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Alta Survey: Are Really The Boundary Surveys?


When you want to acquire a property, especially a commercial real estate, it is important to conduct due diligence to ensure there are no surprises; issues that will affect the value or use of the property. The key; therefore, is to obtain an ALTA Survey. There are two important reasons why you should do so.

  • To satisfy the title insurer’s requirements for the issuance of ALTA title insurance coverage for Survey Risks (defined below).
  • To specifically locate both record and non-record matters that affect the property, which can be critical for evaluating whether or on what terms to proceed with an acquisition.

The need:

The surveys are particularly important when the preliminary title report raises many or difficult-to-locate easements or other similar exceptions. ALTA Survey is prepared by a licensed surveyor in accordance with detailed standards adopted by the American Land Title Association (ALTA). They map the property’s boundaries, the location of the improvements on the property, including buildings and other structures, fences, utility lines, trails, paths and roads, etc.

The advantage:

ALTA survey is intensive and will provide more comprehensive and detailed information. The surveys provide information about property boundaries and easements, as well as improvements such as fences, trails, roads, rights of ways, and other features on the property that may affect ownership of the title. Investors require ALTA surveys to ensure that their security interests and investments are well-protected from adverse claims that may not be disclosed by a title search.

“Although ALTA survey is a legal requirement, and not necessary always, as a potential investor it is important to balance the potential risk against the expense of the due diligence.”


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