Land and Property Surveys 101: the Different Types and Why they’re Important

Everyone knows and loves the excitement of browsing the property market and scrolling through reams and reams of search results to find what we hope will be our dream property. However, how can we be sure that this will be our dream property? Sadly, there are many distrustful property sellers out there, which can leave potential homebuyers vulnerable to more significant, costly, underlying issues with houses. Unfortunately, we can’t rely solely on a mortgage valuation either. Most of the time, these aren’t comprehensive enough and, in some cases, don’t even involve the property in question being visited.

To quell these fears, most avid property purchasers and sellers now enlist the help of land surveying professionals to eliminate any doubts about houses and the land associated with them. Land and property surveyors can carry out a range of different types of Land Surveying to help people with their purchasing and selling needs; these can range from homebuyers surveys to condition reports, from standard land surveys to engineering surveys, and many more. Nonetheless, with so many different types of surveys available, it can be hard to decide which survey suits your situation and why it’s essential. This article aims to outline the different types of land and property surveys and why they’re important to help you make the right decision.

What Are The Different Types of Property Surveys?

If you’ve been browsing the property market, and something has caught your attention or you’ve made an offer already, you might be curious as to what types of property surveys are available to you and the benefits that they provide. On the other hand, you may be thinking, do I really need a survey? The short answer to which is no, as they’re not compulsory, but we do highly recommend considering one as they can help you avoid unexpected or surprise costs in the future. 

According to the RICS, the majority of potential home buyers opt for a Homebuyers Report, and depending on how severe their worries are they might also opt for a valuation or not. Minus a valuation, this service outlines any major problems with the property such as rot and subsidence. however it’s non-obtrusive so the report received afterwards will be limiting. On the other hand, if a valuation is opted for as well, then you will receive a much more detailed report plus estimated insurance costs should fire damage occur to the property. Provided you have greater worries you could opt for either a Home Condition Survey or a Building Survey, which are much more extensive and consider issues such as broadband speed, boundary issues and damp assessments, but these are much more costly. 

Why Are Property Surveys Important?

Property surveys are incredibly important, and are worth considering if you’re in the process of buying or selling a house. Surveys such as the ones listed above, provide you with useful pieces of information and can highlight any issues with a property that you may have missed. Previously you may have thought that you were sold on a property, and was unwavering in your offer, but unforeseen issues highlighted by a property survey may convince you otherwise. For instance, you may find out that the property needs a roof replacement because of extensive roof damages. If this is the case, you can negotiate with the seller on who will shoulder the costs of hiring a roofing contractor.

What Are The Different Types of Land Surveys?

Unlike property surveys land surveys are generally split into three categories, which are classed as standard land surveys, engineering surveys and informational surveys, they can also be referred to as geodetic or plane surveys. Land surveying is especially useful, as it can be used to establish boundaries for ownership, such as mapping out perimeter lines from one establishment to another. It’s also useful for determining where buildings and roads will be constructed. 

One of the most common land surveys are Initial Surveys and Environmental Impact Assessments, which help make sure that the proposed development will affect the environment as minimally as possible. Environmental Impact Assessments strive to distinguish the impact that a proposed development will make on the surrounding environment, and how to minimise it as much as possible. These assessments are quite common, especially for people who apply for planning permission, as they might be asked to present one before starting any works.

This also links in with biodiversity net gain, an environmental assessment, which approaches development in a way which leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. We recommend hiring professional ecological consultants such Biodiversity Net Gain, when it comes to carrying out assessments like these. If you’re interested, check out their site and browse a variety of their services, and to get quotes and more information. 

People also use land surveyors for encroachment and adverse possession issues, which happens when a homeowner constructs onto neighbouring property or less commonly takes over someone else’s property. As the owner of the land, you’d then contact a land surveyor who would access the boundaries of both properties and determine whether or not a line has been crossed and whether or not legal action should be taken. 

Why Are Land Surveys Important?

Much like property surveys, land surveys are equally important, and play a huge part in helping companies and people access the surrounding environment and how panned developments play a part. Land surveys are crucial when developing and buying property, as without a sufficient land survey you’re effectively blind to issues around you, and could run into bigger issues down the line. You’ll also need one if you’re wishing to obtain a planning permit!

Many people use land surveyors services and GPR solutions for mapping for many reasons, like investigating the area surrounding a property before they develop or buy, or for carrying out surveys to support planning permission applications. In worst case scenarios they may even be used to resolve disputes such as boundary issues, and others as mentioned previously, and without the existence of such services it would make it extremely hard to build, develop or establish ownership of land. 

Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.