An ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey provides a base report that has copious detail relating to site boundaries, encroachments, easements, utilities and other salient details with regard to land parcels.

With the 2016 changes enacted for the new ALTA survey, some items, such as the evidence of utilities, have been moved to the base report, but there are still multiple optional items that can be included in the supplementary Table A.

Important Table A items

There are 21 discretionary items, and we will discuss some of the most important.

Item 1-Monuments: Setting new monuments is optional, but this is a minimal cost item that can provide clarity with regard to any existing monuments.

Item 3-Flood Zone Classification: It is advisable to select this item to determine whether flood insurance is required.

Item 4-Gross Land Area: If a buyer is contemplating new construction, requesting the land area and square footage of improvements can be important. This information also dovetails with optional zoning elements in items 6(a) and 6(b) of Table A.

Item 6-Zoning: The aforementioned items 6(a) and 6(b) are essential if new construction is planned for a site. If a lender is involved in the project, it will almost certainly require these items. With the new 2016 update, an ALTA surveyor is not required to provide a zoning opinion. If Table 6(a) and 6(b) items are requested, the party commissioning the survey must provide the surveyor with a zoning report or a zoning letter provided by an expert.

Item 8-Substantial Features: This item pertains to property improvements and features outside of the principal buildings on the site. These include service buildings, sheds, swimming pools, areas that have significant landscaping and refuse collection areas. Understanding and defining secondary structures and features on a site can impact valuation significantly.

Item 11-Location of Utilities: While evidence of utilities has been moved to the base report in accordance with the 2006 update, location of underground utilities and equipment is an optional item. As with zoning items in 6(a) and 6(b), item 11 should be a part of any survey prior to new construction.

There are other elements in Table A that need to be reviewed by owners and lenders. Not all of them are pertinent in every situation, but understanding how these can affect a land purchase or new project is quite important.

At Millman National Land Services, we retain our own staff of surveyors to ensure impeccably high standards, and we invite your inquiries and questions.