Almost 10 years ago now, our family made the move from California to Texas. Since then, we’ve worked with countless clients relocating to Austin from the golden state. While real estate in California and Austin has a number of similarities, understanding the differences, and what they can mean for your transaction, can be the key to a stress-free real estate experience. In our latest blog series, we unpack the 10 biggest differences between the California and Texas real estate process and how you can use them to your advantage.
What Is a Survey?
A land survey report shows the dimensions, boundaries, physical features, easements and building setbacks of the property and is done by a licensed land surveyor. The survey map, usually presented as a sketch, shows the relative location of the house, out-buildings, decks, patios, swimming pools, drive-ways, side-walks, fences and the location of any public or municipal easements on the property. Surveys are important because it helps show you what you are buying in addition to the dirt.
Texas vs. California Real Estate: Surveys
In Texas, a survey is a part of the standard residential estate purchase contract. Buyers may choose between obtaining a new land survey or accept the seller’s existing survey. If they choose to use the existing survey, both the lender and title company must approve it. If a new survey is required, the cost is negotiable between buyer and seller.
In California, a resale contract does not generally require a land survey.
What Are the Benefits to a Survey?
Surveys give you a great deal of information about a property and we consider it standard due diligence. Knowing about any restrictions or limitations on the use of your property in advance could very well saved you time, money and frustration.
Why Should You Get a New Survey?
Buyers who choose to accept the seller’s existing survey should know that the surveyor is only liable for inaccuracies to the seller who originally ordered the survey. That means the buyer assumes all liability for any inaccuracies; therefore, we always recommend getting a new survey.
Take this example: you accept the old survey and purchase the property. You plan to build a pool and the old survey shows no issues. Once you buy the property though you find out that the old survey was inaccurate and your pool plan crosses the accurate setback line. You won’t be able to install your pool or pursue any recourse against the surveyor since you didn’t order the survey.
Bottom line: always get a new survey.
Considering a Move to Austin?
Check out our Austin Relocation Blog, our Guide to Relocating to Austin and our Tips for a Successful Relocation Experience for more tips. Then check out our Austin Home Buyers page to learn why we are the best Realtors to help you relocate to Austin. When you’re ready to reach out, fill out our Relocation Survey, send us an email or call us at (512) 827-8323 to schedule a no obligation consultation.