What is an ALTA Survey?

What is an ALTA Survey? Premiere Land Surveys!


ALTA surveys are referred to as the “Cadillac” of surveys. ALTA, the American Land Title Association, specifies data to be shown on surveys. The guidelines are determined by ALTA and ACSM, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping.ALTA survey exampleALTA land surveys are made for Lenders or Title Companies, and contains the data needed to issue a title or mortgage insurance. The specifics shown on these surveys include boundary lines, rights-of-way, location of the main building and improvements, location of ancillary buildings, any easements that have been identified such as access rights from telephone, gas, other utility companies and from railroads.ALTA surveys are not compared to Cadillacs for nothing. They are quite often the most expensive of all surveys, costing tens of thousands of dollars and taking several weeks to finish. Because of their cost and time involved in making them, most ALTA land surveys are done on commercial properties.

An ALTA survey has many guarantees that go with it. These surveys meet all requirements for a Land Title Survey as determined by the American Land Title Association, the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping and the National Society of Professional Surveyors. These requirements are known nationwide, and meet the standards of lenders, corporations and title companies that handle expensive commercial properties.

The certification language of these surveys is very important, and must include the names of the buyer, seller, title company and lender. The surveyor and title company must work hand-in-hand on these surveys, because they depend on one another’s skills to show how matters brought up in the survey affect land ownership and improvements.

Before an ALTA survey can be completed, a current title commitment is required. The surveyor refers to this for the property’s legal description and any encumbrances. All of this must be shown graphically, and any encroachments discovered during the survey must be shown and include a note indicating the nature of the encroachment.

With the very large investment of time and money commercial property entails, ALTA survey are the best way to ensure everything will be done to the satisfaction of all parties.

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