A lack of a current survey may cause trouble in the future. For example, you may decide to put in a pool and discover too late that part of it falls on your neighbour’s lot, or you may have to remove an existing structure erected by a previous owner, but which is located on a neighbour’s lot.
Is Title Insurance Enough?
Some people may believe that not having a survey is acceptable because a title insurance policy can be purchased instead. However, a title insurance policy does not replace a survey, as it only protects you by ensuring you own what is described on your deed. It does not always give you back what you thought you were purchasing.
For example, without a survey, an immediate concern is whether you have paid for a 2,000 square foot lot or a 3,000 square foot lot. Just viewing where the fences are located is not enough, as one cannot guarantee that the fence is or is not on an invisible lot line.
A new current survey is best, but an existing survey may be sufficient depending on the property. If there is none available, you should insist on it before closing, and you should also always discuss the survey with your lawyer.