Caveat emptor! Translation: Let the buyer beware! Under this doctrine, the buyer could not recover from the seller defects on the property that would render the property unfit for ordinary purposes.
The purchase of an automobile is typically the second most expensive purchase that people make. Prior to shelling out their hard-earned money though, they research their choice. They take the vehicle for a test-drive. If it is a used vehicle, they might even have their mechanic look over the car to ensure that it is a worthwhile purchase. People expend a good deal of effort, and sometimes money investigating a vehicle prior to making the purchasing decision. It makes sense after all, it is wise to understand just exactly what you are getting when spending a few tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle.
The purchase of real estate is without doubt the most expensive investment that most people make in their lifetime. I have found that most people do not take the same effort to determine exactly what they are purchasing when it comes to real estate. They rely on the seller to tell them where the lot lines are, or perhaps the realtor might show them that the property line runs from the power pole to the telephone box in the back yard. The value of having a survey of the property is worth much more than the money that is invested in it. A survey will show the purchaser exactly what they are buying. It will also show if there are any problems with the property, such as buildings over the lot lines, a neighbor using a portion of the property, or the exact size of the property being different than listed in the documents. Most people have title insurance on their property, and assume that this will cover problems such as these, but it will not. Title insurance exempts payments on any issue that would be found with a survey of the property. Another reason to have a survey done prior to purchasing real estate!
But what should a survey cost? Well, that is a very hard question to answer, and one that there cannot be a one price fits all! Every lot, home, legal description, deed, subdivision, easement, roadway, section, property and transaction is different. All surveys need to be looked at and a price determined on a case by case basis.
There are some companies that offer a “Location Survey” for a low price. They then go on and explain that the service that they are offering is not actually a survey at all. A typical case of “you get what you pay for.”
A few tips when looking for a surveyor in Wisconsin: Ensure that they are licensed to practice Surveying in Wisconsin. This can be done at the Department of Safety & Professional Services website. Ask if the survey they will provide will meet the standards set forth in Wisconsin’s Administrative Code Chapter A-E 7.
I hope that following this information will save everyone purchasing Real Estate money, time & frustration.