You can expect to see five questions on the end-of-course exam and five questions on the state exam from this unit.

Learning Objectives

After successfully completing this unit, you will be able to

  • describe the purpose for legal descriptions,
  • understand the licensee’s role and responsibilities as they pertain to legal descriptions,
  • explain and distinguish among the three types of legal descriptions,
  • describe the process of creating a legal description using the metes-and-bounds method,
  • locate a township by township line and range,
  • locate a section within a township,
  • understand how to subdivide a section,
  • calculate the number of acres in a parcel based on the legal description, and convert to square feet, 
  • explain the use of assessor’s parcel numbers, and
  • apply the measurements associated with checks, townships and sections.

Key Terms

base linepoint of beginning
checkprincipal meridian
government survey systemsection
legal descriptionsurvey
lot and blocktier
metes and boundstownship
monumenttownship line/tier


The transfer of title to real property is dependent upon the description of the precise boundaries of a parcel of land. A legal description is much more than the address of a property; it is a unique description that distinguishes this property from all other properties in the world. This unit will describe the various methods used to describe and locate the boundaries of real property.