What Is an ALTA Survey?

An American Land Title Association survey is a land survey performed for lenders and title companies to provide information required to issue property titles or mortgage insurance. ALTA surveys determine exact property lines, water boundaries, improvements, existing easements, encroachments and other land-ownership elements.

Survey standards, developed by ALTA and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping, provide uniformity in survey information. Since these surveys, performed mostly for commercial properties, are costly and complicated, a title commitment is required before ordering an ALTA survey. Land surveyors work closely with title companies to ensure that all information is accurate and provides the most-comprehensive view of the property in question.