Before buying any property, whether residential or commercial, land surveying is something that you should do if you want to make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
1. Establishing boundary lines
You don’t want to buy a home and end up having wrong assumptions about where the boundary lines lie. Nor do you want to build a fence, an extension, or a driveway and have a neighbor complain because it’s trespassing their property. To make it clear where the property’s boundaries are, a land survey is a must. You’ll avoid future disputes with neighbors and have an accurate document to support you in any legal case.
2. Identify joint features
A land survey can also make you aware of any legal obligations that you have to maintain your driveway, party walls, encroachments, projections, or overhangs to support your neighbor’s.
3. Determine conditions and agreements
If there are existing conditions and agreements in your title, a land survey will help determine all of these on your property so you don’t get into disputes with your neighbor. For example, if there is a preexisting agreement that your neighbor can walk across your property to reach the main road, you must give them that right. A land survey helps you determine all conditions and easements like this, which is much better than relying on reading the title by yourself.
4. Ensure legality
Another reason a land survey is essential is because a surveyor will certify that none of the buildings or alterations that currently exist on the property go against local laws and restrictions. They can also ensure that the improvement you plan to make on the property complies with the local laws.
5. Find hidden supply lines and utilities
A land surveyor can also point out underground supply lines that may be running underneath the property (e.g. water, gas, electric, telephone, wires, cables, pipes, drains, etc.), and let you know the extent of the utility company’s rights to your property. Knowing the location of these lines is crucial before starting excavation or construction on the property to avoid causing unnecessary damage.
6. Clarify zoning restrictions
Even if you’re absolutely sure that the property is zoned for residential use, a land surveyor can help ensure that you’re following the right zoning classifications. Once you find out specific restrictions placed on your property, you can speak with a lawyer regarding the appropriate use of your property, so you stay in compliance with zoning laws.
7. Uncover unexpected history
When you have a land survey conducted, you can also find out the hidden history of the property, if there is any. For example, a land surveyor may reveal that the property was once used as a burial ground and point out exactly where the graves are.
As made clear by the reasons above, a land survey is an essential step before buying a property. If you’re looking to buy a house soon, consider consulting a land surveyor before making an offer.