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  • Writer's picturePorter DeVries

What is the legal description of real property?

The legal description of real property is a precise and detailed description of a specific piece of real estate that is used to identify and legally define the boundaries of the property. It is typically used in legal documents, such as deeds, mortgages, and contracts, to accurately identify and describe a property in a way that is legally recognized and enforceable. Legal descriptions are typically created by licensed surveyors or other qualified professionals and are based on established land surveying methods and standards.

A legal description of real property may include the following components:

  1. Metes and Bounds: This is a method of describing the boundaries of a property by specifying the lengths and directions of lines that form the boundaries. It typically starts at a specific point of reference (called a "point of beginning" or "POB") and then describes the property in terms of compass directions, distances, and angles.

  2. Lot and Block: This method is commonly used in subdivisions where properties are divided into lots and blocks, and the legal description refers to the specific lot number and block number within a recorded plat or subdivision map. This method is often used in urban areas where properties are laid out in a grid pattern.

  3. Government Survey System: This is a method used in the United States for describing and identifying land based on a standardized system of rectangular survey lines, typically used for public lands. It uses a combination of township, range, section, and meridian references to identify a specific piece of property.

  4. Reference to Recorded Documents: In some cases, the legal description of real property may refer to other recorded documents, such as a previously recorded deed, a survey map, or a recorded subdivision plat, which contains the details of the property's boundaries.

It's important to note that the specific requirements for a legally valid and accurate legal description of real property may vary by jurisdiction and may be subject to local laws, regulations, and surveying standards. It's advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified professional, such as a licensed surveyor or real estate attorney, to ensure that a legal description is accurate, complete, and legally sufficient for the intended purpose.

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