ALTA Land Title Surveys

December 7, 2012

An ALTA Survey, commonly required during real estate transactions or development, is a detailed map of a property displaying all current upgrades, utilities, boundaries, and significant observations within the insured estate. ALTA Surveys are governed by a set of professional standards as updated in the “2011 MINIMUM STANDARD DETAIL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALTA/ACSM LAND TITLE SURVEYS” and adopted by the American Land Title Association and National Society of Professional Surveyors.

The survey details the surveyor’s findings regarding the property boundaries and how it relates to the title. The Survey delineates or makes note of all easements (rights to use a property without owning it) and exceptions cited within the title commitment (the document describing the rights being conveyed in real property during a property transaction). The survey can also outline zoning and flood zone restrictions or areas indicating possible future uses of the property. Furthermore, the survey can also reveal specific facts about the property relating to topography, parking configurations, wetlands, etc. The components of the ALTA survey are a boundary survey, title survey, topographic survey, and a location survey.

Boundary Surveys– A boundary survey determines the property lines of a parcel of land described in a deed or reference on a legal record plat. A boundary survey is recommended before buying, subdividing, improving or building on land. Surveying the parcel before these activities ensures that the expense and frustration of defending a lawsuit, moving a building, or resolving a boundary dispute can be avoided.

Topographic Surveys– Are surveys that determine and represent on a map the contour, physical features, and other physical representations of any portion of the parcel being surveyed.

Zoning Reports– Most real property transactions require a Zoning Report along with the battery of other essential services (Phase I ESAProperty Condition Assessment, ALTA Survey, etc.). Our Zoning Reports are completed by an in-house lawyer, within 3 weeks and at very competitive rates.

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ALTA Survey

January 10, 2009

ALTA Surveys define the physical location of the property boundary, the building footprint and all other significant features on a given property.   ALTA surveys are typically done in support of property transactions and prior to development.   ALTA Surveys are defined by the American Land Title Association. Alternatively, surveys can be complete within the standards of American Congress of Surveying and Mapping. 

The surveyor should be a registered civil engineer or a licensed surveyor.  Prior to ordering a report a preliminary title report should be provided to the surveyor. 


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