The ownership of real estate has been used as an investment strategy since the founding of our country. In many cases, raw or undeveloped land is held for years by the same owner to allow it to appreciate or to enjoy tax advantages.
At their death, the owner may bequeath the property to their child or another family member, who can choose to continue holding it as raw land or begin the process of improving or selling it. If you have been fortunate enough to inherit raw land, it is important to begin your ownership journey by having a new land survey performed. Here are three reasons why.
1. Establish accurate boundary lines
If you have inherited raw land from an older family member, you may have little or no information about the actual, legal boundary lines of the property. This is a common problem when the property was acquired years before it was bequeathed.
Before the adoption of modern survey methods, including the use of permanent survey markers and GPS tags, surveyors may have used rocks, large trees, and other seemingly stable objects to mark the boundaries.
Natural degradation and changes to the site, as well as human interference, may have moved or erased many of the original boundary line markers. A fresh survey will utilize reliable data points in the general area to locate and determine the correct boundary lines of your inherited property.
2. Determine possible ownership disputes
As a new owner, it will be important to deal with any existing ownership or encroachment issues as quickly as possible. A new survey performed by a reputable land survey company will help new landowners prove their ownership and help to prevent relatives and neighboring landowners from attempting to take ownership of some or all of your property through encroachment or other avenues.
3. Provide accurate data for title insurance
An owner's title insurance policy is an affordable way to protect your land from anyone who may believe they had some type of ownership interest in the property before the time you inherited it. For example, if the former owner divorced during their ownership, the ex-spouse might feel they have grounds to sue you for full or partial ownership. A current, accurate survey provides title insurance companies with the legal description they need to identify the property to issue an owner's policy of title insurance and protect your interests.
To learn more about land surveying and its importance when inheriting real estate, contact a land survey company.