Thursday, June 8, 2017

Understanding The Importance Of ALTA Land Title Surveys Georgia Landowners Should Have

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.

Legal descriptions are not always accurate. Metes and bounds surveys map boundary lines in minute detail. This is especially important if the property you purchase is irregular or is bordered with creeks or trees. It can also make a big difference if you decide to put up a fence on what you believe to be the boundary between you and your neighbor. You might be in for an unpleasant surprise if that neighbor can prove you have encroached on his or her property.

County regulations may force adjoining property owners to share driveways and roads on boundary lines. In this case, you are as responsible as your neighbor for keeping the road or drive maintained. You might have a neighbor behind you who has no road access. There could very well be an easement across your property that gives the neighbor the right to cross your land to get to the road.

It is very possible that there are utility easements located on your property. You can see the electrical wiring strung overhead, but you may be unaware of underground cables and drains. This includes telephone lines. Utility companies can probably legally access your property in order to maintain their lines. If you decide to build, you should know where any underground cables are located.

A survey will give you information about ingress and egress restrictions. The county may require that any drives be a certain distance apart and have a minimum width requirement. This could be very important for commercial developers who need to move equipment, bulldozers, and tractor trailers on and off the property.

There may be improvements on the property you buy. Your survey will show where they are located. Any improvement has to be in compliance with county regulations. Once you own the property, the previous owner has no obligation to remedy issues the county failed to notice until a new survey was recorded.

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.

There are a lot of details to be handled when it comes to purchasing acreage tracts. It may be tempting to buy the property according to the legal description of record. Unfortunately many people who do that live to regret it.

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