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deed description doesn't match drawn map

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Frank Bertrand

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
On some reports I give a little "eye candy", providing a deed drawing based on legal description contained in the deed.

Imagine my chagrin when I did a deed and the legal description is wrong. Sailed through 2 different closings.

What happens in a case like this? If the owner trys to sell, can he deliver a good deed with the description wrong? I don't think so.

It seems this is something that the licensed surveyor and licensed lawyer have to fix. They have errors and omissions insurance too...

The mistake was a line that should have gone "Sxx.xxW 100.00 feet, really went Sxx.xxE 100.00 feet, thus an infinite closure error. so it goes...
 

rtubbs

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Frank, I've seen that a few times, myself. I usually make a comment somewhere in the report that the client should consult with a surveyor or an attorney regarding the apparent discrepancy. It would be safe to condition the appraisal upon obtaining the correct legal description.
 

Frank Bertrand

Thread Starter
Junior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Pennsylvania
Yes, my thought exactly. I'm sure the survey map that is in the courthouse doesn't have this one leg of the tract going in the wrong direction!!
 

Oregon Doug

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Oregon
Frank - Just put an "X" in that box that says "This appraisal is made...subject to...conditions listed below". Require a survey by a licensed surveyer. The lender won't knowingly make a loan on a property with a faulty legal description because of the lack of coverage by a Title Company policy. They'll just re-record a deed with a correct legal.

When you discover that the subject is on lot "A" and its garage is on the neighboor's lot "B", things get more interesting. ("What the H..l you talk'n about, I sure as H..l paid for that G.. D... garage!).

Oregon Doug
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I've had these before and I usually don't do specific requirements except to state that there appears to be a discrepancy between the legal description and the survey and the appraisal is subject to satisfactory clarification of the matter.

I have one right now where the plat and the legal do not show a 1/8th ownership the homeowner claims he has in a waterfront lot. This makes a big difference in site value but I've told the lender that until I have proof of some sort, I cannot consider the lake lot no matter what the homeowner says.

One other thing about deeds and legal descriptions. I have several AMC's who refuse to provide legal descriptions. In that case, I note in the report that none was provided and do the report based on the address. I will not take the responsibility of finding the legal description for the property and tax descriptions are not considered legal. They are for helping the assessor to locate and identify the property. Remember that a report does not require a legal or even an address if the property can be readily identified. This can be as simple as "275 feet east of the intersection of Elm and Maple St." or even just a photograph.

Legal descriptions and surveys are the territory of title companies and surveyors. I am not qualified to write legals or to set corners for surveys. If the client does not provide these to me, the report is done without them. I prefer to have them but they are not critical to forming an opinion of value.
 

Alan Simmons

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
Section 401 – The Subject Property Part XI - Property and Appraisal Guidelines, NEW Fannie Mae Selling Guide (04/12/2002)

The appraiser must identify the subject property by its complete property address and legal description; a post office box number is not acceptable. The appraiser should indicate the nearest intersection if a house number is not available. When the legal description is lengthy, the appraiser may attach the full description as an addendum to the appraisal report, or may refer simply to its location in the public records.

[The key word being identify not certify]


Limiting Condition 1, Form 1004B.

The Appraiser will not be responsible for matters of a legal nature that affect either the property being appraised or the title to it. The Appraiser assumes that the title is good and marketable and, therefore, will not render any opinions about the title. The property is appraised on the basis of it being under reasonable ownership.
 

Mike Garrett RAA

Elite Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Sounds to me like you are going beyond what is required in a typical appraisal. Since I never see the deed or survey in most cases I rely on the legal description as found in the public records.

If you are aware of a discrepancy, then by all means comment on it but don't make the appraisal "subject to".
 

Farm Gal

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Nebraska
:D
Yup right thar in my Scope of work it says I "took the legal description and ...{text ommitted}... from available public records per the County Appraiser, the numbers on the house matched the common address indicated on the page where the legal descrption was found."

Covers MY tailfeathers I think :? .

But this is what I mean when I say that this scope of work thing could get out of hand REAL fast... if we tell the reader EVERYTHING we did and EVERYTHING we didn't do 8O that section could get to reading like the Old Testament, and as new regs and the occasional lawyer gets into the act pretty soon you'll have the New one tagged on at the end... and maybe the Kuoran (what IS the PC speling of that tome this week?) the words fo Confucious and Bhudda to boot...

Once upon a time there was a land where folks followed the golden rule and the 10, and then all was fine and good or at least not as wordy... :wink:
 

Jo Ann Meyer Stratton

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Arizona
Unless the legal description is Lot ## in Block ## of $$$ subdivision, I do not type legal descriptions. If I made a typing mistake in the legal description I could get myself in very hot water. Having been married to a land surveyor registered in three states for 46 years, that is a point that has really been stressed to me since the first day he held a rod. So I either include a copy of the assessor's property status inquiry which has the legal description or the actual recorded document in each report. Then the typing errors become somebody's elses problem. I do compare the legal description in both to the county assessor's map which is also included in the report. And if there is any descrepancy anywhere, that is commented on in the first page of my addendum and that the client did not provide me with a title report or plat of survey; title research is recommended. I can only alert someone to a possible problem, it is somebody elses problem to solve--not mine!
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
When provided a legal description and/or survey, I scan them in and attach as addendum rather than risk mistakes in typing.

I still think it is the client’s responsibility to provide a legal to define my appraisal assignment. Legals attached to addresses in assessors offices do not always include all of the land to be appraised.
 
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