Buying a home in Australia is an expensive endeavour—it’s easily the most money you’ll ever spend in one go. And to offset the astronomical costs, many buyers opt to forgo additional services like the property survey.

But that could prove to be a costly mistake. Property surveys uncover essential details about the house and the land it’s built on, potentially saving the buyer from purchasing a poorly planned home. And at the very least, a professional property survey provides assurance everything is in order—a godsend during this stressful time.

Here are 8 reasons why you need to get a property survey done before bidding on your dream home.

  1. It eliminates boundary disputes

Although you may assume the fence circling your future home is the official boundary, this may not be the case. Changes in technology, processes, and procedures over the years mean past boundaries might not be accurate in the modern-age, so there’s a good chance the fence line might need to be changed.

In day to day life, a marginally inaccurate boundary isn’t the end of the world. However, should you decide to renovate or extend, your neighbour could easily prove you’ve encroached on their land, and you’ll have to tear the whole thing down at your own expense. Getting a property survey done beforehand is a fast and affordable fix.

  1. It gives you peace of mind

Given you’ll be pouring your entire life savings into this one single sale, it’s understandable you might be feeling a little stressed about the ordeal. Stories abound around Australia of dodgy deals where unscrupulous realtors fool unsuspecting home buyers into purchasing a property that’s smaller than they think.

The legalities surrounding property parcels are complex, so it’s worth getting a professional to assess if you’re getting the real deal. A property surveyor can confirm the title and boundaries are in order and will evaluate the land to eliminate discrepancies. That way, you can sleep safe in the knowledge you’re not being taken for a ride.

  1. It’ll tell you whether you can sub-divide

As Australia’s urban sprawl spans further afield, sub-divisions are becoming increasingly lucrative. Even if you don’t plan to split your property any time soon, the mere fact it can be divided could add immeasurably to the resale price.

But to work out whether it’s possible, you’ll need professional help. A property survey will provide the relevant technical details, and a town planning consultant will fill you in on the legislative restrictions.

  1. It outlines any zoning restrictions

If you’re looking seriously at buying a place, chances are you’re already aware of its zoning classification (residential, commercial, industrial, etc.).

But have you looked into the fine details of what these classifications entail? Zoning restrictions are difficult to decipher, although they can be easily explained through a simple property survey. Thus, you’ll know exactly what you can and can’t do while still complying with zoning ordinances.

  1. You’ll understand your encumbrances and easements

Some properties come with legal conditions that allow neighbours the right to walk across it to access their own home. Typically, these conditions are written clearly on the title, although you’ll need a property survey to identify the specific rights at play.

A property survey will also outline the easements (the area your neighbour may walk on), and encumbrances (any relevant claims or liabilities).

  1. It identifies underground pipes and cables

Utility companies have the legal right to access their underground infrastructure. And if your house happens to stand on top of a vital pipeline, you may be forced to knock part of it down so they can get in there for repairs.

A land survey will let you know if the previous builder was silly enough to construct over essential infrastructure. And more importantly, you’ll know exactly where the underground cables and pipes lie, should you plan an extension in the future.

  1. It tells you whether the fence is positioned correctly

In an ideal world, a fence will straddle the precise boundary line to ensure each homeowner enjoys the correct amount of space, and both parties could share maintenance costs.

However, we don’t live in an ideal world, and fences are frequently erected erroneously, potentially resulting in tiresome issues with quarrelsome neighbours. A property survey will set the record straight once and for all.

  1. It protects your investment

All the above issues could prove costly if not identified promptly, which means you could face considerable financial hardship further down the track.

A property survey protects your investment by informing you of the essential details pertaining to your property and parcel. And considering this is the most significant investment you’ll ever make, it would be foolish not to get one done.

As you can see, a property survey is an essential part of purchasing a new home. So, start searching for a land surveyor in Melbourne today to safeguard your investment and take that first crucial step towards homeownership.