head Calvada Surveying, Inc: Significance of ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Significance of ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys

An ALTA survey is a type of land title survey product that meets the needs of title insurers in order to remove standard survey exceptions from the current/existing title policy. The American Land Title Association is the main proponent of this particular land survey product, and it aims to provide both buyer and lender with relevant information concerning the present and future use of the land in question as well as the different restrictions and encumbrances, which can –potentially affect the property. The information contained in an ALTA land survey allows lenders and buyers to evaluate the property and at the same time analyze all the potential benefits and risks of owning it.

Officially, the stated purpose of this particular survey is to remove from the property’s title insurance policy, the “survey exception language,” which is supposed to benefit both the owner and the lender’s title insurance coverage. In simpler terms, this is referred to as providing an extended coverage.

The extent that one can deviate from these standards depends on the title insurer’s willingness to provide the coverage required by the lender or the buyer for the property transaction. ALTA surveys are commonly used as underwriting tools on succeeding property transactions. An ALTA survey also provides relevant information to interested parties, answering concerns and questions in an official and unbiased manner.

Generally, an ALTA survey provides information including:

• Surveyor findings about the proper and actual boundaries of the property.

• Observed easements and any easements and exceptions stated in the title commitment.

• Significant observations about the property, which may include utilities, improvements, and public access; and

• Specific information relating to zoning, topography, flood hazard concerns, and parking configurations.

People who plan on selling properties may also use ALTA surveys for protection against potential claims from buyers or lenders after the conveyance of the property title.

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