ALTA Land Title Survey
An ALTA survey is completed for the Title Company and/or Lender for the issuing of title or mortgage insurance. It has to meet the minimum precision and detail requirements established jointly by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM).
ALTA specifies the data to be shown on the survey and this includes boundary lines, location of the main building including improvements, location of ancillary buildings, the identification of easements (access rights by service companies such as water, gas, telephone, railways and other utilities). ALTA surveys are very complex surveys and can cost tens of thousands of dollars and take weeks to complete. For that reason most ALTA surveys are performed on commercial properties.
This is similar to a boundary survey with additional information to give a clear title to the property before a transaction will take place. This type of survey is usually requested by a lending institution before lending money on a larger scale than normal. Usually commercial property and large tracts of land will have this type of survey. Through a combination of standards set forth by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) a list of requirements are selected that differ from survey to survey depending the circumstances. An example might be a large tract of land that has no sign of an oil well, but during the ALTA/ACSM survey the title opinion reveals an oil lease that otherwise would be passed on to the new owner without them knowing.