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Is there a good way to translate legal descriptions to actual locations? Or must one ask a surveyor?

I'm looking into auctions, mostly of tax foreclosed properties, and the ones that appear to have the acreage I want often lack plot numbers and street addresses, but have descriptions like this:I'm looking into auctions, mostly of tax foreclosed properties, and the ones that appear to have the acreage I want often lack plot numbers and street addresses, but have descriptions like this:

35G1C--Z1A PT OF E 1/2 SEC 35 T2S R8E DESC AS BEG S 89D 57M 34S W 79.95 FT FROM E 1/4 COR OF SEC 35 TH S 00D 23M 44S W 421.12 FT TH N 89D 52M 46S W 1131.44 FT TH N 00D 07M 14S E 1380.96 FT TH N 89D 57M 34S E 1136.83 FT TH S 00D 19M 14S W 963.04 FT TO POB 36.00AC

I believe that's 36 acres . . . somewhere in Canton Township, MI. But exactly where, or how it's zoned, I can't tell.
  • October 09 2011 - Canton
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Answers (5)

Best Answer

Contact a local surveyor and ask for assistance. Chances are they will have a Canton Township map and will be able to narrow it down for for you. At the very end of the the description, it indicates 36 acres (36.00AC).

 Did you know that 8 mile road is also called Base Line Road? That is the main east/west (Base) line that local Township maps. R stands for the Range Line that runs north & south, T stands for the Township Line running east and west, POB stands for Point of Beginning. A section is one square mile (640 acres). A Township is 36 square miles and consists of 36 one square mile sections.

So this lot might be 2 Townships south of 8 mile road (TS2) and 8 Townships east (R8E) ... east of what, I do not know, but it does appear to be Canton Township on the map. But if this parcel is 36 acres, it would be 5% of Canton Township and fairly easy for a surveyor to find.

Good luck and let me know how it turns out!
  • October 09 2011
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Profile picture for Murstein
So, is "E 1/2 SEC 35" likely to mean "East half of Section 35," with the rest a description of what part of that area? If so, and if it's ~5% of the township's acreage, then I've found the parcel -- and it's zoned General Industrial, with neighboring parcels a combination of General and Light Industrial.

Too bad. Agricultural would be the ideal zoning for my purposes, although I might be able to make it in Rural Residential or Rural Estate. I'm not desperate enough to buy a fight with City (actually Township) Hall.
  • October 10 2011
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A good option that is quick and free is to call a title company in your area. They will likely have all the parcel information for you and will be happy to assist you for free.
  • October 09 2011
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Profile picture for ABBAUSA
One paid for software........... Deed Plot will do wonders with this call out.

www.DeedPlot.com    $200

You might try   www.tractplotter.com which is free only for straight lines.

Good Luck!

James Callas - Realtor®
  • October 09 2011
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You can call a local real estate broker and ask them.
  • October 09 2011
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