With most any Real Estate Transaction, it is common for there to be either a current survey completed, or an update of a prior existing survey.
This is especially true with Vacant Land, but certainly applies to Improved Properties also, with the exception of Condominiums (Condominium Plat and Condominium Map are typically Recorded) or where there is a Plat (Duplex, Townhome, Planned Unit Development).
Generally this satisfies a requirement from the Title Company in order to provide Title coverage. It is very helpful to have a general understanding of the different types of Surveys available; this outlines a few of the most common.
Improvement Location Certificate
A “map” showing the boundaries of the property and the major improvements (buildings) thereon. Usually required by lenders on residential loans, or by a Town or County Building Department during construction. It is not to be used to the establishment of fences, buildings, or other future improvements. Monuments are not set at lot corners.
Land Survey Plat/Boundary Survey
A “survey” reflecting the boundaries of a parcel of land showing: recorded and apparent rights-of-way, easements, and encroachments, a description of all monuments which mark the boundaries of the property and all controlling monuments used for the survey, as well as any conflicting boundary evidence; and general locations of major improvements located on the property. Missing monuments will be re-established. Per state statutes, a mylar copy of this survey must be deposited for the record with the County Surveyor within six month and a recording fee is required.
Improvement Survey Plat
This is also a Land Survey Plat except that this survey reflects more a detailed location of all structures, visible utilities, fences, walls, walkways, driveways, roads, and other improvements situated on the property.
A “survey” showing the physical features of a parcel of land including improvements, trees, roads, driveways, elevations, contours, utilities, and other significant features. This type of survey is generally required for design purposes by architects and engineers.
ALTA/ACSM Land Title Surveys
A “survey” based on standards adopted by the American Land Title Association in conjunction with the American Congress of Surveying and Mapping. The scope of this type of survey varies, but it is generally required by lenders for larger commercial properties or tracts of land. A standard ALTA checklist of optional items to be included in the survey should be submitted to the surveyor along with a copy of the current title work. Setting missing monuments is optional.
Let me know if you have any questions about survey requirements for your property or upcoming real estate opportunity.