Five reasons why property surveys are crucial for Toronto homeowners
A home is the one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, so it’s important to protect your investment
Many properties aren’t what they seem. Fences, hedges and driveways may appear to define the borders of the land you own, but that may not actually be the case. Part of your home could be encroaching on your neighbour’s or vice versa.
Fortunately, property surveys can help buyers, sellers and investors feel more confident. They determine the legal size and shape of your property, and only surveyors licensed through the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors can perform them. If you don’t have one, it could end up being incredibly costly.
Still unconvinced? Here are five reasons why property surveys are crucial for homeowners in the Greater Toronto Area.
Boundary problems are very common
Did you know that 49 per cent of residential properties across the GTA report boundary discrepancies? That’s according to research conducted by Protect Your Boundaries, which has an online database of more than two million existing plans. While homebuyers must act quickly in today’s highly competitive real-estate market, it’s important to protect yourself by conducting due diligence on any properties you’re considering.
Title insurance doesn’t cover everything
When you sign a transfer document for a property, you obtain the title (also referred to as legal property ownership). Title insurance helps protect you as the commercial or residential property owner, but it’s a common misconception that it will cover you for all issues.
If a survey plan didn’t reveal any problems or there’s no previous research on the property before its purchase, your claim may be denied. Also, in most cases title insurance won’t cover fencing, so a survey plan is the best way to avoid surprise costs.
Surveys don’t just protect your investment—they help grow it
Home renovations like additions, extensions, decks and pools are great ways to boost your home’s value—but before shovels hit the dirt, you’ll want to get a property survey to ensure that you’re entitled to build where you’re planning. You’ll also avoid added hassle and expense if you have to move the new structure. Most building permits also require a land survey, which Protect Your Boundaries can help you with, including determining the type you need.
They can help in resolving boundary disputes
Say you’re building a new fence and your neighbour claims it’s over the property line—disagreements over boundaries can turn ugly fast. A property survey can show you where you stand before you hire a lawyer and help support your case if you do decide to take legal action.
It’s a small price to pay to avoid serious headaches later
The cost of surveys differs based on a property’s unique characteristics—its size, the terrain, the complexity of its boundaries and more—but the expense is minimal compared to the risk you may face without. You could potentially endure a costly legal battle if you sell a property that’s significantly different from what’s advertised.
Find out exactly what you own and where your boundaries lie, and secure your home investment by searching for your property at Protect Your Boundaries. Review, download and purchase land and property surveys from the comfort of home here.