Is A Survey Required For Title Insurance In Texas?

Texas real estate closings typically include purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy to protect the buyer’s investment in their new property, while lender policies protect lenders’ interest as well.

Title companies research property ownership issues using document filings at the county clerk’s office; however, they cannot recognize problems caused by physical placement of improvements such as fence or driveway encroachments or setback violations on properties they research.

It’s Not Mandatory

Title insurance policies offer protection from problems that could compromise the ownership of your property, such as liens and recorded documents that record them. Such issues include forgery, fraud, undue influence, duress, incompetency and impersonation. They also help ensure the legal description is correct and property lines clearly defined; providing financial security should any disagreement arise between neighbors over property boundaries.

If your current survey is recent and predated by your purchase and sale of property or is over seven years old, title companies may not require another survey. To avoid this hassle altogether, purchase survey deletion coverage which adds an exception to your title policy that covers errors or omissions in property surveys.

Title companies cannot visit your property; instead they rely on public records research. Without having conducted an onsite inspection survey it’s hard to know exactly what lies underground – including issues such as fence or driveway encroachments and protrusions beyond your property line.

As such, most title companies require surveys in order to issue lender’s title policies. If you have an older survey with which you can provide them a T-47 affidavit verifying its contents and provide it as evidence against any future claims, however, they might accept it; just remember that they can revoke this acceptance at any time!

As with most insurance policies, title companies in Texas must abide by promulgated, or standardized, policy forms when issuing title policies to their customers. No matter who you choose for a title company, they all use the same standard form. Therefore, should one decide to change your coverage at some point it could have serious repercussions; thus it’s essential that when purchasing real estate you work with an experienced and reputable title company who can advise on all available options (such as when a survey may or may not be required) so as not to get caught off-guard when purchasing real estate transactions in Texas!

It’s a Good Idea

As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to remain aware of what lies below your property – this includes underground power lines, sewer and water lines and telephone wires – or else risk damaging them and incurring expensive repair bills. A survey can assist in the search for these utility lines as well as reveal important information such as fencing lines, buildings, pools or garages which violate zoning ordinances on your property.

Texas title insurance is regulated. Title companies must use “promulgated,” or standard policy forms that ensure most sections of a policy read exactly as written no matter who sells it; however, specific portions such as Schedule A’s property description or Schedule B’s exceptions might vary slightly between sales offices.

Schedule B can be tailored to the situation by negotiating specific exceptions that exclude coverage for items like encroachments from neighboring properties; unpaid taxes, mechanic’s liens or lease agreements; as well as boundary disputes between neighbors which typically are covered under separate policies available for additional fees.

Surveying is typically required before title insurance can be provided because title companies want to ensure accuracy with regards to land area and boundaries of a property. Boundaries can change over time due to changes in terrain, construction of improvements or encroachment by neighbors; an old survey may fail to reflect these modifications and result in disputes that result in claims against title insurance.

While title agents may offer the option of using an existing survey, buyers should be wary that most will not. Relying on outdated surveys can not only be dangerous but may also increase premium costs due to comparison between legal descriptions in deeds and surveys to verify what was conveyed accurately matches actual physical features on the land.

It’s Not Expensive

When buying real estate, it is wise to seek a property survey as part of your due diligence. A property survey will help identify things such as underground water and sewer pipes, power lines and infrastructure if you purchase. Failing to do this may prove expensive should any unexpected damages occur due to ignorance about their locations.

Land surveys provide valuable information about your lot dimensions, building setbacks and property lines – helping to avoid encroachments from neighbors while aiding with home design and improvements on your property. A land surveyor can check for things like building encroachments into easements platted for this purpose, driveway encroachments onto building lines or fence encroachments into common areas.

If the results of a land survey reveal any discrepancies or conflicts, your title company will add an exception to your policy that includes them – an “Any discrepancies, conflicts, shortages in area or boundary lines or any encroachments shown on the survey.” However, with survey deletion coverage you can change this exception to read only “Shortages in area”. This extends coverage considerably while making your policy more comprehensive.

Note that title insurance policies sold in Texas are standardized, meaning most policy language will remain consistent across different title companies. Unfortunately, however, title insurance doesn’t guarantee you can use your land the way that you intend or protect you against boundary disputes with neighbors.

Title insurance in Texas does not mandate land surveys, but doing one will make the process much smoother and provide peace of mind regarding one of your largest investments. Paying just the small fee required can save you countless hours, money, and headaches in the future. A reliable title company will work with you to get this step completed before taking care of everything else during closing process.

It’s a Good Way to Protect Your Investment

Property surveys can save you from unexpected surprises when it’s time to sell your land. In addition to outlining its boundaries, surveys can also reveal invaluable information like underground power and water lines, sewer pipes and more – which may lie hidden just beneath the surface and therefore need to be known about before beginning construction projects. Professional surveys can locate these utilities before construction starts and mark them for safety so as not to accidentally damage any utilities during this process.

Surveys can also assist in understanding your property’s drainage patterns, which is essential to avoiding flood damage to your home. Furthermore, surveys provide details regarding underground septic systems which can prove invaluable if building or remodeling in the near future.

Title companies use property records to research and insure title to property. Unfortunately, however, just reviewing records cannot account for issues that can only be discerned upon visiting the actual location itself – this is why having a survey performed prior to making real estate transactions is absolutely vital.

Recent surveys can help prevent costly disputes over boundary issues or encroachments that could scuttle a sale, while title companies may provide extra coverage at closing against any claims that arise due to these surveys.

For instance, if a fence or driveway encroaches upon your property line and it wasn’t recorded as part of the survey, this could significantly lower its value. A title company can add T19.1 coverage (typically around 5%) to protect you against such losses for an affordable fee (about 5% of owner title insurance premiums). This should give you added peace of mind.