getting an old survey from the owner and having your surveyor do an update. I have also had success getting old surveys from the county too.

Back in the old days when I did not know what I was doing, I once bought a mobile home park only to find that part of it was on someone else’s land. The moral is that it is possible that a mobile home park that has operated for decades and appears to be fine can actually have survey issues that were not caught by a previous owner. I would try to get a survey update as described above, or call around and find the cheapest boundary survey you can get that you can pinpoint the corners on. Unless you can say to yourself with 100% certainty that every inch of the park is reflected in the survey, then I would not close on the deal. And don’t forget to match the survey boundaries to the legal description – that’s another easy way to create a huge liability for yourself.

Your lender will require it or not, and it is not usually a negotiable item.

Check on your local adverse possession statutes before you spend money on a survey regarding the encroachment. You may own that by long term use, but again, a lawyer with local knowledge and experience will be able to tell you for sure. Most adverse possession statutes require that you do so unknowingly. Confirming that you are encroaching would destroy any adverse possession in my home state.

Don’t underestimate your neighbor’s passion about your encroachment.

Not what I wanted to hear LOL but what I expected.

Thanks all.

I found a guy that will do it for $1,000 At that price I can’t afford not to for sure.