land description

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land description

Any instrument granting or relinquishing rights in real estate must contain a description of the real estate.The description must be precise enough so that a stranger, relying only on the writing in the instrument and perhaps some training as a surveyor, could go out in the world and locate the exact piece of property covered by the instrument. That being said, it is not at all uncommon for old deeds to recite,“Starting at the midpoint of the old logging road,thence proceed 500 feet,more or less,to a stream… .“ Allowances are made for such descriptions if one can determine the boundaries with other evidence.It is not acceptable, however, to describe real property by a street address, by a tax assessor's parcel identification number,or as something similar to “one acre of land near the north end of Joe Jones's property.” Acceptable land descriptions appear in one of three ways:

1. Subdivision lot and block number, as recorded on a master plat in the local real estate records.

2. Metes and bounds, which includes a recognized starting point and then gives the angle and direction of turns, and the length of lines, for the various sides of the property until returning to the beginning.

3. Aliquot part, which starts with a particularly described 640-acre section, and then describes particular fractions of that section to arrive at the description of the parcel.

The diagram “explodes” out the relevant quarters of each square, to make it easier to follow the description. We start with the largest parcel, which is a section—labeled “A” on the drawing. It contains 640 acres. The part in which we are interested is the southwest (SW) quarter (1/4) of the section—labeled “B” on the drawing. Within B, we are interested in that SW 1/4—labeled “C”.
Within C, we are interested in the west half (shaded black in the drawing). Putting all the pieces together,we would name the particular section according to the government numbering system, and then start with the smallest piece and work our way backward to the whole. In this case, the description is,“The W 1/2 of the SW 1/4 (C) of the SW 1/4 (B) of Section 8 (A).”If a section is 640 acres, then B must be one-fourth of that, or 160 acres. C is one-fourth of that, or 40 acres, and the black part is 20 acres.

The Complete Real Estate Encyclopedia by Denise L. Evans, JD & O. William Evans, JD. Copyright © 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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(385) Obtaining accurate land descriptions and adjudicating the title for each initial registration is very time-consuming and costly.
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