November 01, 2012

Real Estate Legal Descriptions

Kathleen J. Hopkins and Evan L. Loeffler

From Real Estate Closing Deskbook, third edition, Chapter One

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Real Estate Legal Descriptions

The term “legal description” refers to the written description of property and certain other data that identifies the subject piece of property. A closing lawyer must know how to read and understand surveys and how to draft proper legal descriptions. The intent of the parties to the transaction cannot be honored with certainty unless the legal description precisely locates the land that is the subject of the agreement. Every legal description should provide the name of the county or parish in which the property is located and, if so divided, the judicial district within that county or parish. The most common methods of describing land follow:

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