What does a surveyor do?

So, you’re seriously considering buying a property and you’ve been told you should hire a land surveyor. Your first thought is Great, more money — and this is certainly true. Hiring a professional land surveyor does cost money; typically, anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to thousands. It depends on the size of the property and scope of the job.

However, while a land surveyor will cost you money up front, they can save you thousands or even upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road. This is because land surveyors help you understand exactly what you are buying. They allow you to see the full picture of your purchase, so you won’t be caught unaware when it comes to tricky property lines, building restrictions or legal stipulations.

Knowledge, as they say, is power, and a quality land surveyor will give you all the knowledge you need to determine whether or not your property is a sound investment.

How do they do this?

Land surveyors measure and map land using state-of-the-art equipment and technology. To do this, they need training, as well as a solid understanding of mathematics and the ability to apply this knowledge practically.

In addition to surveying land, surveyors can also measure bodies of water and even aerial space.

The Tools for the Job

In the field, land surveyors use cutting-edge GPS systems, theodolites (a.k.a. Robotic Total Stations), terrestrial and aerial scanners, as well as specialised cameras to get the lay of the land.

Land surveyors also work in the office, employing advanced software to map and draft the measurements taken onsite.

Job Diversity

Land surveyors are trained in many different areas, and can use their skill set to subdivide land for residential properties, or explore possible areas for mining, tunnel construction or commercial opportunities.

Their extensive expertise in land development means they are often called upon as consultants for developers, architects and engineers.

Why Hire a Land Surveyor

We’ve already touched on a few of the reasons  — arguably, the most compelling reasons. By giving you a thorough account of a property, they help you understand what you may be purchasing: the good and the bad.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • A land surveyor will not only measure property lines, but they will cross-reference their measurements with the measurements on the deed. If there are discrepancies, they will fix them. This will ensure there are no disputes over boundaries in the future.
  • A land surveyor will also alert potential property owners to any outstanding legal matters from previous owners.
  • A land surveyor will inform you of any building restrictions or environmental regulations in the area that could affect construction or renovation.
  • A land surveyor will provide a map of any property landmarks that may be of interest, including streams and property corners.
  • A land surveyor will note any issues pertaining to the condition of the building, including problems with structural integrity, drainage, dampness or insulation.
  • A land surveyor can estimate the cost to rebuild the home, for insurance purposes.

Land surveyors do a lot, and when all is said and done, they can also save you a lot. If you’re thinking of buying a piece of property, enlist the services of a surveyor. It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.

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