Affordable and Reliable ALTA Surveyor
Before buying certain property (especially commercial), it’s important to have a detailed survey conducted on the land to include any improvements. Alabama Surveying and Mapping, Inc., our expert survey team is highly experienced in constructing a quality ALTA/NSPS land title survey. We have years of survey experience and take pride in our work. We provide attentive and excellent customer service to deliver the most accurate results, in a timely manner, and within a reasonable budget.
Trade and Professional Organizations
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) is a trade organization that represents companies that provide title insurance, settlement agents that participate in the closing, attorneys that specialize in real estate, independent abstractors that provide certification for the history of a designated piece of land, and those that do the research for titles.
The National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) was previously known as American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). The National Society of Professional Surveyors represents the profession that measures and communicates the unique data that is associated to the surface of the Earth.
Minimum Standard Detail Requirements
The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS-formerly the ACSM) together developed and adopted standards for the Minimum Standard Detail Requirements. These standards (last revised in 2016) is a joint effort that gives title companies and professional surveyors assurance that both organizations have their needs met. The title company’s decision to issue title insurance is determined in the knowing that the surveyors provided documentation (the survey) that revealed potential problems with the title. If potential problems were discovered, they may deny the coverage. If no problems are revealed, they have the confidence to issue title insurance. At the same time the standards allow professional surveyors to complete their research and provide the survey with a fair price and in in a suitable amount of time.
Why An ALTA/NSPS (formerly ACSM) Land Title Survey?
There are several reasons and sometimes requirements to have an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey. Some may want the peace of mind that this specialized survey provides. Lenders may require this type of survey to protect their investments and financial interest. Lenders want protection from future claims arising from problems not identified by a title search.
Vacant land purchases may only require a regular boundary survey, but an ALTA/NSPS survey is recommended. The land may have no previous survey or maybe an inaccurate survey. Technology has come a long way in surveying. The technique, methods, science, and equipment are by far more accurate now than in previous years. The new technology reduces the risk of ownership disputes, boundary issues and encroachment concerns.
Commercial purchases usually require an ALTA/NSPS survey by the lender. Commercial real estate is often inherently riskier than non-commercial property. Easements (or claims of easement) may not be documented in public records. There might be issues with the boundary or an encroachment dilemma. Any or all of these may squash the real estate transaction. An ALTA/NSPS survey identifies potential problems that need to be addressed, so the commercial property can be purchased without the risk of future problems.
The ALTA/NSPS survey provides very specific information to a potential buyer as well as to a seller. The detailed survey supplies more information and protection, reveals problems and potential problems, and also provides peace of mind. It is often more strict and has to meet higher standards than state standards. It is a combination of a boundary, title and location survey.
Features of an ALTA/NSPS Survey
The ALTA/NSPS Survey is a detailed, complex, and revealing survey that gives much more information that a simple boundary survey. Performed by a licensed professional surveyor, the survey includes a thorough physical survey and description of the land, including the results of an exhaustive research into public records. Here are some of the features that might be included in an ALTA/NSPS survey.
- Location of property boundary lines
- Location and elevation of main building (if any)
- Location and elevation of improvements
- Location of easements (access by service companies such as water, gas, electricity, phone, cable, railroad…etc))
- Consequences of easements (both benefits or encumbrances presently and for future development)
- Location and elevation of all structures
- Location of utilities, walk ways, driveways, fences, roads…etc
- Location of water features and water boundaries
- Location of zoning setbacks
- Location of public road access Possible encroachments
- Flood zones (if any)
- Zoning restrictions
- Adjacent property owner’s name
- Evidence of cemeteries
- Evidence of land use by other parties
- In depth history research
For More Detailed Information About Land You Own Or Plan To Buy
The above list is not a comprehensive list and some items may not be included in an ALTA/NSPS survey. It is in your best interest to contact a licensed professional surveyor to discuss the benefits.
Whether or not your lender or insurance company requires this survey, it’s always a good idea to have it done prior to land (required for commercial land) purchases, because it helps protect your interests as the purchaser. This survey gives you a better understanding as to whether the property is a safe, secure, and useful purchase or if a necessary course of action is required to minimize/eliminate risks.
For any further questions, call us at (205) 688-6656.