Why Your Surveying Paragraph in a Hawaii Purchase Contract May Be Inadequate When Purchasing Hawaii Residential Real Estate

The Hawaii Purchase Contract used for purchasing Hawaii Residential Real Estate gives the purchaser two options when it comes to knowing the boundaries of the Hawaii parcel:

  • The Seller shall have a registered land surveyor stake the Hawaii property with pins; or
  • The Seller shall have a registered land surveyor stake the property, and on a map show the perimeters of the property and the location of any improvements in the vicinity of the perimeter property line

We are surprised to see the first option selected in the Hawaii Purchase Contract by Hawaii buyers. As the Hawaii Purchase Contract itself notes, staking “does not confirm the accuracy of the description or the land area of [the] Property, or the existence or absence of encroachments onto the Property or onto a neighboring property.” A buyer should want to confirm what he or she was told was the property boundary line. Therefore the staking option should not be selected.

As for the second option, that too may be inadequate as it is really just a perimeter survey. The buyer will know where the boundary line is, and will know if there are any encroachments onto the property or onto a neighboring property. However, the buyer will not know if any improvements on the property are in compliance with subdivision covenants, conditions and restriction.

The Hawaii buyer should consider obtaining an American Land Title Association (“ALTA”) survey instead and inserting that as a condition of the Hawaii Purchase Contract. The ALTA survey will not only show the boundary lines and encroachments, but it will also show existing rights of way, easements evidenced by recorded documents, and setback or building restriction lines.

All of those are important for knowing if you cannot build in a certain area on the parcel or learning that an improvement is improperly constructed and must be torn down. This is especially true in the Kahala area or subdivisions where there are setback lines.

As you can see from the above a Hawaii Purchase Contract is relatively complex and you can benefit from having a Hawaii lawyer.

Contact us today if you need a Hawaii attorney in your corner.

More Articles on Hawaii Real Estate Law

Contact Our Practice

Mon-Fri: 8am - 4:30pm
Sat: 8am - 12pm