When a buyer purchases a home he or she purchases title insurance which overs issues with ownership of the property such as tax liens, wills, unknown heirs, mechanic liens, etc. However, what most buyers don’t know is that issues can arise on the buildings and the land itself as a result of a survey.
If you are unaware, a survey describes the home’s structure and how it is situated on its lot in relation to improvements such as pools and patios, fences, setback lines and utility easements. Sometimes disputes can arise especially when a new buyer is not aware of the history.
Some issues that a new could face are:
- a driveway, sidewalk, fence, or even landscaping encroaching on a neighbor’s property line.
- a permanent structure located on an utility easement preventing access.
- an improvement located past the setback line prompting a removal request from the HOA or the city.
In these types of situations it is not always clear who is to blame. Was there an error in the survey? Did the previous seller cause the issue? The standard owner’s title policy does not cover these kinds of situations but a buyer can purchase additional survey coverage to insure no issues down the road. The cost is an additional 5% of the title insurance premium, a small price to pay for piece of mind.
If you have any questions about title insurance or survey coverage please feel free to contact me. If I cannot answer the question I will put you in touch with a title expert who can.