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Surveys are an important part of both residential and commercial real estate transactions, both to the parties involved in the transaction and the title company insuring the land. Surveys provide many important pieces of information needed for the closing including, but not limited to, confirming the correct property is being sold or mortgaged and insured; confirming the dimensions of the property; showing any easements of record such as for utilities and access; and showing any encroachments that affect the property. Parties to the transaction rely on surveys, and the title company reviews them to confirm any exceptions of record are properly platted against the property along with any easements.
There are several types of surveys typically used, depending on the nature of the transaction. The most common surveys are as follows:
- A Boundary Survey is acceptable for residential transactions as it accurately locates the boundaries of the land in question.
- A Land Title/ ALTA Survey is acceptable for commercial transactions as it conforms to standards adopted by the American Land Title Association (referred to as an “ALTA” survey) and done to exacting requirements.
- A Condominium Survey is surveying cubes of air, dimensions bound by floors, ceilings and walls of the living space. A condominium plat is part of the condominium declaration. A survey is not needed for subsequent transfers for a condominium unit as the original plat of survey for the condominium is attached to the recorded Declaration.