Make a land survey part of every purchase.
Title Plus, one of Canada’s leading title insurance companies, recently announced that its policies eliminate the need for up-to-date surveys on most properties; a saving of $600.00 or more.
Despite this assurance, a proper survey is a key safeguard of title.
Title insurance policies may contain exceptions which will not be covered, such as risks that could have been discovered by a professionally reviewed title search, and a proper survey.
Other than the Deed to the property that one is buying, in our view a survey is the most important document in any real estate transaction. Without a survey, the purchaser cannot accurately determine the full extent, dimensions and location of the property, whether it is a new or resale home, cottage or commercial property.
What is a Survey and Why is it so Important?
In layman’s terms, the survey is like a one-dimensional overhead line drawing of a parcel of land. It shows the measurements, corners and boundaries of the property. They Surveys are prepared by licensed Ontario Land Surveyors, using careful measurements taken at the site and compared with registered titles of the properties.
Surveys reveal the actual location of the buildings placed on the property in relation to the lot lines. Surveys often detail improvements such as fences, pools, overhead wires, easements and rights-of-way in favour of neighbours or utilities.
Surveys show exactly what buyers are purchasing and, even more importantly, what they may not be receiving.
Why doesn’t Title Insurance replace the need for a Survey? After all, doesn’t Title Insurance fix any problems if they arise?
Although title insurance may eventually pay to straighten out errors in ownership or description of the property, it will never, for example, compensate owners for the embarrassment of owning a wrong house, the risk that a prospective purchaser could back out of the sale at the last moment since good title was lacking, or for the inconvenience of not closing on time.
There is no substitute for having an up-to-date survey as part of a purchase transaction. While highly useful to prevent many types of loss, Title Insurance cannot replace the many benefits of having a survey; it only insures over the resulting problem.