Benefits of ALTA and ACSM Surveys over Standard and Traditional Land Surveys

Posted by Calvada on November 6th, 2015

Real estate is always a significant investment. In fact, it is usually the largest investment an individual or business makes, which is why it is critical for any investor or lender to gather all related information about the property in question. This is where land title surveys come to play. 

An ALTA/ACSM survey is a type of boundary survey that follows a set of minimum standards jointly set and adopted by both the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. It is a comprehensively recognized form of boundary survey used across the country, with the objective to establish a particular level of standards so that all parties in the transaction are ensured a common base/standard. 

There are many survey items required by the ALTA/ACSM survey that are not included on a general boundary survey, making it lot more comprehensive. Here are the main benefits of ALTA and ACSM surveys over traditional boundary surveys: 

• While a typical boundary survey costs significantly less than an ALTA/ACSM survey, the latter is a lot more comprehensive and detailed than the first. ALTA surveys not only provide information about the property's boundaries and easements, but also about different improvements on the property such as fences, roads, trails, rights of way, and many other features that may affect its ownership or require further investigation because of the possibility of encroachment or adverse rights. 

• An ALTA survey also shows additional information such as means of access, zoning classification, flood zone classification, and other details that boundary surveys lack. ALTA Surveys are better suited for commercial real estate purchases as they offer a level of detail needed for proper evaluation of a property. 

• ALTA surveys can also be used to ensure that the security interests and the investment of a lender are protected from any adverse claims undisclosed by a title search. Details provided on the ALTA survey can assist both lenders and purchasers when it comes to evaluating the property for its potential benefits and risks. 

• Lenders and purchases may also request an ALTA surveyor to draft a legal description of the property, so they have something to compare with the legal description of the same in the actual title commitment. Discrepancies in the legal descriptions may reveal problems and issues that may need to be addressed before the transaction/property transfer proceeds or is completed. 

About the Author: 

Armando Dupont, a professional land surveyor started his career in surveying in 1977 and has extensive experience in managing personnel and projects. His experience includes: topographic mapping, boundary surveys and analysis, construction and control surveying, preparation of tract and parcel maps, earth work calculation and quantities, targeting and control for photogrammetric, and land title surveys in accordance with the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping. Mr. DuPont founded Calvada Surveying, Inc. in 1989 and is a licensed Professional Land Surveyor in the State of California.

Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: October 6th, 2012
Articles Posted: 118

More by this author