Legal Property Descriptions

If you saw that a property is being purchased in the “21st District, 2nd Section of Cherokee county, starting at an apple tree, thence to a pine tree to line of Eli Wilbur, thence back to the road, up to a hickory tree, thence west 50 yards, thence south 80 yards, thence to E.G. Casey land, being 21 acres more or less” — would you have any idea which property was being referred to?  This is from a real deed from 1945!

Legal descriptions like these were written assuming everyone already knew what was being sold.  This clearly doesn’t hold up 70 years later, though. 

Additionally, street addresses are not sufficient to describe real estate. Several years ago, many addresses changed due to requirements from the new 911 system.  Addresses are not permanent, and that is why it’s not sufficient to simply list an address on a deed.  

This also rings true for tax parcel numbers.  Years ago, DeKalb County had letters in their parcel numbers for properties that were in DeKalb County, but in the city of Atlanta.  DeKalb County has since changed this to make the numbers uniform throughout the county.  

Realtors benefit from working with closing attorneys who both understand the implications of an insufficient legal description and know how to recognize and correct them.