An ALTA Survey is a detailed survey performed by a registered licensed surveyor, prepared in accordance with the standards specified by the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). An ALTA Survey shows the boundaries of the property, the location of improvements on the subject property, including any and all structures, fences, utility lines, roads, etc., along with the location of any/all easements. This is one of the most detailed surveys available, often at a greater cost than other survey types, and while it’s not mandated for every land purchase, there are certainly times when you should consider paying the extra money for an ALTA survey.
I think it’s very important because it assures that you get what you think you’re paying for. Also, lenders typically require an ALTA survey to be performed whenever a piece of commercial property is being purchased. This is because commercial purchases often come with certain “survey risks” that may include boundary line disputes, encroachments, or other conditions and/or circumstances such as easements or claims of easements not found in public records. This information can often make or break an acquisition, or at least complicate matters greatly. An ALTA survey reveals the existence of any problems that would need to be resolved, and helps ensure that the property is clear of risk prior to purchase for the benefit of both the borrower and lender.