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Flashcards in Unit 6 - part 1 Deck (12):

What is a legal description?

A legal description is a detailed way of describing a parcel of land for documents such as deeds and mortgages.

Description of RE complete enough for a surveyor to locate and identify it.


What methods are used for describing RE?

There are three basic methods currently used to describe real estate:

1. Metes and bounds survey
2. Rectangular (or government) survey
3. Lot and block (recorded plat) survey


What are characteristics of metes and bounds method?

The metes-and-bounds method of land description is the oldest found in the United States.

Metes means to measure, and bounds means linear directions. The method relies on a property's physical features to determine the boundaries and measurements
of the parcel.


How are RE measured with metes and bounds method?

A metes-and-bounds description starts at a designated place on the parcel, called the point of beginning (POB). The POB is also the point at which the description ends.

From there, the surveyor proceeds around the property's boundaries. The boundaries are recorded by referring to linear measurements, natural and artificial landmarks (called monuments), and directions.

A metes-and- bounds description always ends back at the POB so that the tract being described is completely enclosed.


What are monuments?

Monuments are fixed objects used to identify the POB, all corners of the parcel or ends of boundary segments, and the location of intersecting boundaries.

Today, monuments are iron pins or concrete posts.


What are characteristic of lot and block (recorded plat)?

This system uses lot and block numbers referred to in a plat map filed in the public records of the county where the land is located.

The plat map is a map of a town, a section, or a subdivision, indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties. The lot-and-block method is used mostly in subdivisions and urban areas.


How are RE measured with lot and block method?

A lot-and-block survey is performed in two steps.

First, a large parcel of land is described either by the metes-and-bounds method or by a rectangular survey. Once this large parcel is surveyed, it is broken into smaller parcels. As a result, a lot-and-block description always refers to a prior metes-and-bounds or rectangular survey description.

For each parcel described under the lot-and-block system, the lot refers to the numerical designation of any particular parcel. The block refers to the name of the subdivision under which the map is recorded.

The lot-and-block system starts with the preparation of a subdivision plat by a licensed surveyor or engineer. On this plat, the land is divided into numbered or lettered lots and blocks, and streets or access roads for public use are indicated.

In describing a lot from a recorded subdivision plat, three identifiers are used:

1. Lot and block number
2. Name or number of the subdivision plat
3. Name of the county and state


What are survey, survey sketch and spot survey?

The survey states the property's legal description.

The survey sketch shows the location and dimensions of the parcel.

When a survey also shows the location, size, and shape of buildings on the lot, it is referred to as a spot survey.


What are air lots?

In the same way that land may be measured and divided into parcels, the air may be divided. The owner may subdivide the air space above the land into air lots.

Air lots are composed of the airspace within specific boundaries located over a parcel of land.

The condominium laws passed in all states require that a registered land surveyor prepare a plat map that shows the elevations of floor and ceiling surfaces and the vertical boundaries of each unit with reference to an official datum.

Typically, a separate plat is prepared for each floor in the condominium building.


What is datum?

A datum is a point, line, or surface from which elevations are measured or indicated.

A surveyor would use a datum in determining the height of a structure or establishing the grade of a street.


What are monuments?

Monuments are traditionally used to mark surface measurements between points. A monument could be a marker set in concrete, a piece of steel- reinforcing bar (rebar), a metal pipe driven into the soil, or simply a wooden stake stuck in the dirt.


What are benchmarks?

Benchmarks are monuments that have been established as permanent reference points throughout the United States. They are usually embossed brass markers set
into solid concrete or asphalt bases.

While used to some degree for surface measurements, their principal reference use is for marking datums.