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It ain't Flat

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Terry Russell

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Feb 24, 2002
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Montana
I have been pondering this a while.

. Where my home is situated it is extremely hilly. Within the 30 acres of the place there are very few places you can walk without either going uphill or down. I believe geo-morphologic term is undulating.
Here is my question:
If on a flat plane there is an area of 30 acres, but if one takes into account the topographic surface area, there is a dramatic increase in acreage. I have not actually surveyed the terrain yet, but just using line of sight and my legs, I would venture to guess 30-50% more surface area than planar area. I am thinking of putting up some horse this winter. Could I honestly state there is 45 acres of pasture?
Has anyone ever heard of stating the actual topographical area in lieu of planar area?

Terry
 

Dee Dee

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Colorado
Has anyone ever heard of stating the actual topographical area in lieu of planar area?

Terry,
Is it possible you're thinking too much? :wink: :lol:

I would be careful about making statements like that if I were representing the land in a sale or legal matter, but if you're boarding horses most folks can just take a look around and make their own judgement call. If the land appears adequate enough to support their horses comfortably they probably won't care too much about the difference.

The only reason I can imagine you might be wanting to consider the planar area vs. the topographical area is if you want to wrangle with the county zoning about how many large animals could be legally allowed on the property. I've never heard of anyone doing something like that, but I suppose it might be a valid argument.
 

xmrdfghap

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Florida
<span style='color:brown'>Terry, I would not charachterize the land as being more than the legal description says. If you were not an appraiser (or other real estate professional) it might fly.......you could always say you calculated the surface area and it is "x" amount......but as a professional in the field, you could be found guilty of misrepresentation.

Besides that, how did you determine that your 30 acres is 45 surface acres? At a 12/12 pitch (which would be too steep to be rentable as pasture) a perfectly square lot would be about 42 acres. Renting it as more than it is would also seem to me to be a liability factor......particularly for a professional.

I would do what Dee Dee suggests. Determine what you want for rent, offer it without describing sizes (they can check county recordsif they are that interested), and rent it. If it doesn't rent, then you know it is marketed too high. If it rents within the first couple of days, start doing the research so you can adjust the rent up around the first of the year.</span>
 

David S. Roberson

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Tennessee
Property is not surveyed in a flat plane.
 

Bill_FL

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Florida
Terry,

IT depends. How was the survey performed? For years in NC the method was line of sight following the metes and bounds. I was told by a surveyor recently that NC has adopted a flat plane method now. I know of one parcel that has a deed that says 75 acres and a new survey that has 52.
 

Lee in L.A.

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Hmm, I've wondered about this issue before. If,

Property is not surveyed in a flat plane.

Would 5 acres sloping at 45 degrees be the same land surface area as 5 acres flat? I guess? How is it surveyed to determine land area? :?

We have a lot of hillside areas here, I usually try to adjust for lot size based on usable is an estimate by necessity. Not so steep slopes can be perfectly usable.
 

Terry Russell

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Feb 24, 2002
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State
Montana
I think Dee Dee was correct in my thinking too much.

I would never portray a piece of property in a decieving manner.

But I will guarantee a few general general facts:
Property is still surveyed in metes and bounds, only now it is distance and vectors.
Plus it is measured 2-dimensional within a grid system.
It is measured at a fixed vertical altitude or height along a horizontal plane.
A plat map is flat. With the grid dimension assigned in whatever projection is most suitable usually UTM.
A map can not depict the size and the area of a parcel of land on a single document.

That is all I got to say and it Still Ain’t Flat.

Terry
 

Lee in L.A.

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California
But I will guarantee a few general general facts:
Property is still surveyed in metes and bounds, only now it is distance and vectors.
Plus it is measured 2-dimensional within a grid system.
It is measured at a fixed vertical altitude or height along a horizontal plane.
A plat map is flat. With the grid dimension assigned in whatever projection is most suitable usually UTM.

Thanks ATC, this is exactly the point I was getting at. So for example, 5 acres flat would be less surface area than 5 acres at 45 degrees slope. Usable area is another question I guess.

BTW, is your answer that of a surveyor, or.... what?
Just wondering?
 

Terry Russell

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State
Montana
Five acres is five acres. Flat sloped or vertical.

Try to visualize a large window curtain. When the curtain is drawn closed it's dimensions would correlate to the area of the window.

But when the curtains are opened its dimensions are reduced relative to the window. The area of the curtain is the same no matter what position it is placed in.
terry
 
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