Do I Need A Survey Before Purchasing a Property.

Read on and I will let you be the judge of that question.

So you have just recently found your dream home in a beautiful Brisbane suburb. It ticks all the boxes and has everything on your wish list, including a lush back yard large enough for that tropical swimming pool you've always wanted - Or does it?

We recently had a client who was denied their application to build that awesome swimming pool because, as it turned out, only half of that scrumptiously HUGE back yard was actually theirs. How could that possible happen? Or more appropriately: How could this have been avoided?


Home buyers often receive a copy of old town plans or drawings from the real estate agent and think that it’s correct and good enough to begin the planning process. But you need to determine if things have changed on the property since the old survey was made.

  • Have fences been rebuilt or removed?

  • Have local laws changed that might affect your property rights?

  • Are the perceived boundaries of a property indeed the true boundaries? Tree lines or that beautiful new fence in the back yard often differ from the actual recorded boundaries.


The simple answer is the purchaser should have ensured there was a house location and boundary survey completed before they bought the property. A survey would cost as little as $1,200 and requesting one before purchase could save a lot of heartache.

So, why is a house location survey so important?

  • It identifies the location and existence of the property.

  • It shows the relationship of the property to adjoining properties.

  • It establishes discrepancies between actual occupation or use and the description of record.

  • It indicates the location of physical improvements in relation to the property lines.

A survey is the only reliable way of obtaining and confirming basic information about a property.

Obtaining a survey prior to closing highlights any discrepancies before it is too late. It is critical to note that the house location survey must be read with the title report. Discrepancies encountered should be resolved before moving to settlement.

There are many elements of the survey process, we research, measure, compute and map making. Our surveyors research land records and other public files for information about the property and those adjoining and perform onsite field work, including measuring physical improvements and locating all physical attributes within the property and surrounding it. Our team compare their findings in the field with the description of record and complete the drafting process themselves. A plan that shows property limits and the location of man made features, such as power poles, manholes, drainage ditches, telephone and cable TV boxes is developed.

Our reports and plans make note of any discrepancies and ensure the land described in the transfer is actually the parcel the purchaser wishes to buy. You can rest assured that the improvements being transferred are within the boundaries described.

  1. Neighbouring Fences and buildings may be over the boundary, and these encroachments must be removed or dealt with prior to signing a contract.

  2. There are no unregistered interests such as encroachments or unregistered easements affecting the land.

  3. Check that the land is not subject to flooding.

  4. Confirm the improvements have been built in accordance with local authority ordinances.

  5. Ensure the physical features and services available are adequate for your purposes.

Most land boundary dispute arises from people being unaware, sometimes mislead, as to where their actual boundaries are located. One home owner here in Brisbane fought to keep her pool and entertaining area that had been built over an easement. An extreme case in Sydney saw 10 Landowners in one street purchase each others properties, resulting in expensive court proceeding spanning 2 years.

So avoid heartache and neighbourhood feuds, obtain a survey before purchase!

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