Land surveying is one of those things we often don’t think about until we have to get it done. Either it is required to begin development on a property, or to sell a house, or to buy a house, or to receive financing. No one is going to tell you it is a fun experience, exactly: it isn’t a trip to Disneyland, after all. But it is part of the property securing process, and it is something the majority of property owners have to do — whether they want to or not.
This said, there are people who may not be required to have a survey completed. For instance, if you are buying a piece of residential property as is with a home already on it, you may not be required to get a survey. The developers will have already done this. However, you may want to get one anyway.
With this in mind, here are some of the most significant pros and cons of getting a land survey.
Land surveys help you understand exactly what you are buying. You will receive a detailed plan outlining precisely where your property lines begin and end.
Land surveys help avoid any potential property disputes in the future, or now. Again, this is because you will know where your boundaries lie, so you won’t go building that fence 3 metres onto someone else’s property.
Land surveys will bring to light and define and missing property corners and great land surveyors will check to see if existing corners and lines match up to adjacent property lines and corners.
Land surveyors will let you know if there are any regulations regarding property division if that is something you plan to look into now or in the future.
Land surveyors can represent you in city or county planning meetings, saving you both time, money, and of course, stress.
Land surveys can help you properly price your property, if you are planning to sell.
Land surveyors cost money — and it is sometimes difficult to know exactly how much until the surveyor has completed the job. This is because unforeseen circumstances can crop up, like missing corners or existing discrepancies between your property and neighbouring properties. However, you can get a pretty good idea of what it will cost you with a quote. Larger, more involved surveys will obviously cost you more than if you simply need a survey on one boundary line. Think upwards of thousands of dollars for the former and as little as couple of hundred for the latter.
Land surveyors are people, too. Yes, there are supposed to be professionals, and the best land surveyors are consummate professionals, but whether or not you get along with your land surveyor is an important part of the business relationship. To avoid personality disputes, speak to your land surveyor before you agree to have any work done to ensure you are on the same page in terms of personality and expectations.
Land surveying requires research. While you don’t have to do the county or city-based research that you hire your surveyor to do, you will have to spend some time looking for the right land surveyor for you. Ask around. Consult trusted sources. Make sure your land surveyor has the necessary credentials and is constantly updating their credentials to stay abreast relevant advances in technology. Also, ensure the land surveyor you select has experience surveying your kind of job. Hiring someone who deals almost exclusively with commercial, urban property wouldn’t be the best person to survey your rural, agricultural development, after all.
In the end, if a land survey isn’t required, it is up to you whether or not to get one. You have to weigh the pros and the cons, and see if the time and money is worth the peace of mind.