House buying and selling is always a stressful game, and there are a lot of areas that you suddenly need to be an expert in! When you are buying a home, part of the process always involves a land survey. This is a vital step and one that should not be overlooked.
Buying a house is expensive enough, but believe us, if you find out that the ground is unstable at a later date, it will get a whole lot more expensive. So what exactly is involved in a land survey and why is it so important that you get one?
What is a Land Survey?
A qualified land surveyor will visit the property that you intend to purchase and carry out a series of checks. They will be very interested in where the fences are, and how this relates to where the boundaries of your house are. This will ensure that when you buy the property, you know exactly where your land starts and finishes. Fences are often thrown up without much care, only for homeowners to discover much later on that they either have much more, or much less land than they originally thought. By establishing exactly where the boundaries are, any disputes can be carried out before the sale commences.
Your land surveyor will also test the quality of the soil, investigate any signs of flooding, heave or tree root damage and warn you of any long-term risk to the land such as landslip.
Why Do I Need One?
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy is famous for leaning on one side. However, you don’t want that to happen to your home, do you? Photo Courtesy: Sébastien Bertrand
Put simply, if you don’t get a land survey, you are taking a huge risk. A house is the most expensive thing you will ever buy and if you don’t make sure you know exactly what you are buying, you will come to regret it. Subsequent boundary disputes with neighbours can get very difficult indeed and often require solicitors to settle.
How Do I Get a Land Survey
Portrait of a Land Surveyor – beautifully captured by Hartwig of Germany
The first step is to find a land surveyor that you trust. You could start by asking friends who they would recommend. Visit online forums to see who is being raved about online, and carry out internet searched on surveyors in your area. Get two or three quotes so that you can compare them against each other, and only go ahead with one when you are happy that everything that you need is covered in their service. Save yourself money by getting hold of the deeds yourself so that they don’t have to. Make sure the surveyor you choose is fully qualified and affiliated with the correct professional body.
Having a land survey conducted on the property you intend to buy may just seem like one more expense that you could be tempted to avoid. But avoid it at your peril! Making sure you are confident about the land that the house is built on will certainly help you sleep at night, and it will also make life a lot easier if and when you come to sell it on again. So, never be tempted to skip this step!
Jenny Waldow is a freelance blogger who is keen on writing about diverse topics. She is currently writing for JAC Surveyors. Reading and writing are a few of her favorite things to do. You can catch up with her on Twitter @JennyWadlow.