The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is a professional trade union that has helped establish conformity and quality among boundary land surveys in the USA. The ALTA surveys are designed to satisfy the requirements of corporations, lenders and title companies, when dealing with commercial properties. They are generally created for title companies, lenders and title insurance companies. The ALTA surveys provide detailed information for the lender, buyer and title insurer about the present and future situation of the land in question. An ALTA survey is also known as boundary survey that has been jointly prepared and adopted by the ALTA/ACSM.
An ALTA/ACSM land title survey is used as part of the insurance and/or title certificate application, where property boundaries are required to be accurately documented and reported upon. Sometimes referred to as a “Due Diligence survey,” an ALTA/ACSM land title survey is often commissioned to provide information from county zoning laws, setback requirements, and height requirements of a property. All ALTA surveys must meet the minimum requirements as set out jointly by the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).
Surveys that conform to ALTA standards show information that a standard land survey may not show. It generally includes roads, fences, trails, utility lines as well as detailed legal descriptions that might mention a suggestion for further investigation into a particular matter. Usually land surveys do not need to confirm to any minimum detail requirements unlike ALTA surveys. This detailed information is mandatory for commercial building.
ALTA surveys can be very expensive and time consuming – but very worthwhile. To get one done you will need to contact a land surveying firm that is a member of the American Land Title Association (ALTA), as these are the only ones who are licensed to conduct an ALTA survey. There are hundreds of land surveyors that can conduct surveys across the USA, so it is easy to get hold of one. Some of these firms also consult with their clients in determining their exact land survey needs, assuring them as the most cost-effective land survey required for their project. You can find them either on the internet, in your local directory or by asking for a recommendation from friends or colleagues.