Multifamily Investing Podcast  with Multifamily Attorney Charles Dobens 

Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “ALTA Survey”

blog May 22, 2020
This is among the provisions found in a Purchase and Sale Agreement. You need to ask for the gold standard - The ALTA Survey! This is in Article 5 of the Purchase and Sale Contract - this will become important when doing your Title Insurance search.

The ALTA survey is what you find in Article V of the Purchase and Sale Contract. You have to understand how important this survey is. But before we get into the details, let me show you that ALTA means “American Land Title Association”. 

If you go down to Texas, they don't use the ALTA. They use the TLTA or the “Texas Land Title Association”. You need to understand what is the gold standard in different markets predominantly across the country. The gold standard for the serving is the ALTA survey. And, the other thing that you have to understand is that not all surveys are the same. So when you see an ALTA survey, you could see another one called a Boundary Survey. 

A Boundary Survey is inadequate for many things. When you are writing your purchase and sale agreement, and you're telling the seller what you want, you can tell them that “I want the gold standard. I want the ALTA survey.” 

This is going to come into effect when you're doing your title insurance search. When the title insurance exceptions come back, they will put exceptions into the title policy. And then they will say, “we'll waive these if you have an updated ALTA survey.”

That is why you ask for the ALTA survey in the Purchase and Sale Agreement and you can try to get the seller to pay for it as well. So, this is what we do here with ALTA and this is what you'll see in the Article V of the Purchase and Sale contract.

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