A home appraisal is an educated guess about how much your property is worth, and a survey is a map of your property boundaries. Both are typically paid for by the buyer and therefore belong to the buyer. Both could be very important documents for you in the future.
There are a couple of important reasons for you to possess an appraisal:
1. It might be needed to refinance or borrow against your home in the near future.
2. If a future appraisal is needed, it is easier to dispute any discrepancies, including the square footage.
A survey is important to retain for future added improvements such as a fence, pool, deck, etc. especially if a permit is required. Also a survey can be helpful when you market the home for a new buyer and it sometimes can be re-used by the new purchaser’s lender as well.
Unfortunately, most lending institutions today do NOT include these documents in your “closing package” and are “held on file” with the lender. As a result, these documents are nearly impossible to retrieve in the future.