Buying a house is an exciting journey! It’s also a major investment, and working with a professional surveyor Brisbane wide is a great way to protect your investment. While most property deals are completed without issue, things sometimes fall through the cracks, and you don’t want to be left holding a property that is unsuitable for your needs. Having a property survey performed before you hand over your cash can protect you from some major pitfalls. In this article we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of property surveying and whether you need one when buying a house.

What is a Property Survey?

Property surveys use a mix of historical research and state of the art measuring equipment to identify the main features of a property. A professional property surveyor can identify:

  • Property boundaries
  • Structures such as houses and sheds
  • Major vegetation like trees
  • Topography
  • Features like retaining walls, driveways and fences
  • Underground utility runs

Property surveys are usually performed ahead of construction, renovation and development work, but you can request a survey of your property whenever you choose. The results of a property survey are presented as a map and other documentation showing the exact details uncovered by the survey process. Depending on your needs, your surveyor may also visit your property to mark out boundaries and the location of services.

Property Surveys for House buyers

The good news is that you aren’t required to have a property survey performed when buying a house. At a time when you’re spending a lot of money, saving a little bit on a property survey can seem like a blessing. But, while there’s no legal requirement to have a survey conducted, many people choose to engage a surveyor for their own peace of mind. When you buy a property you’ll be inheriting its existing problems such as disputes with neighbors, non-compliant structures and restrictions. A property survey is the best tool you have for protecting your investment, and the small cost of a residential survey is far outweighed by the security it can provide.

The Benefits of Property Surveying

An up to date property survey is one of the most powerful tools you can have as a property buyer. Your survey will provide clear information about the land, legal issues and any restrictions that apply, allowing you to make an informed decision. Investing a property survey comes with several major benefits for home buyers:

  • Establish exact boundaries. Property boundaries have a habit of shifting over time. Changes in the land, new construction and blurred boundary lines mean you don’t always get what you see. A property survey will establish exact boundaries for the property so you know what you are entitled to as part of the purchase.
  • Uncover legal issues. When you buy a property you’re signing up for any problems that come along with it, such as boundary disputes with neighbors. A property survey can be used to clarify your position in these disputes and help bring the issues to a close.
  • Identify restrictions. Local planning and zoning regulations mean you won’t always be able to use your property the way you want. Many homes and vacant blocks are subject to restrictions such as easements and covenants. These restrictions limit the ways you can use your property. For example, a covenant between your neighbors may prevent you from developing a block into townhouses. Similarly, an easement sets aside a parcel of your land for someone else’s use, such as your utility company.
  • Improve your bargaining power. Having a property survey performed before you make an offer can drastically improve your bargaining power. While vendors are usually required to disclose issues with their land, things sometimes get missed, and the information included in your survey can help you get a better price for the property.

Plan for the Future with a Property Survey

Finally, one of the biggest benefits of property surveys is that they can help you plan for the future. Many of us buy imperfect homes with an eye on performing renovations down the line. If that sounds familiar, a professional surveyor Brisbane wide can provide the information you need to support your future plans.

Like we said above, property surveys are usually commissioned to support planning and approvals for renovation and construction work. If you’re buying a house with the intention of renovating, rebuilding or developing the land (such as subdividing or building multi-residential accommodation), you’ll need an up to date property survey. If you have a survey performed when buying the property, you won’t need to repeat the process later!