Q:

When do you receive a property plat map when purchasing a house?

A:

Quick Answer

The time a prospective buyer receives a plat map differs by state, but in California, title companies include it in a preliminary title report. A plat map may not exist if an owner has never subdivided a piece of property.

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When do you receive a property plat map when purchasing a house?
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Full Answer

Plat maps contain many pieces of useful information. The map includes the lot dimensions and any easements of record at the time of recording of the plat. Usually, the plat map is a photocopy of a larger subdivision map, and the lot number identifies the lot of interest.

Using the plat map helps a buyer to identify some advantages of the parcel. Sometimes there are mistakes in the property listing, such as showing a lot as 6,000 square feet when the plat shows it as larger or smaller. Knowledge of the actual size allows the buyer to get a better price on a more valuable property. It also helps to prevent paying more than the actual value.

Some plat maps include easements the owner records against a parcel. These easements affect the use of the parcel. A driveway easement prevents building structures in the affected area. Utility easements allow companies access to the property to add lines or dig up landscaping. Easements require careful evaluation, often by the buyer's attorney, before buying the property.

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