It’s surprising that anyone would purchase real estate, much less commercial real estate, without a current ALTA/ACSM survey. The ALTA (American Land Title Association) and ACSM (American Congress on Surveying and Mapping) revised their standards this year in order to make these surveys more representative of today’s market standards. You can find information on the revisions to the ALTA/ACSM surveys on the ALTA website, www.alta.org.
While most lenders will require a new survey in order to provide financing for an acquisition, there are also several valuable endorsements to your owner’s title policy that can only be obtained upon review of a new ALTA/ACSM survey. These endorsements deal with easements, restrictions, access and other issues and can provide you with additional coverage under your title policy. These “survey” endorsements are generally inexpensive to obtain once you’ve gotten your new survey. But remember, the best thing about getting a new survey is that it will show you exactly what is on your property (both visible and sometimes invisible), and can help avoid unpleasant surprises later.