Frequently Asked Questions Mortgage Loan Inspections What is a mortgage loan inspection? Why is a mortgage loan inspection necessary? What is the purpose of a mortgage loan inspection? Isn't a mortgage loan inspection a boundary survey? How else do mortgage loan inspections and boundary surveys differ? Does a mortgage loan inspection show what I own? What can I use a mortgage loan inspection for? What is a mortgage loan inspection? A mortgage loan inspection (sometimes called a "Plot Plan" or "Class D Survey") is a land surveyor's professional opinion, based upon preliminary information, of the relative location of the apparent boundary lines of a given parcel of land and the obvious improvements thereon. Back to top Why is a mortgage loan inspection necessary? Your lender requires title insurance covering certain boundary-related problems. In order to provide that insurance, your lender's title insurance company requires that a surveyor perform a mortgage loan inspection. Back to top What is the purpose of a mortgage loan inspection? The purpose of the inspection is to detect major boundary problems that would affect the security of your lender's loan. If the inspection indicates there are no such problems, the title insurer will provide title insurance coverage for the lender. The coverage is for the lender only, not for you. Back to top Isn't a mortgage loan inspection a boundary survey? No. With a boundary survey, the surveyor says to you, the property owner, "These are your boundaries." With a mortgage loan inspection, the surveyor says to your lender and its title insurer, "Based upon some preliminary research and field inspection, these are what the boundaries appear to be." Back to top How else do mortgage loan inspections and boundary surveys differ? The processes involved and resultant cost are drastically different. A mortgage loan inspection includes a review of the current deed description, approximate field measurements during which monuments found are assumed to be correct, and the drafting of a rough sketch. In the past, a mortgage loan inspection generally cost about $150 to $400. It is paid for by the borrower(s). A boundary survey is much more involved. It normally includes extensive research of your property and all abutters (often back one hundred years or more), precise field work, the evaluation of conflicting boundary evidence, extensive mathematical computations, and monumentation of all corners. Products of a complete boundary survey include the preparation of a detailed plan suitable for recording in the county Registry of Deeds, and the drafting of a revised deed description and survey report. The cost of a professionally done boundary survey is seldom less that $1,000 and is frequently much more depending on the size and complexity of the survey and the needs of the client. Back to top Does a mortgage loan inspection show what I own? Not necessarily. Due to the greatly different processes involved, there obviously are many boundary problems that a boundary survey will detect that a mortgage loan inspection will not. Therefore, if the actual location of your boundaries is critical, you should contact a surveyor to determine whether or not you need a boundary survey. Back to top What can I use a mortgage loan inspection for? The inspection was not prepared for your use. It was prepared for your lender and its title insurer. Therefore, if you use the inspection for any purpose, you do so at your own risk. Specifically, you should not use an inspection for anything that requires the physical location of your boundaries on the ground including the erection of fences, landscaping, land use permitting (including variance requests), or the planning or building of additions, garages, sheds, pools, etc. Back to top All information represented above was taken from the Maine Society of Land Surveyors pamphlet entitled "Questions and Answers about Mortgage Loan Inspections".