Do I need a Land Survey before I buy a house?

The obvious answer to this question is yes, but there are so many more questions to consider when buying a house that we should probably start at the beginning. The first step, even before you begin house shopping, is to look at your budget. Does your life style allow you to purchase a house yet? Next in line is the amount of money you can borrow. This depends on how much debt you have and how good your credit is. Once you have an idea of the amount of money you are working with, you can start visiting banks and financial institutions to negotiate a mortgage. Only then can you seriously look at houses that are within your buying range.

Study the market, look at the selling prices, don’t be blindly seduced by the first house you like without comparing it to others. In this fluctuating interest rate period, play conservative and stay within your means. Once you find a house you like, complete all the building inspections, including a land survey. Then, following the legal proceedings in your selected area, make an offer, and wait. If you are lucky and the stars align, you will soon move into your new house.

Throughout this process, you need to remember that buying a house is possibly the biggest purchase you will ever make. Therefore, you must protect your investment by making sure the house of your dreams does not become a money pit. Your best protection is prevention and this is done through thorough inspections. Money spent on termite inspections, building inspections, drainage surveys, mining surveys and land surveys, completed by a licensed land surveyor, will save you money down the road on expansive repairs or boundary disputes.

Take a minute to consult your local council reports and services as they already have flood maps and bush fire zones you can use to make a sound decision about the house you buy. You might have to consider hydro excavation depending on the drainage condition of the house you selected. If that is the case, use reputable companies that guarantee their work.

Although all these steps might appear tedious and overwhelming, they are considered due diligence when you are ready to take the big step of buying a house. Whether you plan on living in the city or the country, you should know what you are getting into before you commit for the next twenty-five years. From soil or groundwater contamination to land boundaries, you want to avoid unpleasant surprises. Respecting planning controls and building permits will save you time and money. Also, as a buyer, you have rights. Know them well and use them to make your purchase the most positive experience it can be.

When moving day finally arrives, you will be able to enjoy every minute of it. You will spend your time moving furniture around, painting and decorating rather than worrying about all the unknown. That will be the best feeling in the world and you will get there because you stopped and wondered: “Do I need a land survey?”

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