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Buying or building a new home is a huge life investment.

Whether you’re buying or building your new home, there are a huge array of things to consider and risks to mitigate. You might be considering buying a large block and subdividing to build two townhouses, or you might be looking for a ready-built family home in a great neighbourhood.

No matter your choice, it’s critical you are aware of what you’re entering into, and understanding the lay of the land you’re purchasing is a huge part of this. Having a detailed, accurate map of the land’s features and its boundaries is essential in helping you to make an informed decision on your next investment.

It’s a common misconception that the fence of a property is the marker between where your land ends and your neighbour’s land begins, but this isn’t always the case. Even though a boundary fence should ideally be located on or as close to the boundary as possible, the fence does not necessarily define the boundary. A boundary identification survey can correctly identify the boundary of your land and also assist in any decisions if you’re considering building or subdividing.

What is a boundary identification survey?

Boundary identification surveys, or cadastral surveys, can accurately identify the true boundaries of a piece of land. The boundary identification process can include marking the boundary position on the ground with pegs or offset marks and presenting a plan known as a boundary identification certificate to show the boundary and its relationship to any structures near the boundary. This certificate not only identifies the position of the boundaries but also confirms the certificate of title under which the land is held and identifies any easements over the land.

A boundary survey will:

  • Identify the physical location of the boundaries on the ground;
  • Identify if fences are correctly placed close to or on the boundaries;
  • Identify if buildings, driveways, sheds or any other structures are encroaching over boundaries;
  • Show the position of any retaining walls in relation to the boundaries;
    Highlight any possible causes of disputes in the future;
  • Ensure the land you intend to buy is correctly described as per the contract;
  • Report on easements and rights of way over the land; and
  • Confirm the size of the property and the boundary dimensions, which could be critical if you intended to subdivide the land.

Boundary identification surveys can only be carried out by a licensed surveyor.

A licensed surveyor will use information from the certificate of title and previous surveys obtained from the Land Titles Office, and will physically measure the location of evidence such as previous survey marks and old fences. Particularly with older land titles, the information supplied may be ambiguous; it is the licensed surveyor’s role to gather all the evidence to make an informed, professional decision on the intended position of a boundary.

Understanding the lay of your land is a must.

When buying a house, it’s critical that you completely understand the land you’re buying and what your entitlements are. Just as you would have a building inspection done before making the final purchase decision, a boundary survey is a must-do before signing the contract.

If you’re considering building a new home or subdividing a block of land, a boundary identification survey can help you to make an informed decision on the placement of any structures and can aid in identifying if it meets conditions for subdivision. Having a qualified land surveyor perform a cadastral survey before you buy or build gives you peace of mind and the confidence in your decision making.

Without an accurately measured and marked boundary on your land, you could risk:

  • Disputes with your neighbours on correct placement of fences and structures;
  • Expensive fees for rectifying encroachments;
  • The cost of re-fencing if fences are not placed correctly on the boundary; or
  • Difficulty selling the property in future if the true boundary is identified too late.

Protect your new investment for the future with an accurate boundary survey.

The most compelling reason why you should get a boundary identification survey completed before you make a final purchase decision is to protect yourself from any future encroachments or boundary disputes. If you’re building, a boundary survey can also help you to determine the best placement of your any new structures and the boundary dimensions if you’re considering subdividing. Ensuring your new build is placed in the correct position on your land according to any Local Council requirements protects you from any future difficulties in selling or costly fees for rectifying any incorrect placement or encroachment.

Have peace of mind for your next big investment with an expert boundary survey by Alexander Symonds.

Our team of licensed surveyors will equip you with highly accurate information on your land, helping you to make an informed purchase decision. Contact us to discuss your needs and how we can help.

Get in touch today