Are All Land Surveys Created Equal

When you are in the process of getting a home loan, your lender will look up the title on your future property to make sure there are no liens on it and to make sure that the property lines are clearly mapped out. Property line issues have been a problem with landowners for centuries, and so the last thing you want to do is get into a home and have to fight with your neighbors about who is on whose line. If there are any issues regarding where the property lines are or where they should be, then your lender may request either a boundary survey or an ALTA survey. 

Boundary Survey

Boundary surveys are traditionally only ordered by lenders or future homeowners in regards to where property lines are. For instance, if there is a lien on a property because there is a dispute between neighbors about where the property lines are then a lender may order one of these. Although these types of surveys can be good at showing the basics of things, they aren't going to go into the details of things such as changes that were made to the property. 

ALTA Survey

The American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping joined together to create survey standards for the ALTA survey. This type of survey is a lot more intense than traditional boundary surveys because as previously mentioned, it shows all of the changes that were made to the property. For instance, an ALTA survey shows fencing, zoning, road rights, right of ways, and flood zone classifications. 

If you are buying a large property in particular or a vacant lot that you want to build on, your title company is a lot more likely to order an ALTA survey so that you can see exactly where things are, where you can build, and what is yours. Knowing all of these details will help you ultimately decide if buying this property is worth it to you or not, because if you find out that zoning rights aren't in your favor to build then you may want to back out of it. 

Your title company will typically be the ones who will determine what kind of survey you will need. If you would like to learn a little bit more about these different types of surveys or how much they cost, reach out to a company near you today.

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