Fuzzy Math and the Legal Description

Posted by TSI Appraisal
How do you measure the
boundaries of your property? Well, you could try the method a surveyor uses,
which is called the metes and bounds system. This system had been used for
hundreds of years in England and was introduced into the states during the
colonization of the United States of America. It is mostly used in the
northeast, particularly in the 13 original colony areas.
Metes refers to the straight
line between two points. Each point is a monument. This includes the curb of a
road, a boulder, tree line or any other element that would end a straight line.
Surveyors refer to these as bounds. If there are no natural bounds, the
surveyor creates one by driving a stake into the ground.
Seem like the metes and bounds
system has some fuzzy math? It does. Most property owners cannot clearly
identify where their property lines lie. And what about rural areas? The owner
of a 25 acre slab of land may not be concerned with every square-foot, so long
as they maintain rights to their land. It’s far more common that the legal
description of a property’s boundaries, which clearly entails a property’s
boundary lines, are only well known when there is a dispute.

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