What does the legal description of property mean?
The legal description definition of property is how you will pinpoint where a specific piece of property is located.
This legal description will often be much better than a legal description of property street address, except they may even not match.
The acronym desc stands for all the following terms: description, descending and Defense Energy Support Center. Here we will focus on “description”, or more specifically, property description.
Some legal description of property examples are pretty simple, including a lot and block, within the name of a subdivision.
However, when verified by surveying equipment, even they might be wrong. To make sure you actually own a certain piece of property, get a title insurance policy.
But, how to find legal description of property? Where to find legal description of property? These are all questions anyone might ask. Let’s take a look at how to find the legal description of a property if you ever need it.
Metes and bounds as a common legal description of property example
This is a fairly common example which includes the public surveying system for description of the subject property. This system is in use ever since the US issued its patent, after getting the land from the Native Americans.
It uses ranges and townships, and the land is usually divided into 640-acre-each sections.
The legal property description will pinpoint the property’s location within the township, range, as well as section, and it might even go as far as to include degrees and distance.
Let’s take a look at an example of legal description of the property on the deed. Each township is 23,040 acres and has 36 sections. Each is 1-mile square.
The townships will run north and south, and the ranges will run west and east. Each of them is a line that runs at right angles to the other one.
This is a grid of squares, which was adopted back in 1785, and used ever since for legal description of the land. To designate the parcel, for example, you refer to a 20-acre area as the S ½ of the SW, ¼ of the SE ¼, of section 31 T1N.
This is something that’s very easy to find on a map, but it becomes complicated when you want to explain the location.
When you want to find the legal description of the property, you designate the POB, point of beginning. For example, you begin at the SW corner of the SE ¼ of section 31, T1N, and move 50 feet at a specific degree.
The legal description requires that you move at different angles and degrees until you’re back to the point of beginning, and you now have drawn a map of the boundaries.
With a protractor, you can draw your own legal addresses and legal description.
This is how title searchers drew the descriptions, and the method title searches used to see if a document has any effect on a property they’re searching for in the public records. Nowadays, all of that is done on a computer.
It actually isn’t always that correct
You’ll find that with this measurement, blocks and lots are often a few feet off, here and there. How does this happen? Usually by accident.
If a homeowner builds a garage where he thinks is the property boundary but ends up being two feet off, he’ll push his neighbor’s lot line by two feet.
Therefore, some title companies perform a survey even when the description is a lot and a block.
There are some situations where you’ll find the corner markers in the ground, but this usually happens on properties which have acreage, as well as a metes and bounds description, and not a lot and block.
A few essential elements
The legal description needs to identify which county and state the property is, as well as enough information for a competent and licensed surveyor to be able to go back, and identify the property lines clearly.
An alternative to the metes and bounds, and lot and block systems mentioned above is the rectangular survey method.
How does the rectangular survey method work?
The rectangular survey method began as a way to establish the large pieces of land’s boundaries as the US was expanding to the west. There is a grid of north-to-south lines, known as meridians, that intersect with the baselines that run from east to west.
The intersection is the township, the origin point. This township is the section of 6 square miles, further divided up to smaller, 1 square mile sections.
For example, a legal description for a large ranch might be “Smith County Nebraska, Sixth Principal Meridian T3N, R2W, sec14”.
When you work backward, this is section 14 of the township that is 2 townships west, and 3 townships north of the Sixth Principal Meridian in Nebraska. This is a standard format, but for record purposes, the county is also required.
This is a description that will most likely not come up for the residential real estate, as the system is usually used for large areas of lands, which used to be public, but were later sold or retained by the government.
For house deeds and real estates, the common ones are the metes and bounds and lot and blocks systems.
How to write the legal description
This is something that is recommended that you get done by a real estate lawyer. This makes sure the description is legal and abides by the local and government laws.
Since we got the ways of descriptions out of the way, let’s take a look at the quantity of land and the street address.
The street address
The legal description doesn’t require a street address. Road names are susceptible to change, and the street address is only used if you want to outline a home’s address. If the address provided is invalid, it needs to be waived.
The quantity of land
Real estate transactions commonly list the quantity of land, usually in acres. Buildings are commonly listed with square feet. However, this isn’t a necessity in many cases, because the land survey outlines the boundaries of the land that is being sold.
If you’re after a proper legal description, you will need a survey. The professional to go to is a real estate lawyer, because, if you don’t have the proper description as a seller, your sale might be void due to an improper description of a property.
Ending thoughts on a legal description of property
Having a legal description will give you legal evidence of your boundaries, and a surveyor can later use that to determine the property’s lines later on.
During disputes or transactions, this is incredibly useful, and it often appears on the property deed, as well as sales contracts.
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