It would appear that they used a "metes and bounds" description of the property.
metes and bounds
(meets and bounds) n. a surveyor's description of a parcel of real property
, using carefully measured distances, angles, and directions, which results in what is called a "legal description" of the land, as distinguished from merely a street address or parcel number. Such a metes and bounds description is required to be recorded in official county record on a subdivision map and in the deeds when the boundaries of a parcel or lot are first drawn.
Metes and bounds description doesn't guarantee acreage - just an area.
If a legal description shows a quantity of land, it shows it in acres. Legal descriptions rarely use square footage, even though a survey or subdivision plat might show square footage, which can be important for building and development purposes because of zoning and other governmental regulations.
In drafting a legal description (in the usual situation), showing acreage is merely additional identification, usually adding nothing to the validity or adequacy of the legal description. When acreage has not been confirmed by survey, acreage should not be used; when it has been so confirmed, acreage should be used exactly as shown on the survey.
It is common practice for title insurance companies to refuse to insure the amount of acreage in a tract of land, even though the policy will ensure questions of survey and the amount of acreage were determined by a current survey. Lawyers should also make exceptions of the amount of acreage in their title certificates.
Back to your question - you asked:
we have a purchase agreement to purchase 17.5 acres of land the owner did not want to pay for a survey. it is not required by law in Minnesota. so we went to check the measurements. looks like the land is at least four acres short. Has been for since quarter section was divided..current owner got ripped of.
NO, NOT NECESSARILY AND ACTUALLY THEY DIDN'T - THEY GOT A METES AND BOUNDS DESCRIPTION. THEY DIDN'T BUY ACREAGE BUT THE LAND AREA.
Did not question acerage. Has been taxed at 17.5 acres. owner does not want to budge on his original price nor does he want to get a survey. can we force them to get a survey so we know what we're buying.?
YES, POTENTIALLY IF THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT SPECIFICALLY STATES YOU ARE BUYING SO MANY ACRES - NOT JUST THE METES AND BOUNDS DESCRIPTION.
we really want the property but don't think it's worth the same amount now. is there anything else we should know about this that might be in our favor? we do not have a realtor went directly through the listing agent.i understand we can walk away because the contract says 17.5 and it is not but is there another ootion?
ONLY IF YOU CAN NEGOTIATE A NEW DEAL (PURCHASE PRICE) WITH THE SELLER. IF NOT, THEN THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT IS VOID OR VOIDABLE BY YOU.
Can't this owner go after his title ins Co to recover from when he bought it?
NO. THE BUYER KNEW OR SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT HE WAS DOING.
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