Alta Survey

What is an ALTA survey?

Ludlow Engineers and Associates is a premiere ALTA survey firm in the United States.  Being licensed in several states within the Unites States, we are able to complete alot of them in house.  The rest of those, where we are not registered, we act as a ALTA survey coordinator, much like other firms within the USA.

ALTA stands for American Land Title Association. The ALTA is a group that represents the land title and title insurance industry within the United States of America.

ALTA stands for American Land Title Association. The ALTA is a group that represents the land title and title insurance industry within the United States of America.

What do they contain?

An ALTA survey contains a lot of information that is helpful to lenders and property buyers who are looking to buy property that are free from issues and problems.   We have included a standard Table A which gives an accounting of all they contain.

1.  Monument setting – The client is able to determine if they want the property to be staked with official surveyed corners.  If they do, they must mark number 1 on the sheet.

2.  The land surveyor has the option to add the address to the surveyor.  The address can be located on the title documents or the address can be referenced from the location itself.  

3.   These type of surveys also give the option of adding the flood zone classification.  This is helpful to identify for a variety of ways.  It identifies if the property is located in a flood zone.  If it is, it requires that the surveyor identifies the specific map that the flood zone is identified, so it can be located._ Gross land area (and other areas if specified by the client).

4.   The surveyor also can show the total gross land area, described by title and legal descriptions.

5.  Vertical data, commonly known as a topography map or contours.  This is usually required when the buyer is building new structures on the land.  This helps to know the general lay of the land and the potential cost of excavation costs.

6.   Often times the client requests a zoning letter.  This is important to know for sure what zoning the land falls in, within a city or county location.  This helps answer the question, “Is this land zoned correctly?”

7.  a) Exterior dimensions of all buildings at ground level

(b) Square footage of:

(1) exterior footprint of all buildings at ground level 

(2) other areas as specified by the client.

(c) Measured height of all buildings above grade at a location specified by the client. If no location is specified, the point of measurement shall be identified.

8.   This one identifies any large features located on the ground.  Parking stalls, billboards, pools, landscaping, major land marks that would be helpful to show to the client.

9.   We are next to locate the number of parking stalls fall on the property.  The information is helpful to projects, due to the fact that this is a major zoning requirement.  It asks the surveyor to see handicap parking or other lines associated with parking requirements.

10.  (a) As designated by the client, a determination of the relationship and location of certain division or party walls with respect to adjoining properties (client to obtain necessary permissions).

 (b) As designated by the client, a determination of whether certain walls are plumb (client to obtain necessary permissions).

 11.   Location of utilities existing on or serving the surveyed property as determined by:

  • observed evidence collected pursuant to Section 5.E.iv.
  • evidence from plans requested by the surveyor and obtained from utility companies, or provided by client (with reference as to the sources of information), and
  • markings requested by the surveyor pursuant to an 811 utility locate or similar request

Representative examples of such utilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Manholes, catch basins, valve vaults and other surface indications of subterranean uses;
  • Wires and cables (including their function, if readily identifiable) crossing the surveyed property, and all poles on or within ten feet of the surveyed property. Without expressing a legal opinion as to the ownership or nature of the potential encroachment, the dimensions of all encroaching utility pole cross members or overhangs; and
  • Utility company installations on the surveyed property.

 Note to the client, insurer, and lender – With regard to Table A, item 11, source information from plans and markings will be combined with observed evidence of utilities pursuant to Section 5.E.iv. to develop a view of the underground utilities.  However, lacking excavation, the exact location of underground features cannot be accurately, completely, and reliably depicted.  In addition, in some jurisdictions, 811 or other similar utility locate requests from surveyors may be ignored or result in an incomplete response, in which case the surveyor shall note on the plat or map how this affected the surveyor’s assessment of the location of the utilities. Where additional or more detailed information is required, the client is advised that excavation and/or a private utility locate request may be necessary.

12.   As specified by the client, Governmental Agency survey-related requirements (e.g., HUD surveys, surveys for leases on Bureau of Land Management managed lands).

 13.   Names of adjoining owners according to current tax records.  If more than one owner, identify the first owner’s name listed in the tax records followed by “et al.”

 14.   As specified by the client, distance to the nearest intersecting street.  – This one is helpful to identify access to a particular lot or property.

15.  Rectified orthophotography, photogrammetric mapping, remote sensing, airborne/mobile laser scanning and other similar products, tools or technologies as the basis for the showing the location of certain features (excluding boundaries) where ground measurements are not otherwise necessary to locate those features to an appropriate and acceptable accuracy relative to a nearby boundary.  The surveyor shall (a) discuss the ramifications of such methodologies (e.g., the potential precision and completeness of the data gathered thereby) with the insurer, lender, and client prior to the performance of the survey, and (b) place a note on the face of the survey explaining the source, date, precision, and other relevant qualifications of any such data.

 16.   Evidence of recent earth moving work, building construction, or building additions observed in the process of conducting the fieldwork.

 17.  Proposed changes in street right of way lines, if such information is made available to the surveyor by the controlling jurisdiction. Evidence of recent street or sidewalk construction or repairs observed in the process of conducting the fieldwork.

18.  If there has been a field delineation of wetlands conducted by a qualified specialist hired by the client, the surveyor shall locate any delineation markers observed in the process of conducting the fieldwork and show them on the face of the plat or map. If no markers were observed, the surveyor shall so state.

19.   Include any plottable offsite (i.e., appurtenant) easements or servitudes disclosed in documents provided to or obtained by the surveyor as a part of the survey pursuant to Sections 5 and 6 (and applicable selected Table A items) (client to obtain necessary permissions).

 20.   Professional Liability Insurance policy obtained by the surveyor in the minimum amount of $____________ to be in effect throughout the contract term. Certificate of Insurance to be furnished upon request, but this item shall not be addressed on the face of the plat or map.

21.   Intentionally left blank, gives the buyer the opportunity to add if needed or wanted.

 ALTA Survey and Title Insurance

An ALTA survey gives the title company the confidence to issue a title insurance policy.  An insurance policy gives the buyer the confidence to know that the land is good to close and is free from items that are not located in title or on the survey.

They are acceptable to lenders 

Once a survey is completed, they give the confidence to lenders to agree with lending policies and loans.   We often call these ALTA surveys the premiere surveys which gives all parties confidence to move forward with the loan process.  These surveys can run into the thousands of dollars, depending really the size of the property.

Order A survey today.  To place an order, or to begin the bid process of getting an ALTA survey, call today.  We can be reached at 435-623-0897, or you can contact us through our online contact form.  Simply find our contact us page and get a hold of us today.