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  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

Do I Need a Survey? | First-Time Homebuyers Guide

Buying a house, especially for the first time, can be an exciting yet daunting experience. There are many decisions to make, from the type of home to the location, and the financing options. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the need for a survey.

What is a Survey?

A survey is a drawing or map that shows the boundaries, dimensions, and other physical features of a piece of property. It is conducted by a professional surveyor, who measures and records the details of the property, such as its size, location, and any improvements or structures on it.

Why is a Survey Important?

So, why is a survey necessary for homebuyers? For starters, a survey can help identify any potential boundary disputes, such as encroachments or easements, which could cause legal issues in the future. It can also reveal any zoning or land-use restrictions that may affect your ability to use the property as intended.

Additionally, a survey can provide valuable information about the condition of the property, such as the location of utility lines and other underground features. This information can be crucial when planning for any future renovations or landscaping projects.

Some lenders may require a survey before approving a mortgage, especially if the property is located in a flood zone or has other potential risks. However, even if a survey is not required, it is still a good idea to have one conducted to avoid any surprises down the line.

How Do I Choose a Surveyor?

When choosing a surveyor, it is important to ensure they are licensed and experienced in the type of survey you require. You can ask for referrals from your real estate agent or lender, or do your research online.

Can I Use an The Survey the Seller Provides?

It's important to have an up-to-date survey that accurately reflects the current condition and boundaries of the property. While using an old survey may seem like a convenient and cost-effective option, it can come with risks and limitations.

First, an old survey may not accurately reflect the current condition of the property. Changes could have been made to the property or surrounding area, such as new construction, landscaping, or natural disasters, that could affect the property boundaries and condition. Using an outdated survey could lead to disputes or legal issues down the line.

Second, lenders and title insurance companies may require an updated survey to ensure that there are no issues with the property's boundaries or condition. If an old survey is used, it may not satisfy these requirements, and you could face delays or additional costs in obtaining a new survey.

Finally, a new survey provides a level of assurance and peace of mind that an old survey cannot. A professional surveyor will conduct a thorough inspection of the property, checking for any potential issues and accurately recording the property's current boundaries and condition.


A survey is a critical component of the home buying process that first-time homebuyers should be familiar with. It can help identify potential legal issues, provide valuable information about the property's condition, and give you peace of mind knowing that you have a clear understanding of what you are buying. A survey is a necessary investment that can ultimately save you time, money, and headaches in the long run.

Remember, when buying a home, it's always a good idea to hire an experienced real estate attorney to assist you throughout the process. A real estate attorney can provide valuable legal guidance and expertise, ensuring that your rights are protected, and the transaction is handled smoothly. They can review the sales contract, negotiate terms on your behalf, conduct a title search to ensure that there are no liens or other issues with the property, and assist with the closing process. They can also help identify potential legal issues, such as zoning or land-use restrictions, that could affect your ability to use the property as intended. Overall, an experienced real estate attorney can provide you with peace of mind knowing that your interests are being represented and that the transaction is being handled professionally and efficiently.

Do you have questions about buying or selling a home? If so, contact us Today at our Bergen County Office. Call Us at (201) 904-2211 or email Us at


If you would like more information about this post or if you want to discuss your legal matter with an attorney at the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont, please contact me at or at (201) 904-2211. Don't forget to check out and subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel. We have hundreds of podcasts and videos concerning a variety of business and legal topics. I look forward to answering any questions that you might have.

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As with any legal issue, it is important that you obtain competent legal counsel before making any decisions about how to respond to a subpoena or whether to challenge one - even if you believe that compliance is not required. Because each situation is different, it may be impossible for this article to address all issues raised by every situation encountered in responding to a subpoena. The information below can give you guidance regarding some common issues related to subpoenas, but you should consult with an attorney before taking any actions (or refraining from acts) based on these suggestions. Separately, this post will focus on New Jersey law. If you receive a subpoena in a state other than New Jersey you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney in your state as certain rules differ in other states.


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