Expert Advice on Buying Land Without a Survey in Florida

Thinking about buying land without a survey in Florida? You’re not alone. Many real estate investors, home buyers, and property sellers face this unique challenge. This article aims to shed light on the nuances of buying land without a survey in Florida, providing you with practical tips, strategies, and expert advice. By the end of this read, you’ll be well-equipped to make informed decisions and minimize risks associated with land purchases.

Steve Daria and Joleigh, experienced real estate investors, highlight the significance of conducting comprehensive due diligence when purchasing land without a survey in Florida. While skipping a survey might save initial costs, it could lead to unforeseen boundary disputes or zoning issues. However, they also point out that it is possible to make a well-informed purchase with careful research and legal guidance.

Understanding the Importance of a Land Survey

Understanding the importance of a land survey is crucial when purchasing property. 

A land survey is a detailed guide that outlines the exact boundaries, physical features, and potential legal issues associated with the land. 

Without this critical information, buying land is akin to buying blindfolded, as you lack clarity on what you’re acquiring.

buying land without a survey in florida

Why Skip a Survey?

There could be several reasons why a buyer might skip a survey when purchasing land. 

Some buyers may rely on existing surveys provided by the seller, assuming they are accurate and up-to-date. 

Others might want to save on the additional costs associated with commissioning a new survey, especially if they believe the land boundaries are well-established.

Risks of Not Having a Survey

Understand the risks of buying land without a survey in Florida to make informed decisions.

  • Boundary Disputes: Unclear property lines can lead to disputes with neighbors.
  • Legal Issues: Easements and encroachments may go unnoticed, leading to potential legal complications.
  • Valuation Errors: Without a survey, estimating the property’s true value can be challenging.

When is it Safe to Skip a Survey?

While generally not advisable, skipping a survey might be less risky in certain situations:

  • Well-Documented Properties: Land with a clear, recent survey history.
  • Small Parcels: Smaller, uncomplicated plots of land may present fewer risks.

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Strategies for Buying Land Without a Survey

If you decide to buy land without a survey in Florida, adopting a cautious approach is essential.

Conduct Preliminary Research

Conducting preliminary research before purchasing property is essential to gather comprehensive information. 

Begin by examining public records, which can provide insights into the property’s ownership history, tax assessments, and any recorded liens or encumbrances. 

Reviewing old surveys and legal descriptions can offer further details about the property’s boundaries, easements, and potential zoning restrictions, allowing you to make informed decisions and understand any existing obligations or limitations associated with the land.

Consult a Real Estate Lawyer

Consulting a real estate lawyer is important when purchasing property to mitigate potential legal risks. 

A knowledgeable lawyer can thoroughly review existing documents such as surveys, titles, and property deeds to ensure accuracy and identify any hidden liabilities or encumbrances. 

They provide invaluable insights into complex legal issues, offer guidance on navigating local regulations, and ultimately safeguard your interests throughout the property transaction process.

Use High-Resolution Satellite Images

Using high-resolution satellite images, such as those available through tools like Google Earth, can offer initial insights into a property before committing to a survey. 

These images provide a preliminary view of the property’s layout, neighboring structures, and surrounding landscape, helping to assess its general condition and surroundings. 

While they are not a replacement for a professional land survey, they can serve as a useful tool to supplement your initial research and decision-making process when considering a property purchase.

Neighbor Consultations

Consulting with neighboring property owners is a practical step to gain insights into boundary lines and potential historical disputes. 

Neighbors can provide firsthand information about shared property lines, existing easements, or past disagreements regarding land use. 

Their knowledge can help clarify property boundaries and provide context that may not be evident from public records or surveys alone, contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of the property before making a purchase decision.

Key Considerations When Skipping a Survey

Understanding the implications of buying land without a survey is crucial. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

Zoning Laws

Ensure the land complies with local zoning laws. 

Violations can result in hefty costs and legal complications.

Easements and Rights of Way

Before finalizing a land purchase, it’s critical to thoroughly investigate any existing easements or rights of way that may affect your intended use of the land. 

Easements grant others specific rights to use or access your land, such as utility companies or neighboring properties. 

Rights of way provide similar access rights but typically involve pathways or roads that others may have the legal right to use across your property. 

Environmental Factors

Environmental issues such as wetlands, flood zones, and protected species habitats can restrict land use. 

Conducting an environmental assessment is advisable.

Title Insurance

Investing in title insurance can provide some protection against undiscovered issues. 

While it won’t replace a survey, it offers a layer of security.

buying land without survey in florida

Frequently Asked Questions

Explore the most common queries about buying land without a survey.

Is it legal to buy land without a survey in Florida?

Yes, it’s legal. However, it’s risky and not generally recommended due to potential boundary and legal issues.

Can I use an old survey?

Using an old survey can be risky as property boundaries and conditions can change over time.

Always consult a real estate lawyer before relying on an old survey.

How much does a land survey cost in Florida?

The cost of a land survey in Florida can vary from $300 to $1,000, that will depend on the property’s size and complexity.


Buying land without a survey in Florida is fraught with risks but can be navigated with caution and the right strategies. Conduct thorough research, consult professionals, and stay informed to make the best decision for your investment. Remember, while skipping a survey might save you money upfront, the potential long-term costs could far outweigh the initial savings.

**NOTICE:  Please note that the content presented in this post is intended solely for informational and educational purposes. It should not be construed as legal or financial advice or relied upon as a replacement for consultation with a qualified attorney or CPA. For specific guidance on legal or financial matters, readers are encouraged to seek professional assistance from an attorney, CPA, or other appropriate professional regarding the subject matter.

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