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Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate Agent Retired

Survey's don't expired they just get old like realtors.

6 months is all it's good for to a lender.

Mar 13, 2019 05:47 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Banks do not require them. If a survey is more than a few years old, title insurance might put in exemptions as to what is covered under the title policy. An older one can work if (a) you are certain it's accurate and (b) no changes have been made on the property, such as fences or other structures. I recommend a survey to all my clients if the seller does not have one or if it's more than 5 years old and it's clear that changes may have occurred on the property lines.

Mar 13, 2019 06:23 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

I always suggest buyers to order their own survey when purchasing a single family home.

Mar 13, 2019 05:46 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

A survey is extremely rare in my area Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME. I think I had one in the last 20 years.

Mar 13, 2019 05:33 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Not always, but most often. In my experience a survey over 6 months old must be recertified or redone to get title insurance protection over matters of survey!

Mar 13, 2019 05:28 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

State specific

Mar 13, 2019 06:30 AM
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

The answer is up to the 'players' in the transaction, usually the lender. I have had several when financing was not involved that the buyers opted for no updated survey

Mar 13, 2019 06:28 AM
Clay R. Seay
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage - Saint Augustine, FL

A survey is useful as long as it is accurate and there have not been any changes or additions to the home or on the land. Any improvement will make the survey invalid for most Title and Mortgage Companies uses.

I have had surveys that are several years old accepted by a Title Company or Lender in a transaction since it was still accurate. Each Lender has a different level of acceptance on the age of the survey. The Seller certifies at Closing that the older Survey is accurate and the Buyer accepts the Survey in most Cash Transactions.

In other cases, A New Survey is required, usually by the Lender or in new construction. A Survey is also needed in case you make any improvements that requires a building permit, so a Survey is a good idea for any homeowner.

Mar 13, 2019 06:17 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Most lenders and title insurance companies want one done. Things happen like fences built over the line, buildings or decks built in the setback area or over the property line, an easement could have been added, someone could of done a boundary line adjustment and sold part of their land to a neighbor, etc.

Mar 13, 2019 05:39 AM
J.R. Schloemer, CRS
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

Interesting you ask...

Our sales meeting, yesterday, had a surveyor and attorney speak about the ramifications of not performing a boundary survey. I can say I have never had one, but do recommend to clients to get one if they want one. After the class yesterday, I will push it more from this point forward. Not only is it revealing about the property lines, but it is very beneficial for title insurance purposes and also finding out if neighbors (or the seller) have/has encroached on anything.

Examples of property being built beyond the building lines, in the easements, on adjoining property, fences, is all very telling on the survey and easier to resolve prior to closing and being in your name than when the previous owner is still on the title. 

In our area, the surveys are not typically recorded I was told, so why they don't expire, a new one can discover if anything has changed since the previous survey.

Mar 13, 2019 06:54 AM
Ken Jones, Commercial Real Estate
Kenneth J. Jones, Inc. - Toms River, NJ

Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME. The only time a new survey is REQUIRED is when the title company will not insure the old survey.

That said, it's ALWAYS a good move to get a new survey to make sure that you're buying what you THINK you're buying.

Mar 13, 2019 06:46 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

No, they are not required but, highly recommended!

Mar 13, 2019 06:29 AM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Survey is required if there is a lender involved , if you have an old survey or house location it can be used or updated and may save some $$ during the process

Mar 13, 2019 05:45 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

A survey of land boundaries is EXTREMELY rare out here in residential tract homes.  I did see one last year due to some encroachment issues.  I almost had one done on my home before I got my dog so I could build a fence on the line.  Downside was it would have cost between $5k and $15k depending on the level of detail desired to do it.  The cheapest was "looking at a map" and that was $1,500... the same maps I had through the MLS!


In my case the general wisdom was that the property line ran with the utility lines, which the neighbor agreed with.  I put the fence just on my side of the line to be safe.

Mar 13, 2019 08:06 AM
Cathy Starkweather
La Rosa Realty, LLC. - Celebration, FL

Lenders require surveys on townhomes and single family homes, not condos. Surveys are good for two years here in Florida. I always suggest a survey for any single family home unless seller has a survey thats less than two years old amd shared, then it’s a valid survey.

Mar 13, 2019 07:56 AM
Doug Dawes
KW Evolution - Topsfield, MA - Georgetown, MA
Your Personal Realtor®

Many times it is a smart move to have a property surveyed. I don't believe it is required in MA

Mar 13, 2019 06:52 AM
Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

It depends on where the property is located. When I lived in IL, a survey was required even for a refi. Here in AZ a survey is seldom required or performed on any transaction.

Mar 13, 2019 06:50 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

I've never needed one in 20 years of selling.

Mar 13, 2019 06:47 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

In Texas not required on a cash deal, an old survey will work if the title company and lender accept it.

Mar 13, 2019 06:42 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Peter ~ As explained to me by a settlement agent (but sure my verbiage is off a bit), but the gist is that a survey is a contract between the surveyor and the specific buyer that paid for it.  So someone could rely on a previous survey, but if there is a problem the surveyor isn't responsible, since their contract isn't with the current buyer.

Here in Alexandria / Arlington, VA, they are common for townhomes and detached homes.  You would be surprised how far a fence line can meander over the past couple hundred years.

Mar 13, 2019 07:49 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

Interesting comments here. I've only had one buyer get one done about 12 years ago on a single family home in a wooded area. 

Mar 13, 2019 07:31 AM
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

If I am a Buyer, I want a new survey.  When I represent Buyers, I always ask for a new one or at least have the Seller pay for title insurance.  Representing Sellers, I have them provide only what is in their possession.  They are not required for financing up here and rarely will someone think to ask for a new one.

Mar 13, 2019 07:00 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

If you are referring to a full pin survey, no. On a mortgage a loan survey, yes.

Mar 13, 2019 06:38 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Except in very large tract. Like farming or commercial lots boundary.

Mar 13, 2019 06:31 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

When we break up a parcel.

Mar 13, 2019 10:41 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I have never handled a transaction in which a survey was required.

Mar 13, 2019 10:04 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

That is a great question. 😎

The answer is, it depends on the transaction. A lender / title insurer may require a survey. If the property is in a platted subdivision it may not be required.

I just went over this this morning with a (cash) buyer for a vacant land parcel. The last time it was probably surveyed, not exaggerating, could have been a hundred years ago. There's no record of survey on file, but there is a plat. Do I think the buyer should survey it? Yeah.

Do surveys expire? No. But changes in the terrain, out here we have accretion and avulsion when the river changes course, and encroachments could affect the survey.

I had a survey done in 2006 that says a property is 91 ac, the previous survey from the 90s said it was 110. The surveyor said that the last time it was surveyed was so long ago and that we have more reliable mapping tools now.

Mar 13, 2019 09:36 AM
Dan Pittsenbarger
Keller Williams Western Realty - Bellingham, WA
Improving Conditions

Surveys are not required in WA state. Occasionally recommended but not required. It's interesting to see the different answers from different areas o this point.

Mar 13, 2019 09:33 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

California doesn't "require" a  survey for a residential real estate sale transaction. 

Mar 13, 2019 08:17 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Google takes pictures of streets, homes and public places and may not update them for years. What was then is not now. Same principal with surveys. Was new fence built? An illegal easement created? While boundaries  may not move what takes pace in or around them remains of interest

Mar 13, 2019 07:59 AM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Not in my area, the buyer at times request one, but not often

Mar 13, 2019 07:19 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD


What will work depends upon the requirements.

Mar 13, 2019 07:17 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It really depends on where, what, etc. A

Mar 13, 2019 06:58 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Surveys are not required in our state, but recommended for commercial and acreage property.  Stakes can be moved and fences are not always built at the property line, which is why they should be done as part of a current transaction.

Mar 13, 2019 03:08 PM
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

Surveys are not required in Tennessee.  

Mar 13, 2019 01:47 PM
Greg Cremia
Shore Realty of the Outer Banks - Nags Head, NC

Around here an old one will work with a letter from the owner stating no changes were made to the building.

Mar 13, 2019 11:19 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

there is rarely one in my market, not required.  I always recommend

Mar 14, 2019 09:58 PM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

Not in my state....

Mar 14, 2019 07:33 PM
Krista Jenkins, REALTOR®
klm Real Estate - Lubbock, TX
Residential sales and retail & office leasing

No, a survey is not always required. Professionally, I would always advise a buyer to purchase a new survey, but it is ultimately up to the buyer and the buyer's lender whether or not a survey is required.

Mar 14, 2019 06:10 PM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Orlando, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Orlando Home Buyers

Luckily, I learned early in my career how important a survey is...

IF you are representing the buyer, it is important that you order A NEW APPRAISAL, regardless of cash or finance.

Appraisals have mistakes.

If you use an old appraisal and later have an issue...who are you going after???  The person that did the old appraisal that has no relationship with your buyer?



Mar 14, 2019 12:12 PM