LN News

Oct 24, 2018

Why a Real Property Report is Your Best Friend (& Your Worst Enemy)

Real property reports are the lifeblood of the construction industry in Alberta. Not only do property reports outline your property’s boundaries, but they also uncover hidden secrets on your land that could be crucial to future addition, construction or development.

For instance, let’s say you bought purchased a property with the intentions of building a workshop beside the existing house. There’s a lot of things to consider before you develop, such as:

  • encroachments from adjacent properties
  • potential underground pipes or vessels
  • municipal requirements and potential code violations

So you see, it’s not as simple as putting shovels in the ground. Let’s take a more in-depth look at why real property reports are necessary for homebuyers, land developers and even real estate agents, and why it’s important to keep our heads out of the sand when we’re considering such an important purchase.


Tells You What You Want to Hear

Before you start spending money on blueprints for that new shop in the backyard, it’s handy to know if you’ll be able to build. A real property report will expose any modifications that could get in the way. If you’re fortunate then you’ll get a free and clear report – there’s nothing standing (or buried) in the way of your ideas.

Real property reports are like doctors giving good news after an exam – they’ll tell you what you want to hear so you can get on with your life.

Hopefully, you get good news, and your property report is free of surprises.


Tells You What You Don’t Want to Hear

But of course, there’s a flip-side to every rule. What if the report tells you what you don’t want to hear? The complete disclosure of a property’s history means complete disclosure – there’s always a chance that a buried pipeline, wire or other structure will get in your way. Plus, there’s nothing worse than discovering you’ve overstepped your boundaries after the fact.

No one wants a dispute with their new neighbours, after all.


  • You might be buying less land than you initially thought
  • Modifications done previously could prevent your proposed plans
  • Costly certificates could be required to go ahead with proposed plans

Back to the emergency room; no one likes hearing bad news. But remember, just because you don’t know about a problem doesn’t mean that a problem doesn’t exist.


What do Real Property Reports Let Me Do?

Let’s back up for a second. Say you’re thinking of buying property, maybe an empty lot or a new, finished house. Real property reports let you know which permits and approvals you need or what is still required. Just because you aren’t aware of violations doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Boundary issues or other problems could be part of the reason the land was put up for sale in the first place.

“Real property reports help you design your property, seek final grading certificates, and they assist in the process of staking out your lot before you build a house.

Plot plans, shallow underground surveys, development surveys – all of these reports can contribute to a real property report.


Saving Time, Money & Effort in the Future

There’s no question; a real property report can be the difference between buying property and walking away. Sure, it’s an added expense, but can you justify not spending the money against potential issues that might come up in the future?

Just like getting a home inspection, reports can burst the bubble of a potential buyer quicker than you can say ground penetrating radar. But uncovering your property’s secrets is worth it in the long run.

And hey, maybe you’ll find nothing, and you can go ahead with all your plans and ideas. The key is that you know – you’re fully aware of every inch of your property, both the details you can see and those you can’t.

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