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What are legal land descriptions?

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Quick Answer

A legal real estate description is a written description of a property that contains certain identifying data regarding the property, the American Bar Association explains. A legal real estate description also shows the state and county in which the property is located.

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There are several possible approaches to creating a legal description of land, Rocket Lawyer notes. A fractional designation is the most common type of description, and it describes sections of the land on the basis of survey data. The metes and bounds form of land description defines the boundaries of the property using nearby reference points. The lot and block survey, developed more recently, breaks the land into blocks or plots to designate the property's boundaries.

Many land descriptions list the quantity of the land measured in acres, but this is not a requirement in a description, Rocket Lawyer advises. The street address of the property does not need to be present in a legal description, because road names and addresses can change.

In the event of the sale of a property, a survey is generally necessary in order to write a proper legal description. In some cases, the sale may not be valid if the legal description does not meet the requirements, Rocket Lawyer states.

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