Real Estate

Plat Maps: What They Are and Why They’re Important

A plat map is a precious supply of details about a property that you must obtain through the closing course of of an actual property transaction. A plat map is essential because it dictates a property’s lot dimension and the placement of its boundary traces. 

Don’t let your plat map get misplaced within the maze of closing paperwork. You need to, on the very least, perceive what a plat map is and what it’s used for therefore you may overview the doc successfully. Points along with your plat map can have lasting results on the worth of your property and the way you should utilize your land. We outlined every thing you could learn about plat maps and the best way to use them under.

What’s the distinction between a plat map and plot plans?

A plat map and plot plan are two totally different, however equally necessary, property maps you must overview throughout your closing course of. Each comprise necessary property data, such because the authorized description of the scale of your property and the place it falls in relation to the encircling space. 

When evaluating the 2, a plot plan particulars a single plot of land— consider it as a close-up on simply your property. You’ll see the place present buildings fall, boundary measurements of your plot, and any rights of method on the property. In distinction, a plat map particulars a group of plots in a single space. A single plat map can range in dimension, exhibiting a gaggle of 5 properties, a neighborhood, or a city. Plat maps can even decide land use, reminiscent of your capacity to construct different buildings on the property. 

It’s necessary to notice that not all properties are platted, so a plat map might not at all times be out there. Plat maps can be modified and up to date, so at all times make certain you’re the latest out there information. 

Plat maps can typically be known as parcel maps. However typically, parcel maps are for presidency use and determine authorities boundaries. Generally a parcel map is used when a number of land parcels are being mixed— also referred to as a plat of consolidation. 

When would you want a plat map?

You first obtain your plat map through the closing course of once you purchase a house. You’ll wish to pay shut consideration to the plat map throughout this course of as a result of what it says determines what you’re shopping for. You’ll want the plat map once more in the event you refinance your own home, request a constructing allow, or in the event you plan to subdivide your lot. 

When closing on a house, you’ll use the plat map to confirm the property in your sale. The plat will present the scale of the lot with the authorized property traces. You’ll wish to guarantee: 

  • The property’s buildings are constructed throughout the property traces
  • There are not any encroachments on the property
  • That an present easement doesn’t intervene along with your plans for the property

What’s an encroachment?

An encroachment is when all or a part of a neighboring property extends previous its property traces. If there are any encroachments, you’ll need them resolved earlier than closing. It may be a serious headache to unravel property disputes, and chances are you’ll find yourself with a smaller property due to it. 

Alternatively, you would tackle the accountability of fixing the dispute in alternate for one thing of worth to you within the closing course of. For instance, the vendor might decrease the sale worth or cowl half or the entire closing prices. 

Do you want a survey?

If the property you’re shopping for has an easement or encroachment, you must order a survey from a licensed property surveyor. You also needs to order one if there was any current land motion or flooding, as this might have an effect on your property traces, topography, and any easements in your property. 

Your common residential lot survey usually prices lower than $1,000. Nevertheless, in the event you’re shopping for a big property or one with tough terrain, the survey might price extra. 

an aerial view of a neighborhood with blue sky in the background

Sorts of plat maps and the one you need as a home-owner

There are 5 sorts of plat maps that you could be want as a home-owner. Which one(s) you want will rely in your scenario. 

  1. A plat of subdivision information how a tract of land was divided into smaller parcels of land. You’ll want this in the event you’re shopping for one of many smaller parcels or in the event you’re shopping for a big tract of land that you just plan to subdivide. 
  2. A quick plat is sort of a plat of subdivision, however for not more than 4 separate parcels of land. 
  3. A plat of consolidation exists when a number of adjoining parcels of land are consolidated into one bigger tract of land. You want this if the earlier proprietor purchased a number of parcels of land they’re now promoting to you or in the event you’ve bought further parcels of land. 
  4. An amending plat is a map that information modifications or corrections to an present plat map. If there have been any pure or artifical modifications to the property, you must get an amending plat. 
  5. A vacating plat legally cancels an present plat map.

For those who’re not sure about the kind of plat map you want, your actual property agent, lender, and native municipality can provide steerage on the precise plat map(s) on your house. 

What data will you achieve from a plat map?

Reviewing your plat map ought to give you precise data concerning your property’s:

  • Location: Your road identify, road quantity, the identify of your neighborhood, your lot quantity, and parcel quantity. 
  • Orientation: Your property’s relationship to cardinal instructions (north, south, east, and west). That is necessary for understanding how the solar will fall throughout your property and its buildings— is it sun-soaked or sun-starved? 
  • Land dimension: Your boundary traces and their measurements. The sq. toes of the plot also needs to be listed. Be certain that the property is the dimensions that the vendor has said,and that every thing is constructed inside its boundaries. 
  • Flood zones: Your flood zone impacts your own home insurance coverage price, resale worth, and the place you may construct new buildings. It’s not essentially a foul factor to purchase in a flood zone, however try to be conscious of the flood zone(s) that fall in your property. 
  • Open areas: Often known as “greenbelts,” these areas are pure lands meant to protect wild areas. They could be leisure parks, preserves and reserves, wetlands, or wildlife refuges.
  • Leisure areas: That is your space’s parks, playgrounds, and sporting amenities like soccer or baseball fields. 
  • Monuments: With a purpose to survey land precisely, governments have boundary factors or markers referred to as monuments and usually seem like  stamped steel disks which might be typically positioned in concrete alongside roads to point a property’s boundary factors. 
  • Easements: Present half(s) of an space that the general public, the federal government, your neighbors, or non-public firms have entry rights to. They modify your rights as a property proprietor, so make certain you perceive any easements in your property.

Extra about easements on a plat map

An easement is a authorized proper to make use of the property and may be granted to an individual, individuals, an organization, or authorities. The kind of easement determines its use and so they are available in a couple of varieties:

  • A utility easement grants entry to a utility firm or your municipality for the aim of offering your space with a utility. That may embody electrical traces and utility  poles, water pipes, sewer traces, and fuel traces— or entry to them— in your property. 
  • A non-public easement provides one other individual the precise to make use of the property. For instance, you may promote an easement to a neighbor who wants to make use of it for sewer entry. 
  • An entry easement, a sort of prescriptive easement, is used for neighborhood trails or neighborhood entry roads. 
  • Different prescriptive easements could have particular entry causes hooked up to them. 

Any easement can be listed in your plat map. Easements should not essentially a foul factor. Nevertheless it’s necessary to know the place they’re and why they exist. Some easements might make it inconceivable so that you can construct in your property or make it tough to make use of your land the way in which you meant. When you have any questions or issues concerning the easements in your property, you must communicate with an actual property legal professional or different authorized counsel with information about easements.

waterfront aerial of several homes with mountains in the background

The right way to learn a plat map and know your lot dimension

Whenever you get your plat map, find the image legend. It will assist you to learn every thing accurately and it’ll present you the best way to discover the monuments in your neighborhood. You also needs to find the directional arrow (pointing north) and the dimensions, usually positioned close to one another within the prime left or prime proper nook of the map. 

The plots are kind of rectangular containers following roads and marked with lot numbers within the center. Under the lot quantity is the lot dimension written in sq. toes. The parcel quantity can be listed in smaller numbers throughout the plot boundary, and the home quantity will seem simply exterior your plot boundary alongside the road line. 

In addition to referencing the lot dimension recorded in your plot field, you too can calculate it. You’ll additionally discover the size of your boundary traces written alongside them contained in the field. You also needs to be aware any of the easements alongside the boundary traces. Every easement could have its sort and measurements listed. 

How correct are plat maps?

The accuracy of your plat map is dependent upon how lately it was up to date. If the plat map you’re utilizing was created throughout the previous 5 years, you may depend on it to be principally correct. However the older it’s, the extra doubtless a discrepancy exists. 

The panorama can change over time as a consequence of climate occasions and different elements. Neighbors might have constructed new buildings, municipalities might have altered roads or alleys, and utility firms might have modified how utilities lay throughout your property.

When you have any doubts concerning the accuracy of your plat map, you must get a survey of your plot. This offers you probably the most correct data concerning your property. 

beachfront properties with an empty plot next to it

How yow will discover a plat map on your property

There are a number of methods to get your plat map, relying on the kind of map you want and the explanation for getting it. You may receive the map from: 

  • Your native authorities, both town information workplace or county assessor’s workplace. 
  • The Bureau of Land Administration (BLM), in the event you want a plat map for federal lands.
  • Your title firm offers the plat map among the many paperwork you get because of your title search. 

Plat maps are thought of a public report, to allow them to be obtained by anybody. You can even discover one within the on-line database Q Public

Contemplate hiring a land surveyor for a extra exact measurement of your property

If you could know the precise measurements of your property, you’ll want a land survey. The kind of land survey you want, lot dimension, its terrain, and what you propose to make use of it for, all have an effect on survey prices. 

Whenever you purchase a home, your lender would possibly require a mortgage survey or boundary survey. The mortgage survey outlines the property boundaries and the buildings inside them. A boundary survey, which can be known as a boundary evaluation, simply outlines the plot boundary traces.

Mortgage surveys are usually required once you purchase prolonged title insurance coverage, as its particulars can drastically have an effect on the worth of your property. The price of a mortgage survey is round $500. Boundary surveys are usually inexpensive, round $200. 

You can even buy topographic surveys for round $900, that are wanted to develop development plans. These define pure options like streams and slopes, in addition to man-made options reminiscent of buildings. For those who solely must assemble a fence, a fencing land survey will run you round $550.  

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