A boundary survey locates the property boundaries of a parcel of land described in a deed. All exterior property corners will be found and/or set during the survey. Boundary surveys are often performed when a property is sold, subdivided, or improved. Although the law in Michigan does not require a new survey for the sale of property, individual mortgage lenders may require one before approving a loan. Whether required or not, all parties in a transaction should know exactly what it is they are buying or selling. It makes good sense to have the property surveyed before the sale.
An ALTA survey is a boundary survey performed to exacting specifications of the American Land Title Association (ALTA) and the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM). These specifications were developed to answer the needs of companies that insure the titles of large and valuable residential, commercial and industrial properties and improvements.
Because an ALTA survey is conducted to allow an insurer to determine the risks involved in the title to a property, they require not only an understanding of historical land records and surveying and mapping techniques, but a thorough knowledge of issues that may affect title, such as easements, encroachments, and encumbrances. The surveyor must work closely with the title company, as each is relying on the other's work to produce a comprehensive report on all matters affecting ownership of the land and its improvements.
A Mortgage Inspection certifies to a title company, escrow company, lending institution or other similar entity, that the existing conditions as shown on the inspection are pertinent to that parcel of land. This inspection must be prepared by a Professional Surveyor. The inspection is not a boundary survey and should not be used in place of a boundary survey.
A topographic survey measures the slopes and elevations, locates the existing natural and man-made features and plots this information for future use of the property. The topo survey is not intended to be a boundary survey but can easily be combined with one to relate these features as one survey package.
Topographic surveys are needed when planning construction or improvements to existing structures on a property, including buildings, site improvements, and utilities such as sewer and water lines. An accurate topographic survey is crucial for calculating materials needed, proper runoff of rainwater, sightlines and visibility of finished structures, and feasibility of potential improvements. State and municipal planning boards may require topographic surveys for permitting some new or improvement construction projects.
Land Divisions and Platting
In the State of Michigan, when any parcel of land is to be divided, a complete and accurate survey of the existing parcel along with any resulting parcels is recommended and may be required. Each municipality in Michigan is responsible for administering the Land Division Act over their jurisdiction. A property owner considering a land division should consult a Professional Surveyor to discuss the requirements and the process necessary to facilitate the desired land divisions. If the land division desired will result in a finished subdivision, a more extensive process may be required.
An easement is the right of one person, or many persons, to use the land of another, for a specific purpose. This right must be granted by the land owner and is subject to the conditions and restrictions of the easement agreement between the parties involved. It is important that the easement be described properly so as to lie within the intended portion of the parcel of land intended. In order to assure an accurate easement description it is important to have a complete and accurate legal description of the subject parcel. A licensed Professional Surveyor can assist in preparing the necessary descriptions.
Land Consulting Services
Terra Pointe Consultants is ready to assist you in any other land consulting services you may need. These may include flood elevation certificates, deed research and interpretation, legal description plotting, area computations, expert witness for court appearances, as-built certifications and project planning and management services