Q:Do I need a survey when buying a Lake Martin waterfront home?
A: It all depends on the lot and the buyer’s situation, but I think every buyer should at least consider getting a survey. Remember, here at Lake Martin, obviously, you are here for the water. The land is often the most valuable part of the transaction. It is important to understand and identify the boundaries of land you are buying or selling.
Often, buyers here at Lake Martin ask me if a survey is required by law. The answer is no, in Alabama, a survey is not required in a real estate purchase. However, some lenders do require them. The buyer’s lender will be the best person to answer if a survey will be required.
There are many different types of surveys at Lake Martin or anywhere. I recommend that you talk to your surveyor and let him or her describe them all to you so you can make an educated decision on which type you would like. Some of my buyers simply want the corners marked – that is, just have stakes driven in the the ground.
Other Lake Martin buyers get what I would call a “closing survey.” This includes getting a paper copy of the plot of land, with any improvements (like the home, dock, boat ramp, etc) noted, with distances.
I think surveys are great tools to help answer questions like, “How much waterfront on Lake Martin does this lot have? Where are the lines? Where are the easements like Alabama Power shoreline easements? Is your neighbor’s dog pen over the line?” As much as I as a real estate agent would like to be the expert on everything, the surveyor will be the one to answer those questions.
If you need references for Lake Martin area engineers, surveyors, and septic contractors/installers, I will be glad to provide them.
If you have questions about Lake Martin real estate give me, John Coley, a call at 334-221-5862 or contact me here.