Survey /General Land Questions I should Ask

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tango, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm going to look at 8 pieces of property in Alabama and Tennessee this week. I'm familiar with surveys but think there might be different type surveys or things I've not encountered. What should I look for in a survey that would be a red flag?
    Also I have a list of questions regarding all sorts of issues from previous land use to restrictions, to county issues. Would like ideas of anything to add to my list. One of my concerns is that one county I am going to look at has a previous superfund clean up site. I can't find the exact location of that toxic waste cleanup. Anyone know where I can locate the exact location of superfund cleanups online?
     
  2. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Found the superfund site. Thanks.
     

  3. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,305
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    Whiskey Flats(Ft. Worth) , Tx
    ...................You might consider making a list of the Non negotiable requirements for a Potential purchase and a second list of NEgotiable items that you could present to each realtor for their edification . From prior threads they seem to be very NON specific when they show property to potential buyers . If , the NON negotiable items are written into a purchase contract , of which any one factor can void the sale and create a basis for legal action against a seller\agent then Honesty will be their hallmark as not all seem to want to present ALL factors when showing a property to a buyer . fordy.. :eek: :)
     
  4. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks fordy :) that is a good plan.
     
  5. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,143
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2002
    Tango, the only difference you should see in terms of surveys is the description of the marks (surveyors stake or pin, iron rod, natural feature, etc) and the description of the lengths (feet,metes & bounds, rods, etc).

    For each property you should walk the boundary and find the marks. Make sure there are no encroachments by neighbors.

    A survey will not show easements, etc.

    What you really need to look at (before commiting to buy) is the titlework. I highly recommend title insurance. By this I mean title insurance covering yourself (in addition to the mortgage holder if there is one).

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  6. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    252
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Northern California
    Tango,

    Other easments you need to check include the local utilities companies. They may a right to cross for maintanence, etc. Prior owners, if they have/had other properties nearby, may have an easement.

    I have no clue how things work where you are, but here normally everything goes through the title company and that company issues title insurance. Attorney's generally don't need to get involved. On the other hand I did a land contract with a local druglord of sorts that did not go through the title company. In essence the druglord purchased the property from someone who owned it free and clear. The she proceeded to subdivide it and sell it on a land contract.

    The bottom line was my own investigations turned up the fact that just because I paid the druglord did not mean those upstream from her would get paid. So I could pay off the complete price and be left holding the bag and not get reconveyance.

    Yes I had great fun with this. At one point I held a $10,000 check in my hand and let the druglord see it, telling her it was for her. But then, oops, sorry this goes to pay what you owe to the original seller. I finally did get my reconveyance and clear title...the only person to ever deal with the druglord who did. Some of the parcels I know she sold six and seven times.

    So a long winded way of saying be careful what you are buying and be sure to get clear title.

    By the way, glad to hear you are getting out of Fla. Tennessee is a mighty fine state! Best of luck to you!

    bearkiller
     
  7. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

    Messages:
    15,019
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Back in the USA
    There has been several threads on this topic. Do a search and read them. There's so many factors involved that each time these come up I can usually think of few that aren't listed.

    Look at the land as if you are living on it and think about everything you might want to do as well as anything someone close to that property might want to do. I've always subscribed to a newspaper in the area and followed events before buying. Is the local school district in trouble? those cheap taxes may be about to change. The police report and many of the local controversies will show up in the paper. For an historical approach head for the newspaper office and ask if they'll let you look at back issues. Meth labs are a growing problem in rural areas. Make sure you are informed before you buy. You may end up with some neighbors that make your life a living hell. On the other hand you may be about to meet the friendliest people you've ever met. If you're buying a large parcel (hundreds of acres), there's is a possibility that someone may be doing something illegal on that property.

    Previous uses of the property may not be known or divulged. There's a ritzy neighborhood built long ago near Washington D.C. that the residents recently discovered was used as a burial site for chemical warfare shells dating to WW I. Recently during a training session here in West Virginia for stream restoration activities, a participant found a mortar shell dating from WW II. When the state police disposed of it, more energy was released than just the explosives used to detonate it. In other words, it was still live.

    Think about water and sewer and the ramifications if those are not already available. Think about too much water as in flooding. If you've followed this site for long you'll have read many posts on trespassing whether you're home or not. If you need computer access, be aware that phone service in many rural areas is not as good as in urban and suburban areas. Likewise TV and cellphone access if that's important to you may be poor or nonexistent.

    I would be surprised if you can find surveys for all of the parcels especially in a rural area. Some stuff is traditional meaning the folks that have lived there all their life know where boundaries are, or so they think. I have property that no surveyor wants to work on due to problems going back to the original patent issued in 1754.

    Good luck.
     
  8. norris

    norris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    ASK:
    If they have a copy of the plat map.
    If the property is burdened by an easement.
    If the minerals convey.
    If it is subject to zoning.
    If it is subject to restrictions or covenants.
    If there is an environmental disclosure.
    If there is a property condition disclosure.
    If the seller is motivated.

    GLTU
     
  9. Tango

    Tango Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,205
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Location:
    Florida
    Alright. Thank you for the help :) I'm about to take off armed with a few pages of questions, LOL. Poor realtor :) Drug lords and meth labs keep coming up in discussions- that is what I'm getting away from. Not that they're a problem where I currently live but they are a problem in this county. I've checked police reports, toxic waste, landfills and everything else that is published online about a county. Crime rates are low, schools are poor (but my son is homeschooled and he's already 17) and jobs are nonexistant. And land is cheap :) Darren, there is a company online that will find a surveyor for you. U.S. Surveyor. They'll give you an estimate also. They can find surveyors for hard to survey areas and ones with different areas of expertise.