When purchasing a property, how do you know the borders of the property? How do you ascertain things like the driveway and fence are on/inside your property lines? An ILC or survey could answer these questions for you.
Improvement Location Certificate: ILC
Very common with new construction properties and issued as part of the transaction. In a Seller’s Market, the cost for this is generally the buyer’s responsibility. An ILC will very roughly describe where the house sits on the property based upon pins or stakes delineating the property line.
For other properties, it is in a buyer’s best interest to have a survey to show the boundaries of a property. For instance, a lot of land in the mountains where you want to build a custom home. Or in the city if you are hoping to add a structure in the backyard accessible via a driveway, a survey should show property lines and easements.
Here’s an example of an ILC from a recent new construction property:
The improvement location certificate doesn’t show the relations of the property to any other structures. But I can assure you there are homes on either side of this house.
Easements And Remodeling
Look at the ILC and you may notice there is a dotted line representing an easement running across the driveway. This is actually a bigger deal than it may appear. Technically, because of that easement, in the eyes of the municipality you would not be able to park a car on the driveway for storage. Sure – a car will fit. But, the easement prevents it from being legally recognized.
This comes into play, especially in Boulder neighborhoods such as Martin Acres, where an owner converted a garage to a bedroom. Maybe without a permit even, sometime in the past. I see that a lot.
Then an owner tries navigating the building code to expand their home and runs into weird issues – like the garage conversion needing to first be reversed for the home to qualify for a remodel. This is one of those things a good Realtor will bring to the attention of a home buyer before they even get under contract!