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15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

legal description

An exact way of describing real estate in a contract, deed, mortgage or other document that will be accepted by a court of law.

Methods of describing real estate

-Metes and Bounds

-Rectangular (Government) Survey System

-Reference to a recorded Plat (Lot and Block)

-Reference to a Recorded Deed (NC)

Metes-and-bounds description

The earliest form of legal description used in the US and still the primary method of describing property in the original 13 Colonies. Uses boundaries and measurements of the land in question.

Metes and Bounds uses:

-Point of Beginning (POB)



Point of Beginning (POB)

In a metes-and-bounds legal description, the starting point of the survey, situated at one corner of the parcel. All metes-and-bounds descriptions must follow the boundaries of the parcel back the POB.


In surveying, references to a course, distance, or monument when describing a boundary.


A fixed natural or artificial object used to establish real estate boundaries for a metes-and-bounds description.

Rectangular (Government) Survey System

-Established by Congress in 1785 to standardize the description of land acquired by the newly formed federal government.

-Provides for surveying and describing land by using principal meridians and base lines.

-Used mainly west of the Mississippi River

Principal Meridian

The main imaginary line running north and south and crossing a base line at a definite point; used by surveyors for reference in locating and describing land under the rectangular (gov't) survey system of land description.

Base Line

The main imaginary line running east and west and crossing a principal meridian at a definite point; used by surveyors for reference in locating and describing land under the rectangular (gov't) survey system of legal description.ac


A strip of land six miles wide, extending north and south and numbered east and west according to its distance from the principal meridian in the rectangular (gov't) survey system of legal description.

Township Lines

All the lines in a rectangular survey system that run east and west, parallel to the base line six miles apart. They form township tiers.

Township Tiers

-Designated by consecutive numbers north and south of the base line

-e.g. the strip of land between six and twelve miles north of the base line is Township 2 North.


-A principal unit of the rectangular survey system

-A square with 6 mile sides & 36 square mile area

-Formed by horizontal township lines and vertical range lines


-A portion of township under the rectangular (gov't) survey system.

-a square with one mile long sides

-area of 1 square mile (640 acres)

-sections are numbered 1-36 from top right to left, then left to right

-sections are decided in to halves and quarters