Ch 6: Land Descriptions & Surveys

About This Chapter

Take a look at how land is divided, described, and surveyed in this chapter. Complete the self-assessment quiz after each lesson to see how much you've learned.

Land Descriptions and Surveys - Chapter Summary

If you work in real estate, or even if you are simply buying or selling a property, it's important to understand the basics of land description and measurement. The lessons in this chapter will help you understand legal descriptions and common terminology when referring to land descriptions. Learn how surveys are done and why they are important to buyers and sellers. You'll master topics such as:

  • Deciphering legal descriptions
  • Types of surveys
  • Survey systems: rectangular, lot and block, and metes and bounds
  • The surveyor's toolbox
  • Area and acreage calculations
  • Reading an ALTA survey

Topics are presented as brief lessons developed by experienced instructors. Work at your convenience and at your own pace. Pause as you are studying and review any or all topics as often as you like. If you have any questions, our real estate experts are available to help. Once you've completed a lesson, take the multiple-choice self-assessment quiz to confirm your understanding of the concept. And remember, you can track your progress through the chapter on your Dashboard!

8 Lessons in Chapter 6: Land Descriptions & Surveys
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Legal Description of Property: Definition, Importance & Example

1. Legal Description of Property: Definition, Importance & Example

The legal description of a property provides a clear and lawful definition of a property's boundaries. We will cover the importance of this document, the essential elements, and the methods surveyors use to create and confirm legal descriptions.

What is a Land Survey? - Definition & Types

2. What is a Land Survey? - Definition & Types

Surveys are used to identify boundaries and features of land to determine ownership. They are employed in construction projects ranging from building fences to entire cities. In this lesson, you'll learn what a survey is and about the different types of surveys used today.

Rectangular Survey System: Definition & Uses

3. Rectangular Survey System: Definition & Uses

The rectangular survey system is properly and legally known as the Public Land Survey System. This lesson defines how the survey system works and where in the United States it is used.

Using the Lot & Block Survey System

4. Using the Lot & Block Survey System

This lesson outlines how pieces of real estate are identified using the lot and block survey system. This system provides a means of recognizing additions, subdivisions, and addresses within a plat.

Metes & Bounds: Definition & Uses

5. Metes & Bounds: Definition & Uses

This lesson will explain the history and description of the metes and bounds system in real estate surveys. By the end of the lesson, you will better understand where and how it's used.

Tools Used to Survey Real Property

6. Tools Used to Survey Real Property

Some old legal descriptions of property involve chains, links and rods. You'll learn about these ancient surveying tools and how they translate into more conventional and familiar measurements. We'll also look at some of their modern counterparts.

How to Calculate & Convert Acreage

7. How to Calculate & Convert Acreage

Accurate calculation of acreage is an essential skill in describing the physical geography of a plot of land. In this lesson we will look at the formulas for determining the area of a piece of land, and converting that number into different units of meaurement.

Land Surveys That Meet ALTA Requirements

8. Land Surveys That Meet ALTA Requirements

Surveys are an important part of many real estate transactions, especially expensive commercial real estate transactions. In this lesson, you'll learn about surveys, including surveys that meet ALTA requirements, and when they are used.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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