ALTA/NSPS Land Title Surveys
In 1962 the American Land Title Association and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping established a national standard for Surveying. Each state has its own standards for surveying and with the ALTA/NSPS Survey you can be assured that the requirements of the Surveyor are the same regardless of which state the parcel is in. Among those who require ALTA/NSPS Surveys are national companies such as Wal-Mart and AutoZone along with many banks. When ordering a survey for land to be purchased or re-financed you should check with your lender and title company to see if an ALTA/NSPS Survey will be required. This type of survey requires a title commitment along with a written scope specifying the Table A items needed. A list of those items can be found here:
When developing or re-developing land, the Topographic Survey is the foundation for the design of the site. Critical issues are the locations of existing buildings, utilities, trees and elevations. Not just for the site itself, but also the surrounding land. We believe that getting that extra bit of information is what makes the difference in successful projects.
The State of Florida defines a Boundary Survey as "a survey, the primary purpose of which is to document the perimeters, or any one of them, of a parcel or tract of land by establishing or re-establishing corners, monuments, and boundary lines for the purposes of describing the parcel, locating fixed improvements on the parcel, dividing the parcel, or platting." When purchasing land a Boundary Survey is needed for the following reasons:
- making sure the description used for the transaction actually encompasses the entire property you think you are purchasing.
- making sure existing improvements do not encroach onto neighboring properties.
- making sure neighboring improvements do not encroach onto the property you are purchasing.
- making sure all property corners exist or have been set.
- removing the "Survey Exception" on a title policy. Title policies have an area called Schedule B-2 exceptions to the policy. One of these exceptions is anything the current and accurate survey will show. If this is not removed at closing it creates a hole in your coverage.
- many times new owners want to add improvements. A Boundary Survey should show easements and other restrictions when documentation is provided that may restrict your use of those areas.
Please note that we do not do "mortgage" or "lot" surveys. These terms are code words for "I need it cheap and fast".
An Elevation Certificate establishes how high above sea level the following items are:
- the lowest floor of the structure.
- the equipment (air conditioners, water heaters, etc.) that service the structure.
- the adjacent ground around the structure.
- the type of structure.
- the FEMA Flood Zone the structure is in.
With recent changes to flood insurance, the importance of Elevation Certificates has risen. While other firms use GPS units to establish elevations, we use digital leveling methods and 2 established benchmarks to establish ours. While only one is required it is the only way to prove the accuracy of the certificate. This may result in additional costs, but lowers the risks associated with incorrect or incomplete certificates.
Subdivision and Condominium Platting
Platting is the process of simultaneously conveying land or space to simplify future transactions and eliminate many title issues. Subdivision Plats divide land while Condominium Plats divide space in buildings usually. Plats are subject to regulations by the State of Florida and are usually approved by the municipality where they will be recorded in the public records. In addition to meeting the drafting requirements, they require a Boundary Survey of the land being divided and setting of the corners for all lots.