August 18, 2020

Due Diligence: The ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey

Survey

The Minimum Standard Detail Requirements for ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys have become the bridge that has allowed all parties involved in a real estate transaction to understand a piece of real property on common terms. By creating a national set of standards for land surveys, the owner, surveyor, attorney, and title company are all in sync when it comes to understanding the matters that affect a particular piece of property. In addition, ALTA surveys also provide a consistent framework for the preparation and presentation of the survey. This helps to eliminate costly mistakes, such as missing or unnecessary information.

The value of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey coincides perfectly with the surveyors’ ultimate duty – to protect the public. Through uniform standards and expectations, owners and developers are armed with knowledge provided by the surveyor, title company, and other stakeholders through the necessary research, analysis, and field work.

  • When used at the beginning of a property conveyance or lease agreement, and as a part of the due diligence process, stakeholders can use the information discovered throughout the research process to better understand the property’s potential development opportunity. In addition, the ALTA survey also identifies encumbrances such as special zoning districts, building setbacks, blanket or described easements, boundary line agreements that perpetuate from grantors to grantees, and many other covenants and restrictions.
  • ALTA surveys illustrate on the face of the survey observed protrusions of improvements crossing property lines.  Whether or not the protrusion actually violates any property rights is a matter of legal reconciliation. Furthermore, unrecorded easements can be uncovered through diligent field work.
  • As earlier alluded, ALTAs are nationally recognized by lenders, title professionals, attorneys, and surveyors. When ordered, these professionals are immediately on the same page as to what is required and accepted as a complete product. This eases the research, review, and revision process between all parties through the issuance of title commitments, Table A checklists, and consistent scopes of work. ALTA surveys have been used for over 25 years to protect the public and all stakeholders involved in the process of land conveyances and lease agreements. An ALTA survey adds to the total value of the property investment.

Licensed nationally, Westwood’s team of land surveyors can facilitate the ALTA survey process in an efficient manner. In addition, with the ability to complete the entire due diligence process in-house, we can effectively communicate evidence, documents, zoning reports, and other matters affecting the property to deliver the relevant information needed to complete our clients’ projects. Get in touch with our team today.

The current version of the ALTA/NSPS Land Title Standards utilized was implemented in 2016. The standards are updated every five years, which means we can expect to see new standards early in 2021. Look for more information in the coming months from Westwood’s team on these updates and how they may impact your due diligence process.

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