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  • Writer's pictureDanny Rodic

What is an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey?

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

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It goes without saying: The process of land surveying in commercial real estate transactions and development is an intricate and necessary process. But we at Apex Land Surveying and Mapping LLC have found that simply stating this obvious fact to our valued clients is only one small facet of our goal in educating them on the importance of land surveying.

More specifically, we have received a quantity of inquiries regarding ALTA/NSPS land title surveys and want to explore both the vitality of an ALTA/NSPS land title survey in commercial real estate development and what is involved in this process.

Breaking Down the General Purpose of Your ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey

Understanding what is included in an ALTA/NSPS land title survey is easiest to start with what the acronym stands for.

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First, ‘ALTA’ means ‘American Land Title Association’, and ‘NSPS’ means ‘National Society of Professional Surveyors.’ These are the professional organizations that establish the regulations and strict national standards of this specialized boundary survey that we perform, which in effect reveals details about the property being purchased and further legitimizes the purchase process in a commercial real estate transaction.

The ALTA/NSPS land title survey covers detailed information such as boundary lines and any disputes regarding those boundary lines, identification of easements (access rights or rights of way), utilities, and other conditions affecting the property. A reality that commercial real estate investors and developers face is that in the process of purchasing a property, many of these intricate details uncovered by an ALTA/NSPS land title survey may not be found in public records.

Think of this as an in-depth investigation done by a certified professional land surveyor that reveals evidence that may be behind the veil of mystery and stress that comes with the purchasing process.

Other Benefits of an ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey

Let's explore some more specific benefits as to why you should consider Apex Land Surveying and Mapping LLC for your ALTA/NSPS land title survey:

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Comprehensive Property Analysis: An ALTA/NPSP land title survey adheres to a set of national standards that are recognized across the country. This ensures a comprehensive and uniform analysis of the property, which is crucial for identifying any potential issues with a property.

Title Insurance Requirements: Many title insurance companies require an ALTA/NSPS land title survey to identify any possible risks that might affect the title. This could include easements, rights-of-way, or other encroachments (also plotted as areas of concern) that, as previously mentioned, are not apparent through other types of land surveys or public records. This is an in-depth look at a commercial property.

Accurate Property Boundary Lines: The ALTA/NSPS land title survey precisely establishes property boundaries, which helps to avoid disputes with neighboring properties. It can also identify any discrepancies between the legal description of the property and the physical boundaries so the closing process goes smoothly.

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Topographic Information: By including details like elevations, contours, and the location of natural and man-made features on a commercial property, an ALTA/NSPS land title survey provides essential information that can be used for designing improvements or assessing environmental considerations when the new owner plans to develop the property. Topographic information, along with other optional items, can be negotiated with the optional "Table A" items list. These will be discussed in a future blog post.

Aids in Planning and Development: If the property is going to be developed in any way, the detailed information from an ALTA/NSPS land title survey can be vital in the planning process. This ensures that all planning is done in compliance with local regulations and takes into account all relevant property features.

Risk Mitigation: All told, an ALTA/NSPS land title survey is a way to mitigate risk. By identifying potential property issues, an ALTA/NSPS land title survey helps buyers, sellers, and lenders make more informed decisions and saves time and money while preventing potential legal hassles down the road.

Choose Apex Land Surveying and Mapping LLC for Your ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey

When planning to purchase and develop a commercial property, Apex Land Surveying and Mapping LLC will be with you every step of the way to make your life easier!

Our licensed and insured PLS land surveyor is fully capable of facilitating your ALTA/NSPS land title survey. Our land surveying and mapping efforts cover Colorado counties including El Paso, Crowley, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Lincoln, Pueblo, and Teller.

Contact us here for more information.


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