1. What is a land survey?
A land survey is a report in the form of a map showing
the location of a parcel of real property. The map will
also show the location of visible improvements on and
adjacent to the property.
2. Why are land surveys so important?
Prior to the closing on your new home purchase, a land
survey provides important information to you as the
buyer. The survey map will show the limits of the land
you are purchasing and identify any conflicts in your
deed. It will also allow you to see if improvements such
as driveways, fences, wells or even dwellings encroach
over the property lines. Any existing property corner
markers found by the surveyor will also be shown on the
3. How is a land survey performed?
The land surveyor's responsibility is to locate on the
ground the boundaries of the land described in the deed.
The surveyor also examines and maps various visible and
apparent man-made and natural features as required for
the purpose of the survey. Recorded deeds and maps are
investigated along with the information and
documentation supplied to the surveyor by the owner or
title company. Additionally, extensive data gathering is
preformed at and around the site.
4. Why have I been asked if I want property
In the course of performing a survey in New Jersey,
State law requires that a land surveyor place permanent
markers at all property corners where none currently
exist. You may sign a written waiver instructing the
surveyor to omit this work.
5. Why should I not waive the marking of
Boundary lines shown on a survey map of the property may
be difficult to locate accurately on the ground without
markers denoting the corners of the property. Placing
markers helps to avoid future disputes and enables you
to identify the physical location of your property.
6. Who can do a land survey?
In New Jersey a land survey may only be performed and
signed by a licensed Professional Land Surveyor.
7. What is required to become a Professional
To meet the qualifications for licensure in New Jersey,
an individual must have a four year college degree in
Surveying, three years or more of practical experience,
and pass a 16 hour written examination administered by
the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. Once
licensed, the Professional Land Surveyor must obtain 24
hours of continuing education credits every two years to
maintain active status.
8. How does a land survey help identify title to
Land surveys identify the record title lines of your
property. The survey map shows the limits of the land
that you are purchasing. A land survey certified to you
provides critical information which, when used with
title insurance, allows the buyer to make informed
decisions and negotiate with the seller to correct and
defects prior to the purchase. A land survey prepared
for you and certified to you and to your title company
affords important protection against claims which may
arise after the closing.
9. What is title insurance and how does a land
survey expand its coverage?
Title insurance protects
the mortgage lender and the property owner (if insured)
against claims to the property such as a disputed
property boundary line. Most mortgage lenders require
the home buyer to purchase a title insurance policy in
the lender's name. This is called a Lender's policy.
Title insurance policies do not provide coverage for
encroachments, easements and boundary line disputes
which would be disclosed by a current certified survey.
This is known as the Survey Exception. Mortgage lenders
routinely require a Survey Endorsement to their loan
policies which limits the scope of the Survey Exception
to the specific problems disclosed by the survey. In
other words, a Survey Endorsement provides coverage
against possible undiscovered problems involving
encroachments, easements and boundary line disputes.
To protect yourselves as home buyers you should insist
on an Owner's Policy with a Survey Endorsement based on
a professionally prepared current land survey.
10. What can you do to protect the investment in
Buying a home is usually the single largest purchase you
will ever make! It makes sound financial sense as well
as good common sense to protect this important asset. A
land survey prepared by a licensed Profession Land
Surveyor is a cornerstone of protection and preservation
of home ownership. Remember, a lender's Policy protects
the bank but not the homeowner. As you make the major
investment of purchasing a home you should insist on an
Owner's Policy of Title Insurance with the Survey
Endorsement and a current land survey certified to you.