The Purpose of a Mortgage Survey When Buying Property

So what exactly is the purpose of a mortgage survey when buying property?


Before purchasing a home, or indeed any piece of real estate, it is important to investigate the condition of the property. This does not simply mean walking around the property to take a look at it. In fact, most of the facts that comprise the condition of the property can’t actually be seen this way. Your methods of determining the true condition should range from a physical inspection to uncover any work needing to be done, to an official land survey of the property.

Mortgage Surveys

A mortgage survey is one type of survey you might have done on a piece of property you want to purchase. While a physical inspection focuses on the condition of the building, a mortgage survey investigates the property itself. A mortgage survey is a type of property survey that can reveal a lot of information on possible problems. Other property surveys will reveal differing levels of information. A land surveyor can advise you which type of property survey would meet your needs. By choosing the most appropriate type of property survey, you can avoid a lot of the problems associated with buying property.


When considering properties as a prospective buyer, the first information to look at is the Home Condition Report, which may already have been prepared by the seller. This will disclose some information on the property, but remember that it may be biased, as it is coming from the seller. Always get a reliable third-party report that provides information on the exact condition and value of the property before committing to the deal.


Other reports include land surveys conducted by licensed land surveyors. One such type is known as a mortgage survey. This type of survey is required by most mortgage companies if you’ll be requiring financing for your purchase of the property. The cost of this survey may even be covered by the mortgage company. They may also be known as a title survey because it is often required by the title company.


A mortgage survey is generally conducted to determine land boundaries and building locations. A relatively simple survey, it will note buildings, sheds, fences, easements and required building setbacks, and natural landmarks. After a mortgage survey has been conducted, you can rest assured that the structure you are purchasing meets current zoning and building codes and that no one is encroaching on your property. Mortgage surveys may be considered plot plans or other categories of property surveys when it includes additional details not usually included in a mortgage survey.


It is always better to get a reliable third-party survey conducted by a licensed land surveyor to be sure you are getting the whole picture. Be sure to choose a mortgage survey by a licensed land surveyor and not a mortgage inspection, which does not have to adhere to the same standards and is not considered an official land survey.


The survey you receive will provide a comprehensive report of the property details. You may think that it’s unnecessary because the property you’re interested in looks to be in good condition, but you’d be surprised what a survey can turn up. There is a reason why mortgage companies require such reports before they will provide financing. Besides the purchase of the land, a mortgage survey can also help you in the planning stages of any further improvements, though additional surveys may be necessary depending on the scope of your project.