Can I save money by using the sellers old survey? Is this wise?

September 1, 2011

should I use an old surveyThere are a lot of things you can do that you probably should not do. Using an old survey may be legal and acceptable to your lender but is it wise?

I’d like to suggest that using a past survey, as opposed to ordering your own fresh survey, is a risky endeavor that you might want to think twice about. Yeah, people are doing it a lot these days. But people do all sorts of foolish things. If your neighbor jumped off a bridge….

So why shouldn’t you use the sellers past survey? They are offering it for free and last time you checked free is a wonderful price. All the seller has to do is sign an affidavit saying there haven’t been any changes to the property since the last survey was conducted and you just saved about $375.00.

The problem is you’re literally trusting a total stranger in what is probably the largest financial decision of your life. I know the seller looks like a nice guy, but so did Ted Bundy.

The reality of the matter is you’re buying a house and without a new survey you don’t know for a fact what you’re getting. What if the seller is in a real financial bind and they know a new survey is going to reveal that the fence they installed last summer is actually party on the neighbors property? Wouldn’t this provide an incentive to deceive the buyer? Is it possible that an unethical or financially strapped seller might urge the buyer to not order a new survey and just accept their past survey? What happens after you close on a house and suddenly your new neighbor is threatening to sue you over the fence that is partially on his property?

This nightmare won’t happen if you fork over a few hundred bucks for your own survey.

In the event the seller is offering you a past survey that isn’t very old you have the option of contacting the original surveyor and paying them to update the survey. They’ll come out to your property, for a reduced fee, and mark the property corners and note any changes on the survey plat.

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