With the world’s population on the rise, housing developments are shooting up like corn in a bumper crop. These new developments often require that large chunks of existing property be bought and subdivided to make room for the new homes, and this means land surveying is near non-negotiable. In fact, sometimes getting a land survey is actually a legally required mandate in order to buy or sell a property.
What is a land survey?
Land surveying is the science and skill of using a combination of high tech equipment and thorough research to establish and document the exact boundaries and dimensions of a parcel of land. A land surveyor — the professional who conducts the survey — uses specialised tools, like GPS, 3D distance and angle equipment, as well as a knack for detective work in county, city or municipal archives in order to prepare a plan that thoroughly describes and encompasses a property’s dimensions, landmarks, boundaries and conditions.
Why do a land survey?
A land survey allows property buyers or property sellers to get see exactly what they are buying or selling. It establishes property boundaries, and will also outline any building restrictions that are in effect in the area. What’s more, a land survey will uncover any discrepancies between the actual land boundaries and the recorded land boundaries on documentation. This is important since minor discrepancies can (and have) resulted in major property disputes that have resulted in million dollar lawsuits and hefty fines.
Other things a land survey will reveal include:
- Whether there are any environmental factors that will impact your property (like if it’s in a flood zone)
- Whether or not you, as the existing owner of the land, can subdivide a portion of it, either to sell or to gift to someone.
- Whether or not their are any existing liens or suits outstanding against the property.
The Modern Day Economical Relevance of Land Surveying
There’s no getting around it: acquiring a land survey is an added expense of property ownership, but considering buying a property is one of the most sizable purchases most of us will ever make, it’s worth it. What’s more, when you consider the repercussions of not getting a land survey (i.e. lawsuits, legal fees, fines), the initial investment is definitely worth it.
How much does a land surveying cost?
The answer to this question depends on the size of your property, scope of the survey and difficulty level of the job. A small parcel of land with no existing disputes or boundary discrepancies could cost as little as $200, whereas a larger parcel with more complicated history could cost thousands of dollars.
Whatever you do, don’t forgo the survey, and when in doubt, go with reputable land surveyors in your area. These people will know the lay of land, and be aware of conditions and possible issues that are unique to your neighbourhood.
The fact of the matter is as the world’s population grows, property lines blur and change. Before you buy, make sure you have your boundaries set out and legally in place. Hire a land surveyor, and save yourself a lot of time, money and stress down the road.