When you purchase a piece of property, you might be asked by a title company or by your lender to have an ALTA survey performed on the piece of land. But what exactly is an ALTA survey, and how do you know if this is a necessary step in your property purchase?
An ALTA (American Land Title Association) survey is always performed by a registered, licensed surveyor in accordance with the Association’s specified standards, as well as the standards highlighted by the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). The survey is extremely detailed and must meet these stringent specifications for it to be considered official. It covers much more than just your property lines in Guadalupe County, TX.
The survey will show information such as your property’s boundaries, the location of any types of improvements located on the property (such as fences, structures, roads and utility lines) and the location of any easements located on the property. This extremely detailed survey is generally more expensive than other forms of surveys. While not all purchases require an ALTA survey to be performed, there are circumstances in which paying the extra money to get an ALTA survey done can make a lot of sense.
Here are some circumstances in which you might consider working with a land surveyor to have an ALTA survey performed on your newly purchased property.
Commercial real estate transactions
Lenders and/or title insurance companies often require ALTA surveys for commercial real estate transactions or refinances. Such a purchase has some inherent survey risks, such as encroachments, disputes over boundary lines or other circumstances or conditions that might not be found in public records, including easement claims. This information could play a significant, important role in your acquisition of the property, and may potentially complicate matters.
By having an ALTA survey done, you can be completely certain about the presence of any problems you would need to take immediate action to resolve, and can ensure the property is risk-free before you make your purchase. If you are the seller in a commercial transaction, an ALTA survey is beneficial in that it gives you a survey to put on the record to compare against the survey ordered by the buyer.
Purchases of vacant lots
Whenever you buy vacant land, you should get an ALTA survey done, even if it’s not required. Simple boundary surveys in Guadalupe County, TX might be all you’re asked to do, but vacant land has probably never had a real thorough survey done of it before, or if there was a survey conducted it was likely done in a time when technologies were not nearly as accurate. This means there could be potential ownership or encroachment issues you would be assuming with the purchase. An ALTA survey can provide you with more information and peace of mind in this regard.
For more information about ALTA surveys and when they are necessary, contact a land surveyor at Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. with your questions. We look forward to working with you.