Is a Surveyor Worth the Investment for a Town Home Purchase?

Published on January 3, 2023 under Tips

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Surveys are a vital investment when purchasing a single family home but are they worth the investment on townhouses? The purchase of a townhome is a substantial investment, requiring careful consideration of the costs and benefits. Hiring a surveyor to inspect the property is generally an essential step in the home buying process. While this can be an added expense, it is an important part of the process for a number of reasons. The ability to accurately assess the condition of the property and potential issues can save buyers thousands of dollars in the long run. Additionally, a surveyor can provide valuable information on the property's boundaries, which could ultimately affect the value of the home.

What Does a Surveyor Do? The Surveyor's Essential Role in Real Estate Transactions

The surveyor's work is a crucial part of the home-buying process. Their expertise helps protect buyers from unforeseen problems such as boundary disputes, encroachments, and unpermitted improvements. It is important to obtain a survey before purchasing a property. This will provide an accurate picture of the property's boundaries, features, and any existing problems.

The surveyor's report also provides valuable insight into the property's zoning, development regulations, and potential improvements. Armed with this information, buyers can make an informed decision and avoid costly surprises down the road.

For example, if the neighbor of the townhome you are considering has a fence that encroaches upon your property, a surveyor can help you determine the exact boundary line and the options available to you.

If the property has unpermitted improvements such as a shed or deck, a surveyor can help you understand the zoning regulations and the implications of purchasing the property with the unpermitted structures. In short, a surveyor's report provides the buyer with a comprehensive picture of the property, allowing them to make an informed decision.

What Types of Surveys are Available?

There are several types of surveys available depending on the specific needs of the buyer. A boundary survey provides an accurate assessment of the property's boundaries and any potential encroachments. A topographical survey provides a detailed map of the property's elevations and any existing structures. A zoning survey assesses the property's zoning restrictions and potential improvements. Finally, an ALTA survey examines the title of the property and any existing liens or encumbrances.

What is the Cost of Hiring a Surveyor?

The cost of hiring a surveyor varies depending on the type of survey and the size of the property. Generally, a basic boundary survey can cost between $500 and $1,500, while a topographical survey can cost between $2,000 and $4,000. For an ALTA survey, the cost can range from $2,500 to $5,000. It is important to note that these prices are subject to change based on the scope of work and the complexity of the survey.

What Should I Look for When Selecting a Surveyor?

When selecting a surveyor, it is important to consider the qualifications, experience, and reputation of the surveyor. It is also important to consider the type of survey needed, the timeframe for the survey, and the cost associated with the survey. Additionally, you should consider the type of technology used by the surveyor and the quality of the results.

Qualifications and Experience

When selecting a surveyor, you should ensure that the surveyor has the necessary qualifications and experience for the job. This includes ensuring that the surveyor is properly licensed and insured. You should also ask for references from past clients and review the surveyor's portfolio to assess the quality of their work.


It is important to research the surveyor's reputation in the industry. Consider asking for references from prior or current clients, or search for reviews online. This will give you an idea of the quality of the surveyor's work and their customer service.

Type of Survey

When selecting a surveyor, you should consider the type of survey that is needed. Different surveyors specialize in different types of surveys, so it is important to find a surveyor that has experience with the type of survey you need.


It is important to consider the timeframe for the survey. Depending on the complexity of the survey, it may take more or less time to complete. You should make sure that the surveyor is able to complete the survey within the timeframe that you need.


Cost is an important factor to consider when selecting a surveyor. Some surveyors may charge more or less depending on the complexity of the survey, the type of technology used, or the amount of time it takes to complete the survey. It is important to get an estimate of the cost before hiring a surveyor.

Technology Used

When selecting a surveyor, you should consider the type of technology used to gather data. Different surveyors may use different types of technology, such as GPS, aerial imagery, or laser scanning. Depending on the type of survey, different technologies may be more suitable.

Quality of Results

The quality of the results is also important when selecting a surveyor. You should review the surveyor's portfolio to get an idea of the quality of their work and ask for references from past clients to get an idea of the quality of their results.

Let Our Experienced Loan Officers Guide You Through the Home Buying Journey - Connect With Us Today to Get Started!

The purchase of a townhome is an important decision, and it requires a great deal of research and planning. By investing in a surveyor, buyers can be assured that they are making a sound decision and are taking the necessary steps to protect their financial interests. Additionally, the surveyor can help buyers avoid costly surprises down the road.

The process of buying a townhome is complex, and it is important to weigh all of the costs and benefits before signing a contract. To get started on the homebuying journey, reach out to one of our expert loan officers today to discuss your options and other things you should consider before making a purchase.

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