Real Estate News from Brad Gough

Understanding Types of Property Surveys

One of the primary reasons that buyers obtain a survey for the home they are purchasing is because the lender providing the purchase financing requires that the title company issue a lenders title insurance policy that does not take exception to survey matters. The lender title insurance policy protects the lender, not the buyer. Title companies go further to protect themselves by issuing a statement similar to this "Easements or servitudes, if any, appearing in the public records." as a listed exception to what the title commitment to the buyer covers. As a buyer, it would be prudent to always order a survey when purchasing a home to help identify any encroachments on the property. There are several different types of surveys:

Location Survey

The type of survey most commonly ordered is called a "Location Survey". A Location Survey shows the location of the improvements on the property in relation to the apparent boundary lines of the property. It generally involves a physical inspection of the property and is accurate to plus or minus a few feet. This type of survey will generally cost the buyer about $150 here in Indiana. It should not be used for the purpose of identifying the propertys boundary lines, such as for construction or permit purposes (you'll need a Boundary Survey for that).

Boundary Survey

A "Boundary Survey" is used to identify a propertys boundary lines. In this type of survey, the surveyor will set (or recover) the property corners and produce a detailed plat or map. To accomplish this, the surveyor will research the public records and do research in the field, take measurements and perform calculations. This type of survey is what is necessary for construction and permit purposes, and it can be expensive, possibly even several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the property and how complicated the records are. Most commonly in Indiana a boundary survey will cost you in the $600 to $1,000 range.


For commercial closings, lenders will usually require a type of survey called an "ALTA/ASCM Survey." ALTA stands for American Land Title Association, and ACSM stands for American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. An ALTA/ASCM survey is a Boundary Survey that must meet certain stringent standards established by these two organizations. If you are buying a house and you plan on doing construction in the short term, such as putting on an addition or installing a fence, it might make sense to obtain a Boundary Survey as part of your purchase closing. That way, you would not be paying for a Location Survey for the closing and then having to pay for a Boundary Survey after closing. You would just need to inform the title company so that they can arrange for the surveyor to perform a Boundary Survey instead of a Location Survey.

Example Location Survey

Example Boundary Survey

Example ALTA Survey

I Appreciate Your Referrals

It is a common misconception that a real estate agent primarily learns of someone looking to buy or sell a home when someone simply calls an agency looking for an agent to help them. Although this can happen, it is very rare. In fact, over 80% of the referrals I receive come from past clients and past coworkers just like you. The other 15-20% of referrals comes from our national network of relocation companies and other Coldwell Banker agencies across the country.

The greatest compliment I can receive is when someone like you refers me to a friend, coworker or family member of theirs. If you, or someone you know, are looking to either buy or sell a home then I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to earn your business. Do you know of someone looking to buy or sell a home?

Click the vCard below to download my contact information to load on your phone and to share with anyone you know that would benefit from my help in buying or selling a home.

Contact Brad Gough

12401 Old Meridian Street
Carmel, In 46032


Mobile (317) 590-3571

Office (317) 844-1131