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Unit 10: Key Points

These are the most important points for you to remember in this unit.

Metes and Bounds Surveys

  • The term metes refers to distance (think “meters”) and bounds refers to directions.
  • This method is often used for irregularly shaped parcels and expensive land because of its accuracy.
  • The maximum number of degrees in a legal description is 90°.
  • The line that runs north and south is the primary reference line, because it is the first (primary) call in a legal description. The first call is either “North” or “South,” depending whether the line runs north or south of the 90-degree line.
  • The north and south are 0°, and east and west are 90°. 
  • The exact point of beginning location is critical to the survey.
  • The monuments method of survey is outdated. It used rivers, trees or roads to mark the corners.

Government Survey System

  • More land in the U.S. is described by the government survey method than by any other method.
  • The basic north-south reference line in Florida is called the principal meridian.
  • The basic east-west reference line in Florida is the base line.
  • North-south lines 24 miles apart are called guide meridians.
  • East-west lines that are 24 miles apart are called correction lines, or parallels.
  • The squares that are 24 miles on each side formed by these lines are called checks.
  • Range lines run north-south every 6 miles.
  • The north-south strip of land formed by two range lines is called a range.
  • Township lines run east and west every 6 miles.
  • The east-west strip of land formed by two township lines is called a tier or township.
  • Additional lines within the checks are 6 miles apart and form smaller squares, called townships.
  • A township is 6 miles square and has 36 square miles.
  • Section lines are made within the townships which are 1 mile apart.
  • This created smaller squares called sections.
  • A township has 36 sections.
  • A section is one mile square and has one square mile.
  • To compute the number of acres in a description, multiply the denominators across, then divide the product into 640 (the number of acres in a section). If the description has an “and” in it, there are two parcels and each must be calculated separately.
  • A mile is 5,280 feet.
  • A section has 640 acres.
  • An acre has 43,560 square feet.

Lot and Block Method

  • Lot and block method describes more individual parcels than any other method.