With all of the costs associated with purchasing a home, you might be asking whether or not you should spend the money to get a property survey?
What is involved in a property survey and is it actually worth the extra effort?
Though often getting a property survey is an overlooked part of a home purchase. It’s not included in your regular conveyancing services. A survey can save you if a dispute over land boundaries arises.
A survey, conducted by a professional surveyor examining land boundaries, helps to ensure that the physical location of property and home is in agreement with the plan registered at the land titles office. They can also help to ensure that the property you are purchasing has no structures (fencing or buildings) which encroach upon your land.
While the cost of having a property surveyed can seem significant before your purchase, it can be far more costly to resolve boundary disputes once you own the property. Say, for example, you did not have the property surveyed before you purchased your property and your neighbour has their property surveyed. That survey finds that your fence is 5 metres over the property line. There may be a number of options in dealing with this situation (depending upon the friendliness of your relationship with your neighbour), but often, it means the demolition and re-positioning of the structure over the property line.
The costs to remove and reposition a fence can easily reach double what the initial survey of your home would have cost if you had had the property surveyed before you purchased the land. That cost can skyrocket if a building needs to be demolished (for instance a shed or garage).
In addition to property surveys, you may also want to get geotechnical, or soil surveys (often known as a soil test). Soil tests can help you assess the soil prior to building a new structure. Poor soil can lead to higher construction costs. The better the soil quality, the more stable the building surface.
In addition to these important surveys, you should also look into building and pest inspections.
The more you know about a property pre-purchase, the better off you will be when it comes to negotiation and having all problems resolved before you take ownership.