Professional Surveyors and Real Property Descriptions: Composition, Construction, and Comprehension / Edition 1

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Overview

Land boundaries are the physical, technical, and legal entities that define the extent and limits of a particular parcel of land, whether a small acreage of private property or the delineation between sovereign nations. This book is intended to be a tutorial on writing land descriptions for surveyors, allowing readers to be able to construct complete and modern land descriptions. Providing not only information on how to write new descriptions, this book also covers the history of how historic descriptions were written, enabling the reader to properly interpret them today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470542590
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 9/13/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen V. Estopinal, PLS, PE, is the Surveying Division Manager at SJB Group, a land surveying, civil engineering, real estate services, and program management service company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has been in the practice of land surveying for more than forty years. Author of A Guide to Understanding Land Surveys, Third Edition (Wiley) and columnist for Professional Surveyor Magazine, he is a frequent lecturer on surveying matters and regularly serves as an expert witness.

Wendy Lathrop PLS, CFM, President of Cadastral Consulting, LLC, is a professional land surveyor, planner, and Certified Floodplain Manager, involved since 1974 in projects ranging from construction to boundary to environmental land use disputes. She has been presenting seminars for her colleagues across the country since 1986 and is a contributing editor for The American Surveyor magazine. She is a past president of the National Society of Professional Surveyors.

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Table of Contents

FOREWORD xi

1 INTRODUCTION 1

1.1 Property / 1

1.1.1 Personal Property / 1

1.1.2 Real Property / 2

1.1.3 Ownership / 2

1.1.4 Possession / 3

1.2 Title and Interests in Real Property / 4

1.2.1 The Concept of Title / 4

1.2.2 Fee Simple / 7

1.2.3 Limited Title / 7

1.2.4 Easements / 12

1.3 Transfers of Title and Interests / 26

1.3.1 Written Transfers and Conveyances / 27

1.3.2 Unwritten Transfers and Conveyances / 30

1.3.3 Statute of Frauds / 33

1.4 Deeds / 35

1.4.1 Legally Sufficient / 38

1.4.2 Abstract of Title / 39

1.4.3 Recordation / 40

2 LAND RECORD SYSTEMS 45

2.1 Overview / 45

2.2 Metes and Bounds / 47

2.2.1 General History / 47

2.2.2 Legally Sufficient / 48

2.3 United States Public Lands System / 51

2.3.1 History / 51

2.3.2 Aliquot Division / 53

2.4 Platted Subdivisions / 56

2.4.1 History / 56

2.4.2 Recorded Plats / 57

2.4.3 State and Local Regulations / 58

2.4.4 Federal, State, and Local Government Maps / 59

2.4.5 Linear Tracts / 59

2.5 Combined Record System Descriptions / 67

3 DIRECTIONS 71

3.1 Angles / 71

3.1.1 General / 72

3.1.2 Interior Angles / 72

3.1.3 Exterior Angles / 74

3.1.4 Deflection Angles / 74

3.2 Meridians / 75

3.2.1 General / 75

3.2.2 True North / 76

3.2.3 Astronomic North / 77

3.2.4 Magnetic North / 77

3.2.5 State Plane North / 78

3.2.6 Assumed North / 78

3.3 Bearings / 79

3.3.1 North-South Reference Lines / 79

3.3.2 East-West Reference Lines / 81

3.3.3 Reversing Directions / 82

3.3.4 Generalized Directions / 82

3.4 Curved Lines / 83

3.5 Azimuths / 86

3.6 Compass Directions and Headings / 87

4 MAP PROJECTIONS 91

4.1 General / 91

4.2 Projectionless Maps / 94

4.2.1 Government Land Office (GLO) Plats / 95

4.3 Conformal Plane Projection / 95

4.3.1 Tangent Plane Projection / 96

4.3.2 Lambert Projection / 96

4.3.3 Transverse Mercator Projection / 97

4.3.4 State Plane Projection / 99

4.3.5 Universal Traverse Mercator (UTM) / 101

4.3.6 Global Positioning System (GPS) / 101

4.3.7 Geographical Information Systems (GIS) / 102

4.4 Application / 103

5 PLATTING TO DESCRIBE 107

5.1 General / 107

5.2 Original Surveys / 108

5.2.1 Identifying the Bounding Parcels / 109

5.2.2 Monumentation / 112

5.2.3 Directions / 116

5.2.4 Distances / 119

5.3 Retracement Surveys / 121

5.3.1 Hierarchy of Calls / 123

5.3.2 Identification of Lines / 124

5.3.3 Area and Significant Figures / 125

5.3.4 Recovery of Monumentation / 128

5.3.5 Perpetuation of Monumentation / 129

5.4 Preserving the Evidence in Words: A Case Study / 130

5.5 Reference to Plats in Descriptions / 135

6 COMPOSING, COMPREHENDING DESCRIPTIONS 141

6.1 General / 141

6.2 Hierarchy of Calls / 142

6.2.1 Elements of the Boundaries / 144

6.3 Caption / 152

6.3.1 Land Record System / 153

6.3.2 Clarify Intent / 154

6.4 Body / 156

6.4.1 Point of Commencement / 156

6.4.2 Point of Beginning / 158

6.4.3 Elements of the Boundaries / 160

6.5 Elements of the Description / 173

6.5.1 Qualifications (Additions, Subtractions,

Reservations) / 173

6.5.2 Closing and References / 177

6.6 Punctuation and Language / 177

6.6.1 Key Words or Phrases / 179

6.6.2 Construing Ambiguous Deeds / 188

6.7 Deed Discrepancies—Conflicts / 202

7 ALTA/ACSM SURVEYS 207

7.1 Land Title Insurance / 207

7.1.1 Why a Survey Matters / 208

7.2 ALTA/ACSM Survey Standards / 209

7.3 Mandatory Requirements for ALTA Surveys / 210

7.4 Accuracy Standards / 212

7.5 Informational Options / 215

7.6 The Description for an ALTA/ACSM Survey / 215

7.7 The Surveyor Is in Charge / 216

8 SITUATIONAL AWARENESS 219

8.1 Deed Discrepancies—Conflicts / 219

8.2 Professional Responsibilities / 220

8.2.1 Understanding Historical Context / 220

8.2.2 Clarity and Completeness: Extrinsic Evidence / 224

8.2.3 Clarity and Completeness: Consider the Future / 227

8.2.4 Clarity and Completeness: Addressing Three Dimensions / 228

8.3 Regional Lexicon and Local Practice / 233

8.3.1 Limitations on Local Practice / 238

8.3.2 Marketable and Registered Title / 238

8.3.3 The Effect of Legislation and Courts / 241

8.4 Introducing Uniform Language / 244

8.4.1 “Commencing” versus “Beginning” / 246

8.4.2 Word Choices, Grammar, and Punctuation / 248

8.5 Breaking Old Habits / 248

8.5.1 Repeating Old Descriptions Verbatim / 249

8.5.2 Destroying Evidence / 250

8.5.3 Jargon, Colloquialisms, and Abbreviations / 251

8.5.4 Sentence Construction and Punctuation / 253

8.5.5 Copying a Writing Style / 254

AFTERWORD 255

TABLE OF CASES 257

INDEX 259

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