What is a Legal Description?
A legal description is the most important, accurate and reliable source of information when buying real estate in South Carolina. A legal description is used in the deed when transferring title to real estate. The deed will include a legal description along with the grantor, grantee, sales price and other pertinent information. A legal description on your deed has more authority than the street address, TMS#, and the plat. When obtaining a plat of your property, a surveyor should use the legal description as a reference when drawing your plat, then the county will likely reference the plat (once recorded) to update the tax map information. Always read this closely and make sure that it matches up to the dimensions of the property you are buying or selling real estate. Below is an example of a legal description:
All that certain piece, parcel or lot of land, with any improvements thereon, situate, lying and being at the southeastern corner of the intersection of Main Street and Elmwood Avenue in the City of Columbia, in the County of Richland, State of South Carolina, being in the shape of a rectangle, measuring on its northern and southern sides one hundred nine feet two inches (109' 2"), more or less, and on its eastern and western sides fifty four feet seven inches (54' 7"), more or less, and being bounded and measuring as follows: On the North by Richland Street, on the East by other property n/f of John Doe, Jr. and Jane Doe, on the South by property n/f of the Estate of John Smith, and on the West by Main Street.
This being the same property conveyed to (the seller's name) by deed of (the previous seller's name) by deed recorded in the Richland County ROD Office in Book 191 at Page 305 on June 5, 2009.
TAX MAP #: 10000-00-01
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