Survey: A Comprehensive Guide to Mortgage Surveys


In the World of Mortgages, Surveys Matter

As a homebuyer, you’ll encounter various steps and requirements when obtaining a mortgage. One essential aspect that you may come across is the need for a mortgage survey. But what is a mortgage survey, and how does it differ from other types of surveys? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the importance of mortgage surveys, the types available, and the role they play in the homebuying process.

Shedding Light on Mortgage Surveys

What is a mortgage survey? A mortgage survey is a detailed map or drawing of a property, outlining its boundaries, dimensions, and improvements. These surveys are performed by licensed surveyors and are used by mortgage lenders to verify the property’s legal description and ensure there are no encroachments or other issues that could impact the property’s value or marketability. Mortgage surveys can also help identify any potential problems or disputes before they escalate, saving both the buyer and the lender time and money.

Some common types of mortgage surveys include:

  • Mortgage Location Survey: This survey verifies the property’s boundaries and dimensions, identifies any improvements or structures on the land, and checks for potential encroachments. A mortgage location survey is often required by lenders in states like Ohio.
  • Boundary Survey: A more comprehensive survey that focuses on identifying the property’s boundaries, easements, and any encroachments. A boundary survey may also be referred to as a mortgage survey or a residential mortgage survey.
  • Mortgage Inspection Survey: A less detailed survey that focuses primarily on the location of improvements and structures on the property.
  • Mortgage Valuation Survey: Conducted by the lender, this type of survey assesses the property’s market value and condition to ensure it meets the lender’s requirements.
Mortgage Survey

When Do You Need a Mortgage Survey?

Not all mortgage lenders require a survey, but it’s essential to understand the requirements and potential benefits of having one. Some situations in which a mortgage survey might be necessary or beneficial include:

  • Mortgage Application Process: Many lenders require a survey as part of the underwriting process to ensure the property’s legal description is accurate and there are no encroachments or other issues that could impact the property’s value.
  • Property Disputes: A survey can help resolve disputes over property boundaries, easements, and encroachments before they escalate.
  • New Construction or Renovations: If you’re building a new home or planning significant renovations, a survey can help identify potential issues related to property boundaries, easements, and building codes.

Navigating the Mortgage Survey Process

The mortgage survey process typically begins once you’ve selected a property and applied for a mortgage. Depending on the lender’s requirements and the type of survey needed, the process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks[^8^]. The cost of a mortgage survey varies depending on the property’s size, location, and complexity, but can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars[^9^].

To help you navigate the mortgage survey process, here are some steps to follow:

  1. Check with Your Lender: Determine if your mortgage lender requires a survey and what type of survey they need. If a survey is required, ask for a list of approved surveyors or find a licensed surveyor in your area.
  2. Schedule the Survey: Contact the surveyor to schedule the survey and discuss any specific concerns or requirements.
  3. Review the Survey Results: Once the survey is complete, review the results with your survey or and make sure you understand the findings. If there are any discrepancies, issues, or encroachments on your property, discuss your options with your surveyor, lender, and legal counsel.
  4. Address Issues and Negotiate: If there are any issues discovered during the survey process, you may need to negotiate with the seller or adjoining property owners to resolve them before proceeding with your mortgage. This could involve adjusting property lines, removing structures, or obtaining easements.
  5. Keep a Copy of the Survey: Store a copy of the survey with your important property documents for future reference. This can be helpful if you plan to make improvements, sell the property, or refinance your mortgage in the future.
Mortgage Survey Cost

The Importance of Mortgage Surveys

Mortgage surveys are crucial in the home-buying process, as they provide essential information about the property you plan to purchase. From identifying boundaries to uncovering potential issues that could affect your mortgage application, these surveys serve as a valuable resource in making an informed decision.

Different Types of Mortgage Surveys

There are several types of mortgage surveys, and each serves a unique purpose.

  1. Mortgage Location Survey: This survey determines the boundaries of the property and locates any improvements or encroachments on the land. In some states, like Ohio, mortgage location surveys are required.
  2. Boundary Survey: Similar to a mortgage location survey, a boundary survey also establishes property lines but is more comprehensive, often used for legal disputes or construction projects. Comparing a mortgage survey vs boundary survey can help you understand the differences and choose the right option for your needs.
  3. Mortgage Inspection Survey: This type of survey assesses the overall condition of the property, focusing on structural and safety issues that might affect your loan application. Learning what is a mortgage inspection survey can help you determine if it’s necessary for your specific situation.

Mortgage Survey Costs

The cost of a mortgage survey varies depending on the type of survey and the location of the property. On average, the price can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Researching how much does a mortgage survey cost and how much is a mortgage survey can help you budget appropriately.

Survey Requirements

Some states require a survey for mortgage transactions, while others do not. To determine whether you need one, consult your lender or research what states require a survey for a mortgage. Even if not mandatory, obtaining a survey can provide valuable insights and peace of mind.

Mortgage Surveys and Lenders

Mortgage lenders often require a survey as part of the loan application process. Surveys help lenders assess the property’s value and identify any potential issues that could affect their investment. Understanding do mortgage lenders require a survey can better prepare you for the loan process.

Mortgage Market Trends and Surveys

Various organizations conduct mortgage market surveys to gather data on interest rates, loan applications, and industry trends. These surveys provide valuable insights for both lenders and borrowers.

  1. Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS): This weekly survey collects data on average interest rates for fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages in the US. The Freddie Mac Mortgage Rate Survey is a reliable resource for tracking interest rate trends.
  2. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey: This weekly report tracks changes in mortgage application activity and offers insights into housing market trends.
  3. National Survey of Mortgage Originations (NSMO): A collaboration between the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), this survey collects data on borrower experiences and mortgage product choices.
How Much Does A Mortgage Survey Cost

Mortgage Survey Tips for Buyers

When you’re in the process of purchasing a property, obtaining a mortgage survey can be a vital step. Here are some tips to ensure you get the most out of your mortgage survey:

  1. Choose the right survey: Determine which type of mortgage survey is most appropriate for your situation. Consult with your real estate agent or mortgage lender to help you make an informed decision.
  2. Hire a reputable surveyor: Research and find a reputable, licensed surveyor with experience in your area. Check for online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends, or consult with your real estate agent.
  3. Understand the costs: Be aware of the costs associated with different types of mortgage surveys. Make sure to budget accordingly and factor this expense into your overall home-buying costs.
  4. Review the survey carefully: Once you receive the survey, review it thoroughly, and address any concerns or discrepancies with your surveyor. This will help you to understand the property’s boundaries, improvements, and potential issues before finalizing your purchase.
  5. Share the survey with your lender: Provide your mortgage lender with a copy of the survey, as they may require it as part of the loan application process.
  6. Keep a copy for your records: After your mortgage transaction is complete, store a copy of the survey in a safe place. You may need it for future reference, especially if you plan to make improvements or sell the property.

Mortgage Survey Tips for Sellers

If you’re selling your property, providing a mortgage survey can help streamline the transaction and make your property more attractive to potential buyers. Here are some tips for sellers:

  1. Obtain a mortgage survey: If you don’t already have a recent survey, consider obtaining one before listing your property. This can help identify any issues or encroachments and allow you to address them before putting your home on the market.
  2. Make necessary improvements: If the survey uncovers issues, make the required improvements or adjustments to increase your property’s value and appeal to potential buyers.
  3. Provide a copy to potential buyers: Share the survey with interested buyers so they have a clear understanding of the property boundaries and improvements. This can help alleviate any concerns and promote transparency in the transaction.
  4. Update the survey if necessary: If you’ve made significant improvements or changes to the property since the last survey, consider obtaining an updated survey to reflect these changes.

By understanding the importance of mortgage surveys and following these tips, both buyers and sellers can make more informed decisions and facilitate smoother real estate transactions.

Mortgage Survey Statistics and Government Resources

To further emphasize the importance of mortgage surveys in the home buying process, it’s essential to explore relevant statistics and government resources that can provide valuable insights and assistance.

  1. Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS): This weekly survey by Freddie Mac provides an overview of the current mortgage rates in the United States. By monitoring this information, both buyers and sellers can stay informed about trends in the mortgage market and make better financial decisions.
  2. Fannie Mae Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey: Fannie Mae conducts a quarterly survey of mortgage lenders to gauge their sentiment regarding the housing market and mortgage industry. This resource can provide valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities in the mortgage market.
  3. Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey: The MBA survey provides a weekly update on mortgage application activity in the U.S. This information can help prospective buyers and sellers gauge the current demand for mortgages and make informed decisions accordingly.
  4. HUD Homebuyer’s Guide: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides a comprehensive Homebuyer’s Guide that covers various aspects of the home buying process, including mortgage surveys. This resource can help homebuyers understand their rights and responsibilities when obtaining a mortgage survey.
  5. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Mortgage Resources: The CFPB offers various resources to help consumers navigate the mortgage process, including information on mortgage surveys. These resources can provide guidance and assistance for buyers and sellers navigating the mortgage market.
Mortgage Surveys

Your Next Step: Apply for a Loan with Mortgage Rater

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of mortgage surveys and their importance in the home buying process, it’s time to take the next step in your journey. Apply for a loan with Mortgage Rater to get the best mortgage rates and terms for your needs. Our team of experts is here to guide you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Ready to get started? Click here to apply for a loan with Mortgage Rater and begin your journey toward homeownership today.

Also, be sure to visit our Mortgage Terms page for more information and learning resources to help you navigate the world of mortgages with confidence.

Mortgage Survey FAQs

To further aid your understanding of mortgage surveys, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that address common concerns and inquiries.

1. What is the difference between a mortgage survey and a boundary survey?

A mortgage survey, also known as a location survey, focuses on determining the location of improvements and potential encroachments on a property. This type of survey is usually requested by lenders and title insurance companies to assess the risk associated with a mortgage.

A boundary survey, on the other hand, determines the property’s boundaries and identifies any encroachments, easements, or other issues that might affect the ownership rights. This survey is more detailed than a mortgage survey and is typically used when buying or selling a property, resolving disputes, or planning construction projects.

2. How much does a mortgage survey cost?

The cost of a mortgage survey varies depending on factors like the property’s size, location, complexity, and the surveyor’s fees. On average, a mortgage survey can cost between $300 and $700. It’s essential to get quotes from multiple surveyors to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

3. How long does it take to complete a mortgage survey?

The time it takes to complete a mortgage survey depends on factors like the property’s size, complexity, and the surveyor’s workload. Generally, a mortgage survey can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to complete. Make sure to discuss the timeline with your surveyor upfront to avoid any delays in the mortgage process.

4. Can I get a mortgage without a survey?

In some cases, lenders may not require a survey for a mortgage, especially if the property has a recent survey on file or if it’s a condominium with clearly defined boundaries. However, it’s still recommended to get a survey for your own protection, as it can help identify potential issues with the property and avoid costly disputes in the future.

5. How do I choose a surveyor for my mortgage survey?

When selecting a surveyor, consider their experience, qualifications, and reputation. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your real estate agent. You can also check online reviews and professional associations to find a reputable surveyor in your area. Make sure to get quotes from multiple surveyors to ensure you’re getting the best service at a competitive price.

In conclusion, understanding the importance of mortgage surveys and the role they play in the home buying process is crucial for both buyers and sellers. By staying informed and proactive, you can make better decisions and protect your investment. Don’t forget to apply for a loan with Mortgage Rater to get the best mortgage rates and terms, and visit our Mortgage Terms page for more information and learning resources.

Apply with Mortgage Rater Online Now

By exploring these resources and staying informed, you can make well-informed decisions about mortgage surveys and the home buying process in general. Remember that Mortgage Rater is here to assist you in securing the best mortgage rates and terms for your needs. Don’t hesitate to apply for a loan and visit our Mortgage Terms page for additional information and learning resources.

Donavon Warren

Donavon Warren

Donavon Warren is a seasoned finance professional with over 20 years of experience. Before embarking into the mortgage industry Donavon attended UCLA. He is the owner of Mortgage Rater, a leading mortgage finance company that offers a range of informational services to clients across the United States. As a finance and mortgage author, Donavon brings his wealth of knowledge and experience to the platform, writing about various topics related to personal finance, investments, home loans, FHA loans, VA loans, 30 Year Fixed rates, no-interest loans, mortgages and more. With his insights and expertise, he aims to educate and empower readers to make informed financial decisions that can help them achieve their financial and mortgage goals. NMLS#2470202
Share This :