You may think that a property survey is something that is carried out when you buy a home to keep your mortgage company happy. While they may order a survey, the information they are after is very different to what you can gain from a professional survey.
Your mortgage company is only interested in confirming the value of your property; this will ensure they can get their money back if you are unable to pay.
In contrast, a property survey can help you to understand the issues present in your home and even assist with service avoidance.
The Basics Of A Property Survey
A property survey should provide you with a host of useful information. However, you must request the survey yourself; anything that is asked for by your mortgage company will be done to cover their needs and might not give you all of this information:
This is vital if you are likely to erect any fences or even wish to understand who can remove a tree or hedge. It can help to prevent friction with your neighbors.
This report should include any gaps between your boundary and a neighbor’s; you may discover there is a small ‘no man’s land!’ To ensure that there will not be any encroachment issues, it is important to do a boundary survey. This will let you and your neighbors know exactly who’s land is who’s.
It is possible that your neighbor has access to their property through yours or that a public right of way goes through your land. You may not know about this unless you have a survey done, and it could affect any plans you have to develop your site.
It is common for both neighbors to be responsible for the upkeep of joint spaces, such as adjoining driveways. Keeping yours well maintained will help to look after your neighbors and vice versa.
A survey will tell you if there are currently any legal issues with your property. This can often be a result of extensions which have not complied with the planning guidelines. If this is the case, you will need to be prepared to correct the issue.
The survey will show you exactly where services currently run. Any which run under your property should be paid particular attention to. If you are doing any work on your house or yard, you will want to practice service avoidance. Damaging a major utility line can do more than leave you and your neighbors without power. You may end up with a large bill!
It is also possible that the utility company will need to access their facilities, and you will need to bear this in mind if you are completing any alterations.
There are strict regulations placed on properties in specific zones. The survey should tell you whether you are zoned for residential or light industrial use. Once you understand your zoning, you can verify with your solicitor whether there are any specific issues you should be aware of. You will also be able to confirm you are using your property within the confines of the law.
It doesn’t matter whether you have just moved in or have been in your home for years. Getting a property survey done is a good idea.