When You Need an Improvement Location Certificate in Real Estate

Improvement Location Report

Jim Kimmons

When real estate is changing ownership, there is likely a title insurance policy being issued to the new owner. There is a mortgage involved in many cases also. Both the mortgage company and the title insurer need to know that the structures or improvements being purchased are actually on the property and also if there are any encroachments from adjacent properties.

It is accomplished by commissioning a surveyor to provide an improvement location certificate showing the property boundaries and the location of the improvements, easements, and any encroachments.

Also Known As: Improvement Location Report

The image in this post is of the drawing portion of an NM ILR, Improvement Location Report. Notice the structure (improvement) drawn and located on the property. This ILR is for the title company's use only to issue title insurance. It will show any encroachments over property lines or problems. Here is actual text from the ILR for this drawing, including the legal description:

TRACT 13-2a'
A certain tract of land in Colonies, Taos County, New Mexico, within the Antonio
Martinez Grant; located within Projected Section 25 & 36, T 26 N, R 12 B, 74MPMi described as being part of Tracts 6 & 8, Map 14, Survey 2 of the 1941 Taos County
Reassessment Survey; and more particularly described by metes and bounds as follows:
BEGINNING a Vz in. mbar set for the East comer of this tract, from whence Triangulation Station 'Velvet', a 1973 State Engineer's Office brass cap monument,
bears S 21' 06' W, 5727.5      distant, thence;
S 46" 12' W, 208.0 ft, to a 'A in, t-ehar found, thence;
N 43° 26' W, 216.9 ft. to a V2 in. mbar found, thence;
N 46° 12' E, 208.0 ft, to a IA in. rebel- set, thence;
S 4Y 26' E, 216.7 ft. to the POINT AND PLACE OF BEGINNING.
Improvement Location Report no. XXXXXXXXXXXX
This is to certify to First New Mexico Title & Abstract Co., Inc. that on August 28, 2009, I made an inspection of the premises (see sketch, page 2), located in Colonias, Taos County, New Mexico. Bearings and distances shown are from Tract '13-2a' of a survey plat entitled "XXXXXXXXXXX" as filed at the Taos County Clerk's Office in Cabinet E, page 136-B. Easements shown here on are as listed in File no. XXXXXX, Tide Commitment no. XXXXXXX. Improvement location is based on said previous survey. This tract is subject to all easements, restrictions, and reservations of record that pertain. This report is not to be relied on for the establishment of fences, buildings or other future improvements.
I further certify that the attached sketch (see page 2), shows at the time of my inspection all of the following that pertain:
Evidence of rights-of-way, old highways or abandoned roads, lanes, trails or driveways, sewer, drains, water, gas or oil pipelines on or crossing said premises.
Springs, streams, rivers, ponds or lakes located, bordering on or through said premises.
Evidence of cemeteries or family burial grounds located on said premises.
Overhead utility poles, pedestals, and overhead utility lines.
Joint driveways or walkways, joint garages, party walls or rights of support, steps, or roofs in common.
Apparent encroachments.
Specific physical evidence of boundary lines.
All information within this report is based on boundary information taken from a previous survey and may not reflect that which may be disclosed by a boundary survey.

A lot of this is legal and of interest to just the legal people and the title insurer. The point is that the title insurer can now issue title insurance based on the ILR that shows no encroachments and the title search that gives the details of all documents filed at the courthouse referencing the property.

Real estate agents too often just pass these along and not examine them. It's a good idea always to give them at least a cursory examination in service to the customer or client.