Why You Need a Land Survey Before Buying a House

2 December 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog

When you're thinking of buying a new home, you may be ready to have the entire structure inspected from top to bottom. However, beyond just the house itself, you may also want to have a land survey done on the property. This can protect you in a variety of ways and may even affect your decision to buy the home. Note why this is and why every prospective homebuyer should include such a survey in their decision-making process.


If a neighbour has a fence, walkway or other such item on the property or that is encroaching on the property past their legal allowances, it can be very difficult to have them remove this or alter their own property once you've purchased a home. Depending on the fence or other item encroaching your property, you may not even want to buy the home and deal with that headache and possible legal fight down the road.

At the same time, you may assume that a neighbour's fence is on the property you're considering purchasing, but a land survey may tell you that the property boundaries are different than you assumed and there is no encroachment. This can also protect you from encroaching on your neighbour's property after a purchase; if you're thinking of adding a granny flat or shed on the property after purchasing the home, it's good to know if you actually have the room to do that legally, within your own property boundaries.

Property divisions

If you're thinking of buying property and then dividing it to sell or give to family, you need to know if this can be done within the actual property boundaries. This land survey can tell you if you have enough property to do this and how such division would affect the overall outline or footprint of your new property; again, if the boundaries are not where you assume, you may need to change your plans for purchase or for this future division. A land surveyor will also usually be familiar with local regulations that affect how a property can be divided, so you may find that you're not allowed to do this on the property as you expected, given its actual boundaries.

The property seems underpriced

If the property seems underpriced as compared to other homes in the neighbourhood, you may want a land survey done. It may be that the actual exterior property is smaller than you expected or assumed, and this is the reason for the owner's asking price.