REGINA – Stephanie Gabber’s excitement over buying a new home in Pilot Butte quickly wore off when she tried to develop her backyard and found a drainage ditch running through the property.
“Had I known, I would never have bought here, ever,” she said.
Gabber bought the home in May. She planned to put up a fence and lay down sod. When she started the work, she was told to stop because it would interfere with the easement.
Gabber said the easement wasn’t disclosed to her before buying the property.
The town said it’s a registered land title, but admitted to a discrepancy with Gabber’s property lines on the Saskatchewan Land Surveyor’s Real Property Report.
Water works manager, Chaun McCurdy, said the town is moving the ditch one meter closer to the edge of her property, but unfortunately that’s the best they can do.
“Without it there to catch that water and direct it away, it will eventually go and fill up other people’s backyards,” said McCurdy.
Robert MacKay with MacKay & McLean Barristers & Solicitors said the situation highlights the importance of having a team in your corner when buying a home. That includes a realtor, lawyer and mortgage broker.
“There’s a lot going on in a transaction and it could be easy to miss,” said MacKay.
He also recommends homeowners always invest in title insurance.
“If you have this old survey, and got a newer one that says the easement is here, but it should be here, what does that do to the fair market value of your property? Well, with title insurance you may have a claim,” explained MacKay.
However, Gabber is prepared to go a step further and file a lawsuit against the municipality of Pilot Butte.
“I’m stressed beyond belief. Mentally, it takes a toll. Financially, it takes a huge toll.”
McCurdy said he’s spoken to the land developer and home builder to ensure anyone buying property in the new development is fully aware of the easement.
Robert MacKay is your Trusted Regina Real Estate Lawyer