Minnesota Plat Drawings on residential purchases and refinances
March 26, 2018
Knight Barry Title Group acquired five offices in Minnesota in early January 2018, bringing with us our experience and knowledge in issuing title insurance and conducting real estate closings dating back to 1854. One of our experiences is the practice of providing residential underwriting improvements that will save consumers money, speed up transactions and provide better title insurance coverage for lenders. Eliminating the requirement of obtaining a plat drawing in certain parts of Minnesota will do just that, save money, speed up transactions and yes provide the lender better title insurance coverage.
We assume most of our Minnesota customers who currently order plat drawings will opt to take advantage of the elimination of the plat drawing requirement as the vast majority of residential lenders throughout the country and even in many parts of Minnesota don’t require surveys or plat drawings in light of these underwriting improvements. However we understand certain lenders may opt to stick with the use of plat drawings and that’s perfectly acceptable to us. If you’d like a plat drawing simply tell us on your title order and we’ll add the cost to the title invoice. If nothing is indicated on the order, we will not order a plat drawing.
So what is a plat drawing?
The drawing is not a survey and is not a replacement for an actual survey. A plat drawing is limited to a visual inspection of the property, which is often based on an internet satellite image, to estimate the location of improvements and boundary lines. The location of the boundary lines and improvements are not field verified. Unlike an actual survey, a plat drawing does not show the precise location of fences, walls, buildings, or other improvements but may provide some general information regarding survey matters which may need to be explored further.
Can Knight Barry Title provide survey coverage and an ALTA 9 Endorsement to the lender without a plat drawing?
Yes! Historically a plat drawing or survey was required to provide the coverage to lenders, but now underwriting improvements allow us to remove the survey exceptions without the plat drawing. This provides better title insurance coverage over survey matters and meets the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac underwriting guidelines.
What are the benefits to lenders and consumers opting out of plat drawings?
- Decreased cost to consumers: a plat drawing on a residential property typically costs $100 or less. By eliminating the drawing or survey, the consumer saves money and the lender may be more competitive in the market.
- Faster transaction speed: a plat drawing on a residential property typically takes 3-5 days to complete, not including a thorough review by the lender and Knight Barry Title to identify problematic survey matters. Opting out of plat drawings eliminates the time spent on this entire process.
- Better title insurance coverage: For improved residential properties and certain non-residential properties, Knight Barry Title can delete the “standard survey exceptions” and not raise problematic survey matters on the loan policy. This means the lender is receiving better title insurance coverage.
Can Knight Barry Title provide the lender some visual of the property in lieu of a plat drawing?
Yes! Below is an example of Goodhue County’s GIS (Geographic Information System) visual of the property. Other Minnesota Counties make this available too. As noted on the report, this is not a survey, but this does provide a nice guide showing the general location of the improvements of the property and the apparent occupation lines established between neighbors. There is no cost for this report and if you would like to use this in lieu of the plat drawing, just let us know.
The “standard survey exceptions” appear on Knight Barry Title’s commitment on Schedule B-Part 2 as Exceptions 6, 7, and 8 as follows: 6. Any encroachments, encumbrance, violation, variation, or adverse circumstance affecting Title that would be disclosed by an accurate and complete land survey of the Land. 7. Easements or claims of easements not shown by the Public Records. 8. Any claim of adverse possession or prescriptive easement.