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Air Rights

(also known as air lots) Those ownership rights, not including surface rights or sub-surface rights, allow you to use the open vertical space above a property.


The rights, privileges, and improvements go with a transfer of the land even though they may not be part of it. Examples are water rights, rights-of-way, and easements.


Markers are used as points of beginning or other corners in metes and bounds descriptions. It May be artificial (iron stakes or other human-made) or natural (trees, river centerline) provided by nature.

Base Lines

East-west imaginary lines, crossing a principal meridian at a specific point and forming boundaries of Townships in the Government Survey System of land description.


A reference point or marker placed by a surveyor and used to establish elevations and altitudes above sea level.

Correction Lines

Correction for the earth’s curvature back to a full 6 miles made at every 4th township line in the Government Survey System of land description.


A point, line, or surface from which a vertical height or depth is measured.

Permanence of Investment

One four Economic Characteristics of Real Estate. Refers to the long payback period and stable nature of real estate investment. Requires future projections on usage. Zoning can stabilize value as investors can predict future use.

Economic Characteristics of Real Estate

Four: 1) Scarcity; 2) Improvement; 3) Location; 4) Permanence of Investment.

Governmental Survey System

(a/k/a Rectangular Survey System) One of the 3 major methods of land description. Used for large parcels in non-urban areas. Based on principle meridians and baselines, which form Quadrangles, Townships, Sections, and fractions of sections.

Legal Description

A property description is more accurate than street addresses and is required in contracts, deeds, or other real property transfers. The 3 major legal descriptions are metes and bounds; governmental survey system; or subdivision (a lot, block, and tract).

Lot, Block, and Tract

One of the 3 major land description methods identifies a parcel by reference to a recorded plate map, using a lot number within a specific block that lies within a specific tract.

Metes and Bounds

One of the three major methods of land description. Used most often to describe irregular parcels using azimuth and bearing measurements. Metes are a measure of length, and bounds are boundaries.


A distance in a straight line measuring 5,280 feet.

Point of Beginning (POB)

The starting point, usually a monument, in a metes and bounds land description. For the legal description to be complete, it must return to the POB.

Principal Meridian

The main imaginary lines run north and south, crossing a baseline at a specific point. There are 36 principal meridians in the US.


A six-mile wide strip of land or townships runs north and south of a baseline and numbered east or west of a principal meridian. Used in the Governmental Survey System.

Real Estate

Land plus all improvements (things permanently attached to it), running from the center of the earth up through the sky.


The legal description in map form of a subdivision. It contains a lot and block numbers and shows the dimensions of each parcel. Used mostly in urban/suburban areas. Plat maps are “recorded” by filing with the county clerk and recorder

Rectangular Survey System

Synonym for Government Survey System


One of 36 sub-units within a township that is one mile square in the Governmental Survey System


A six-mile wide horizontal row of townships running and numbered north or south of a baseline in the Governmental Survey System).


A 6 mile-square parcel of land in the Governmental Survey System. Contains 36 1 mile-square Sections.

16th Section Lands

The Land Ordinance of 1785 established the practice of setting aside section number 16 in each township for the maintenance of public schools. The United States Congress established the Mississippi Territory in 1798. In 1803, Congress enacted laws providing for the sale of all land south of the State of Tennessee and made provision for the reservation of Section Sixteen in each township for the support of public schools. Congressional action granting statehood to Mississippi in 1817 also called for the survey of land in the state and further provided for the reservation of Section Sixteen in each township to support public schools. Sixteenth Section Land is also known as Public School Trust Land.


A square or portion of a city or town enclosed by streets, whether partially or wholly occupied by buildings or containing only vacant lots.


The land which is above the mean or ordinary high tide line; fast lands or uplands.


A non-possessory interest in public trust tidelands created by a grant or agreement confers the limited right, liberty, and privilege to use said public trust tidelands for a specific purpose and during a specific time.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

A method of determining a parcel of property’s legal boundaries utilizes a system of coordinates established by satellite.

Legal Description

The part of a conveyance, advertisement of sale, etc., identifies the land or premises intended to be affected.


Any portion, piece, division, or parcel of land.

Mean High Water

The arithmetic means of all the high waters occurring in a particular nineteen-year tidal epoch period or for a shorter period of time after corrections are applied to the short-term observations to reduce these values to the equivalent nineteen-year value.

Mineral Acres

Acres where the mineral interests have been retained in whole or in part.


A description of the property, formally outlined in a conveyance, together with the boundaries thereof, to easily identify it.

Parcel Number

The number assigned by a county to a parcel of property for identification purposes.

Plat Book

A book of maps, available in the county chancery clerk’s office, of land subdivided into lots, with streets, alleys, etc.


The restoring land has become submerged or artificially altered fast land to its original botanical and/or geological condition.



A division or parcel of land, on the government survey, comprising one square mile or 640 acres.


a division of land six miles square, containing thirty-six sections. Range – one of the divisions of a state, a row or tier of townships as appearing on a map.


A parcel of land controlled by a state agency, the site name is determined by reasonable convenience, common usage, or physical location.


The division into smaller parts.

Submerged Land or Submerged Water Bottoms

Lands which remain covered by waters, where the tides ebb and flow, at ordinary low tides.


Those lands which are daily covered and uncovered by water by the action of the tides, up to the mean line of the ordinary high tides.


The public land survey system established during the founding of the nation called for surveying all lands in six-mile square blocks. Each six-mile square block is called a township. Each township is divided into 36 one-mile square blocks called sections. The sections in a township are numbered 1 through 36, beginning in the township’s northeast corner. The numbering of sections in a Township runs east to west across the first row of sections, then west to east across the second, and alternately thereafter so that section 36 is in the southeast corner of the section.


The land which is above the mean high tide line; dry land or fast land.