Do I Need a Survey When I Buy a House in South Charlotte, NC?

By
Real Estate Agent with Savvy + Co Real Estate
http://actvra.in/Fl5

Do I Need a Survey When I Buy a House in South Charlotte, NC?Do I need a survey when I buy a house in South Charlotte NC?

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!   When buying a house in Charlotte, NC, or anywhere else for that matter, I would STRONGLY recommend that you get a survey prior to closing the transaction.  Why?  Because your home purchase is likely your largest financial investment - don't you want to know for sure where your property boundaries are and whether or not you or your neighbors have property line issues that should be resolved BEFORE closing (before it's YOUR problem!)

It used to be that mortgage lenders required home buyers to order a survey as part of the mortgage process; after all, the bank wants to be sure there are no encroachments or issues that would impact the sale of the home later if the buyer defaults on the loan.  However, nowadays, banks do not require surveys.  Why, I couldn't say.

Survey Issue Nightmares

The absolute necessity of getting a survey before buying a home in Charlotte NC became crystal clear to me last month when trying to close a transaction for some awesome buyers from Denver.  They were under contract to buy a wonderful home on a golf course in Regent Park in Fort Mill, SC.  The backyard of this home had a swimming pool, hot tub, koi pond with a waterfall, a putting green, a patio with a firepit, and a lightly wooded area that abutted the golf course.

Do I need a survey when I buy a house in South Charlotte NC?My savvy buyers ordered a survey, because they wanted to know how much of the wooded area belonged to the golf course, and how much would belong to them.  They ordered the survey a month before the closing date.  Unfortunately, the law firm closing the transaction falled to order the survey, and we were notified the day before closing that they had discovered the oversight.  The attorney said we would NOT have the actual survey prior to closing, but that the surveyor was going out to the property on the morning of closing, and would call in with a "verbal" report if he found any "issues."

Whoa, Nellie!  Did he ever find ISSUES! While we were sitting at the closing table signing documents, the surveyor called in and said that there were property encroachments on THREE sides of the property!  The driveway encroached on the neighbors' property, and on the other side, a large landscape bed encroached on the other neighbor.

But the biggest problem was that the property line between the seller and the golf course sliced right through the koi pond/waterfall, the putting green, the patio and the firepit.  SO...all these wonderful landscaping upgrades weren't part of the property my buyers THOUGHT they were buying.  And the seller and his listing agent knew it!  BIG, BIG real estate no-no...non-disclosure!  (that will be the subject of another blog post!)

Turns out that the seller bought the home as a for-sale-by owner 7 years ago.  He never ordered a survey, and he spentDo I need a survey when I buy a house in South Charlotte NC? a LOT of time and money improving land that didn't belong to him...it belonged to the golf course!  When marketing this home for sale in Regent Park, the listing agent had all sorts of wonderful pictures of the koi pond, the putting green, the fire pit, etc.  My buyers logically thought the property included all these items.

Our closing was postponed for almost 2 weeks while this issue was resolved.  The seller had to buy the land in question from the golf course, which involved many decision-makers and took forever.  My buyer family (and their 2 dogs) had to put their furniture in storage and live in a crammed one-bedroom apartment while this problem was resolved.  Patience was wearing thin.

Thank the Lord my buyers took my advice and ordered the survey for their Regent Park home for sale.  If they hadn't, they would have purchased a home that was full of property line problems, and those problems surely would have reared their ugly heads when they tried to sell the home in the future.

Why do you need a survey when you buy a house in South Charlotte, NC?  You need to know what you are buying!  You need to know whether your neighbor's driveway or fence is on YOUR property.  Or vice versa.  You need to know if that swimming pool you are buying is within the setback requirements of your lot.  You need to know what you're buying!

So the answer to your question "Do I need a survey when I buy a house in South Charlotte, NC?" is a definitive YES! Protect your ASS...ets!

If you are looking for a knowledgeable and experienced South Charlotte NC Realtor to help you find a great home for sale in South Charlotte, please give me a call.  I take great care of all of my clients, and I know how to protect your assets!

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Rainmaker
469,552
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Melissa, great advice! Surveys are a must - even if the lender does not require it, a survey should always be done to uncover potential issues and to see where, if any, the utility easements area. It can impact future home improvement plans, resale value .... I'm really, really glad your story had a happy ending!

Jul 14, 2012 08:56 PM #1
Rainmaker
272,372
Melissa Brown
Savvy + Co Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale

Hi Andrea!  I can honestly say that this was the most challenging deal I've experienced in my real estate career, particularly because it could have all been avoided if the seller and his agent had DISCLOSED the issue in the beginning.  Surveys are a MUST!  

Some buyers want to save the $400 or so that a survey costs, but if there's a problem later on, it will cost FAR MORE than that $400 to fix.  I require my clients to sign a document if they waive getting a survey!

Jul 15, 2012 06:11 AM #2
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Rainmaker
272,372

Melissa Brown

Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale
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