There are a few different types of property descriptions you will come across in a conveyance or lease. Depending on the area(s) in which you work, you will definitely be familiar with one or more of them. Let’s talk a bit more about some of the most common ones below.
This type of description could be written as “the Northwest quarter of the Southwest quarter of Section X, Township Y, Range Z”. After identifying the section, township, range, quadrant, and location within the quadrant of your subject parcel, and comparing it with the description in the deed, you will easily be able to determine whether or not a document conveys interest in your parcel.
Metes and Bounds
If you see a description along the lines of the following: “Starting at the old oak and then north X degrees west Y feet, then north X degrees west Y feet, then north X degrees east Y feet, and then south x degrees east Y feet, containing Z acres, more or less”, you are dealing with a metes and bounds description. This means that someone has surveyed the tract and that hopefully you will be able to plot it out yourself using a deed plotting program. If so, then you can compare the shape of your tract with the shape of the plot to determine whether or not some or all of your parcel was included in the conveyance. With this type of description, you will need to be aware that the shape of the tracts may change over time, so it may be helpful to compare the tracts to a historical map, if possible. Also, be aware, that depending on the quality of the description, you may not always be able to plot it out. This will be the case if directions or measurements are omitted from the description.
Sometimes, a tract of land is described by the names of the owners of the tracts that surround it. In this case, you will definitely need to compare the information listed with a historical map in order to determine whether or not you subject tract is included in the conveyance.