You’re looking for a different home, one with a big back yard you can envision yourself relaxing in on a warm summer evening. Perhaps a yard that the kids can play in?

Then you find it. The perfect home with the perfect yard–or so you think.

Many homes (usually but not always corner lots), have fenced in back yards with fences that are pushed back beyond the property line. Sometimes those fences are placed as much as two to three metres beyond the property line. In those cases the yard you’ve imagined may not be the yard you’ll actually purchase.

Prior to purchasing, you (the Purchaser) need to review a copy of the Vendor’s Real Property Report. If your Realtor cannot get one for you, make the provision of that Report a condition of your Purchase Agreement. Don’t rely upon the terms of the Purchase Agreement which require the Vendor to provide you with a copy of the Real Property Report prior to the Closing Date. You need to see it much earlier, before the deal becomes firm. With that Real Property Report in hand, go take a look at the property and confirm for yourself that the fence and all the other improvements on the property are in the proper place.

Many times my purchasing clients have had to deal with improvements on the property which are not in their proper place. The fence, the deck, the shed, the planter and the garage may each have potential problems which you, as Purchaser, may have to deal with after you purchase the property. Sometimes, those problems can be resolved with agreements between you and the City or you and your neighbour. Each Agreement will result in an increase in the legal fees and other costs charged. Sometimes, those problems can only be resolved with hammers, nails, shovels and sweat, all of which have a cost associated.

Even worse than the price you’ll pay, the yard you envisioned will not be inside your fence. Review a current Real Property Report before your Purchase Agreement becomes firm and ensure your dreams will be reality.