Identify the three methods used to describe real estate.
- metes and bounds
- rectangular (government) survey
- lot and block (recorded subdivision plat)
Explain how to read a metes-and-bounds survey description, how to divide a section of land, and how to calculate the acreage in a tract of land.
In this type of survey, the surveyor describes the perimeter of the subject property in terms of distance, direction, and boundaries.
Sections may be divided into halves (320 acres) or quarters (160 acres). Quarter-sections can be divided into quarters or halves, and such parts can be further divided by quarters.
If the SE¼ of SE¼ of SE¼ of Section 1 is a 10-acre square in the lower-right corner of Section 1; the acreage would be calculated as ¼ × ¼ × ¼ × 640 = 10 acres.
Describe how a survey is prepared and how a datum and a benchmark relate to that process.
A survey sketch shows the location and dimensions of a parcel. A survey that also shows the location, size, and shape of the improvements located on a lot is called an improvement survey.
Surveyors would use a datum in determining the height of a structure or establishing the grade of a street.
To aid surveyors, benchmarks, permanent reference markers such as an iron post or brass plate embedded in a sidewalk, have been established throughout the United States. Cities with local datums also have designated local benchmarks, which are given official status when assigned a permanent identifying number.
Distinguish the various units of land measurement.
vara = 331/3 inches (by Texas statute)
rod = 16.5 feet; 5.5 yards
chain = 66 feet; 4 rods; 100 links
mile = 5,280 feet; 1,760 yards; 320 rods
sq mile = 640 acres (5,280 × 5,280 = 27,878,400 ÷ 43,560)
acre = 43,560 sq. feet; 160 sq. rods
section = 640 acres
sq foot = 144 sq inches
sq yard = 9 sq ft
cu yard = 27 cu ft
A designated airspace over a piece of land. An air lot, like surface property, may be transferred.
One of a set of imaginary lines 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 survey (or government survey) system of property description.
A permanent reference mark or point established for use by surveyors in measuring differences in elevation.
A horizontal plane from which heights and depths are measured.
A survey which also shows the location, size, and shape of improvements located on the lot,
A description of a specific parcel of real estate complete enough for an independent surveyor to locate and identify it.
lot and block (subdivision plat)
A description of real property that identifies a parcel of land by reference to lot and block numbers within a subdivision, as specified on a plat of subdivision duly recorded in the county clerk’s office.
metes and bounds
A legal description of a parcel of land that begins at a well-marked point and follows the boundaries, using direction and distances around the tract back to the place of beginning.
A fixed natural or artificial object used to establish real estate boundaries for a metes-and-bounds description.
point (place) of beginning
In a metes-and-bounds legal description, the starting point of the survey, situated in one corner of the parcel; all metes-and-bounds descriptions must follow the boundaries of the parcel back to the point of beginning.
One of 37 north and south survey lines established and defined as part of the rectangular survey (government survey) system.
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 (government) survey system of land description.
rectangular survey system
A system established in 1785 by the federal government providing for surveying and describing land by reference to principal meridians and base lines. Also called the government survey system. Not used in Texas.
A square with mile-long sides and an area of one
square mile, or 640 acres.
The process by which boundaries are measured
and land areas are determined; the onsite measurement of lot lines, dimensions, and position of a house on a lot, including the determination of any existing encroachments or easements.
A drawing which shows the location and dimensions of the parcel.
Lines running at six-mile intervals parallel to the base lines in the rectangular survey (government survey) system; not used in Texas.
The principal unit of the rectangular survey (government survey) system. A township is a square with 6-mile sides and an area of 36 square miles; not used in Texas.
A strip of land running east and west in the government (rectangular) survey system; not used in Texas.