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Property Deeds

Are you purchasing or about to purchase a property? Your realtor or the seller may offer you information on the property and a copy of the deed may be presented to you. Don't be frustrated if you can't understand or interpret the boundary description (if there is one). It's not easy for most people to interpret or understand. A title search is a good way of getting the history of a piece of real property to check for discrepancies, restrictions or allowances that pertain to the use of the property, and if any liens exist on the property that will need to be paid off at closing.

If the metes & bounds description of the boundary lines from corner to corner don't make sense to you, you might want to consider contacting a state licensed professional land surveyor for an estimate to do a boundary line retracement survey and create a new legal description to have a corrected deed recorded.

The land surveyor should look at the deed description and title search documents, as well as the deed descriptions for the properties adjoining the property-in-question (PIQ). This will give a first impression as to whether or not the deeds have good measurement details, if the deed mentions physical corner or line markers, or if the deed has not been updated for many years and was written at a time when surveyors used older units of measurement (i.a.perches, rods, chains). The surveyor will also take note of any mention of restrictions or allowances pertaining to the use of the land, such as utility easements and right-of-way road or access easements that may cross through the property.

Following a full boundary survey, the surveyor can provide a legal description that updates the metes and bounds with the current method of measurements and the types of corner markers found or set. A real estate attorney can take the legal description and have a new deed created. The next time the property is transferred, having had the boundary survey and new deed may help ease the transaction. The surveyor can also give an estimate to create a plan showing the lot lines with measurements and corner markers found or set and any easements that pertain to the lot. When it comes time to discuss proposed improvements to the lot, having a survey plan, a deed with a current metes & bounds description, and the physical corner markers in place on the lot will be a perfect combination to make the planning process easier and more cost effective.

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