When purchasing a piece of property, one detail that you need to understand is where the property's boundary lines are located. Not only will knowing the property boundaries prevent confusion with your new neighbors, but it's essential information if you want to add a fence or make other improvements to the lot.
However, there are different types of land surveys available. One type is known as an ALTA (American Land Title Association) land survey. A licensed surveyor will complete the survey according to ALTA specifications.
An ALTA survey will provide information about the property's boundaries, the presence of easements on the property, and specific details about the land. Here are a few reasons to opt for an ALTA survey.
1. You'll Receive Information About Property Easements
One of the top advantages of an ALTA survey is that it provides a plethora of information about the property. In addition to obtaining an accurate idea of the property's boundaries, your report will include info regarding any easements that pertain to the property.
An easement is the right of someone to use a piece of property without actually owning the property. For example, if your lot provides the only access point to a certain road, your neighbors might have easement rights.
Or, imagine you're purchasing a warehouse located next to a distributor. The distributor may have an easement to drive on the land your warehouse is on to get to their building.
Understanding any easement rights associated with the property can assist you with making an informed buying decision. If you value privacy, you may prefer a parcel with minimal easement rights attached to it.
2. You Can Easily Settle Future Ownership Disputes
The information in an ALTA land survey report can be vital for settling future disputes regarding the ownership of any improvements or structures located on the boundary of your property, the property's boundaries, and easement rights. A neighbor might try to argue that an old, dilapidated fence is your responsibility to maintain; however, if you have an ALTA land survey report, you can easily show them that the fence is actually on their property.
3. You'll Better Understand How You Can Use the Property
Another component of an ALTA land survey report is a section that includes zoning information for the land parcel. This information will tell you whether the property is solely for residential use or if it's approved for commercial purposes. If the property is zoned for commercial use, this section will also detail any limitations associated with the property (such as limits on how many people you can employ).