There are many types of real estate transactions and situations that involve a real estate property that might require the services of a professional land surveyor – in fact, there are only very few situations related to property that do not require a land survey. Here are some such situations.
Before Buying or Selling Property
The process of selling or purchasing property usually involves a land survey to establish the exact boundaries of the property that makes the subject of the transaction. The survey will include information related not only to the boundaries, but usually the details of any slopes, structures, additions as well as the location of any easements and utilities as well.
While performing the survey, the expert will use special tools, such as GPS devices, optical instruments to measure distance and angle as well as 3D scanners.
Surveys for Mortgage Purposes
If you want to take out a mortgage on your property or if you already have a mortgage, but you need a second one, you will also need a survey of the property involved. These surveys are essentially the same as the surveys used for property buying or selling transactions.
Financing for a Home Purchase
If you are planning to buy real estate property using a loan, your lender will require you to provide a special type of document called an Improvement Location Certificate. The certificate provides reassurance that the improvements on the property are not encroaching into an easement and do not extend beyond official property lines. If the certificate reveals any discrepancies in relation to public records, the lender company might require a boundary survey to clarify the situation.
If you are planning to buy property in an area that is supposed to be located on a flood plain or if you want to add flood insurance to your home insurance policy, you might need an elevation certificate to identify the level of flood risk with your property. The document is usually prepared by a land surveyor, but some civil engineers and architects also provide services of preparing this type of documents, if not look for surveyors near me for convenient and quick response.
Real Estate Development Projects
Before any large-scale development project is started, especially if the project is a commercial development, the developer needs to obtain a special type of document called an ALTA survey, where ALTA stands for the American Land Title Association. An ALTA survey is much more complex than the previous types and it provides information about property boundaries, about rights of use, zoning and flood zone classifications, means of access and any other information that might have an impact on the ownership of the property and development project. ALTA certificates also include information about easements and encroachments.
ALTA surveys are the most complex types of surveys of them all, therefore they take the longest to prepare and they are also the most expensive, often involving costs that exceed $9,000.
The lenders involved in the financing of development projects also need ALTA surveys to protect their investment in the case of claims that might arise.