Can You Skip the Survey When Buying a House?

Can You Skip the Survey When Buying a House?
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Published By Jennifer Jewell

Question: Can You Skip the Survey When Buying a House?

Answer: While you can skip a survey, it’s generally advisable to get one. A survey can help prevent boundary disputes and other issues, providing peace of mind.

Can You Skip the Survey When Buying a House? The Risks and Realities of Skipping a Property Survey

In the process of buying a house, especially in Ontario, a property survey plays a crucial role. It provides detailed information about the property’s boundaries, legal descriptions, and other vital data. However, some buyers consider skipping the survey, which can lead to various risks and complications.

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Understanding What a Property Survey Entails

Before deciding to forego a property survey, it’s essential to understand what it involves. [ 1 ]

Detailing Property Boundaries

A survey accurately outlines a property’s boundaries, helping to avoid disputes with neighbors and ensuring clarity in what you’re purchasing.

Identifying Easements and Rights of Way

The survey will also detail any easements or rights of way, which are crucial for understanding access and usage rights on the property.

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Related Article: Should I Share My Survey with the Buyer?
Related Article: Why are Surveys Sometimes Problematic?

Considering the Legal Implications

Opting out of a property survey can have significant legal implications.

Potential for Boundary Disputes

Without a clear survey, boundary disputes with neighbors can arise, leading to costly and time-consuming legal battles.

Issues with Future Alterations

If you plan to make future alterations or improvements, lacking a survey can result in legal complications, especially if your changes inadvertently violate property boundaries.

Financial Risks in Skipping a Survey

There are also financial risks associated with not having a property survey.

Impact on Property Value

Not having a survey can affect the property’s value and your understanding of what you are purchasing, potentially leading to financial losses.

Complications with Mortgage Lenders

Many mortgage lenders require a property survey before approving a loan. Skipping it can complicate or even hinder your financing options.

Situations Where a Survey May Be Optional

In certain scenarios, the need for a survey might be less critical, but these situations are rare.

New Developments with Recent Surveys

In new developments where recent surveys are available, the need for an additional survey might be less pressing.

Title Insurance as a Possible Alternative

Some buyers opt for title insurance as an alternative to protect against potential boundary issues. However, it’s important to understand that title insurance and surveys serve different purposes.

The Long-term Benefits of Conducting a Survey

Despite the temptation to skip a survey, there are long-term benefits to conducting one.

Peace of Mind in Your Investment

A survey provides peace of mind, ensuring that your investment is sound and that there are no hidden issues with property boundaries or legal descriptions.

Preparation for Future Developments

If you plan to build or make significant changes, a survey lays the groundwork, ensuring that all developments comply with local regulations.

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Conclusion: Weighing the Decision Carefully

While it might be tempting to skip a property survey when buying a house, especially to save time or money, the risks involved often outweigh the potential benefits. In Ontario’s real estate market, a survey provides legal and financial security, ensuring that buyers fully understand their property’s boundaries and legal standings. Carefully considering the importance of a property survey can prevent future disputes, legal issues, and financial losses, making it a wise step in the home-buying process.


References

1. https://www2.geowarehouse.ca/blog/why-is-having-access-to-a-property-survey-so-important/

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