Are you considering buying real estate in BC? Perhaps you want to purchase raw land to build a recreational property? Maybe you want to purchase a home in Gibsons, Nanaimo or Squamish to enjoy more open space and fresh air? Or have you found your dream cabin for sale in Kelowna and aren’t sure what questions to ask?
Our land surveying team will be able to advise you whether you are in the process of buying your first home, purchasing a property for your retirement, or have any other land surveying needs with regard to buying or selling real estate in BC.
Bennett Land Surveying has provided professional land surveying in BC for over 30 years. We’ve had the privilege to support people looking to purchase or sell property across the province.
Here are some insights from our BC Land Surveyors to help you understand key surveying services for purchasing property in BC.
Buying Real Estate in BC: Natural Boundaries
When buying (or selling) real estate in BC it is essential to know the Property Boundaries and lot size. This is particularly important when a property is bordered by a river, lake, ocean or waterway (Riparian Boundaries).
Riparian Boundaries are those boundaries that are associated with water. Properties bordering on rivers or lakes in the Province of British Columbia may have Riparian Rights associated with the naturally occurring increase and decrease of lands along the banks of these water bodies.
Essentially this means that if your title is subject to riparian rights, you are entitled to the naturally occurring increases to your land. Alternately, if natural erosion of the bank occurs, you would have less land. Changes to the position of the bank will affect the total lot area which is an important factor when assessing permitted lot coverage and setbacks.
For lands under the jurisdiction of the Province of British Columbia, only BC Land Surveyors like Bennett Land Surveying can determine the position of the boundary between the upland title and bed and shore (also referred to as the ‘bank’). We use a variety of measurement tools to determine the position of the bank, but in all cases, it must be based on the actual field condition and the principles of boundary law in BC.
If you are looking at buying real estate in BC that is bordered by a body of water, it is advised you have a professional surveyor assess the position of the bank. Furthermore, if you are looking to build on a property with Riparian Boundaries contact Bennett to determine true lot size.
Property Boundaries are closely related to Covenants and Encroachments.
Understand Encroachments When Buying Property in BC
When purchasing or selling a property in BC it is important to know if a portion of the existing building, or proposed building encroach outside the boundaries of your property onto public or private property adjacent to your lot. The most common issue related to property lines and encroachments when buying or selling a property are fence line locations and building locations. Do you know if the existing fence is on the property line or encroaching on one property or another? Are any elements of existing structures encroaching on adjacent properties?
Bennett Land surveying can help you validate existing encroachments or obtain approval for new encroachments. Contact our experienced local surveyors.
Other examples of encroachments include:
- roof level or upper level cornices
- roof overhangs
- bay windows
- exterior cladding
- encroachments resulting from building envelope upgrades
- construction error
- fuel oil tanks
Encroachments are particularly relevant as they relate to building locations/Building Location Certificates.
Determine Building Locations When Buying or Selling Properties in BC
Building Location Certificates
Correct building location information and the related Building Location Certificate may be required to receive building permits on land you have purchased in BC.
According to the Association of British Columbia Land Surveyors: Surveys for the purpose of providing a Certificate of Building Location on a particular parcel of land may be undertaken by a BCLS on the instructions of lawyers, notaries public, financial institutions, municipal building inspectors or owners.
This survey is normally carried out for the protection of an owner to verify building placement setbacks and sitting within and on a lot. It is normally accepted as proof by municipal officials and mortgage companies that there are no encroachment or zoning placement problems, and therefore represents a safeguard or protection to the permit holder or investor.
Buying Real Estate in BC: Services
The following land surveying services are especially relevant for people that are looking to buy real estate in BC:
Connect with your local land surveying expert to affordable land surveying services in BC.