Attorney Diane Gleason shares her knowledge about common survey questions. 


Is a survey required in Texas? 

Texas law does not require a survey. Most lenders and investors do require the survey coverage offered by Texas title companies. Texas title companies will provide survey coverage on the Loan Title Policy if they receive an acceptable survey.  That survey coverage would include (1) amending Schedule B, item 2 on the Loan Title Policy to read only “shortages in area”, and (2) providing the T-19 endorsement without deletions. 


Is there an endorsement premium for this survey coverage? 

There is no additional endorsement premium for the survey coverage on the Loan Title Policy.  If an owner wants the same coverage on the Owner’s Title Policy the additional premium is (1) 15% of the Basic Rate in an Owner Policy (T-1), or (2) 5% of the Basic Rate in a Residential Owner Policy of Title Insurance – One-to-Four Family Residences (Form T-1R) with a minimum premium of $20.00.  


Can an existing survey be used for this survey coverage? 

An existing survey can be used for survey coverage if the title company is willing to accept the existing survey along with an affidavit verifying the existing survey. The age of the survey does not matter and who the survey was prepared for does not matter. For Residential Real Property, the title company will use the form T-47 Residential Real Property Affidavit for the required Affidavit. 


What is a T-47 Affidavit? 

The T-47 Residential Real Property Affidavit is a Texas title insurance promulgated form. The title company would provide the form and it is completed by the current owner. Among other things, the owner is affirming that they are familiar with the property and that since the date of the existing survey there have been no new structures.  


Is a survey required on a Condominium? 

A title company may waive the requirement of a survey in connection with the issuance of a Loan Title Policy on a condominium unit. 


What if there is a survey exception on Schedule B of the title commitment? 

This will depend on lender/investor requirements.  Some survey exceptions reflected on Schedule B may be acceptable to an investor (e.g., minor encroachment onto adjoining property of removable fences).  Other survey exceptions may not be acceptable to an investor (e.g., house extending over a building line). If a survey exception appears on Schedule B of the title commitment, and the transaction is a purchase, request the title company to reflect that exception on the Owner’s Title Policy only, and not on the Loan Title Policy. That may or may not be possible depending on the exception. If a survey exception is remaining on the Loan Title Policy, verify lender/investor guidelines.