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Define Base Line in Real Estate

Base Line: 

"Base Line" is a term in real estate that means an imaginary line on a map, used as a starting point to help measure land. It's like a giant grid that helps people know where land is located. (rectangular survey system)

The base line runs east and west (left and right on a map), like a horizontal line. It forms the starting reference point for measuring distances north and south. Think of it like the "horizontal line" or the "x-axis" on a graph.


For example, let's say you want to find a piece of land. You would look at a map and find the base line (the east-west line) and then a meridian line (the north-south line). By using these two lines, you could pinpoint the exact location of the land you're looking for.

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"A Deep Dive for Real Estate Agents and Appraisers"

A few more things that can be useful to understand about the rectangular survey system:

Principal Meridians: Along with the base line, there's another important line in the rectangular survey system called the "principal meridian". This runs north-south, intersecting the base line at a 90-degree angle. The area defined by these two lines is known as a "principal meridian system" or "meridian". Each of these systems covers a specific geographic area in the United States.

Townships and Sections: The system divides land into units called "townships", which are squares that are six miles on each side. These townships are further divided into 36 "sections", each one square mile or 640 acres. This makes it easier to identify the location of a specific parcel of land.

Legal Descriptions: The rectangular survey system is often used to provide "legal descriptions" of land, which are precise ways to describe a property's location that are recognized by courts. This is different from a street address and often used in legal situations, like transferring ownership of land.

Limitations: While the rectangular survey system is generally useful, it does have some limitations. It assumes that the Earth is flat, but because it's actually a sphere, the lines of longitude get closer together as you move towards the poles. As a result, the rectangular survey system is not used in the extreme northern and southern parts of the United States.

Historical Importance: The system was first proposed by Thomas Jefferson and adopted in the Land Ordinance of 1785. It was used to systematically divide the land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase and is still used today.

Remember, a strong understanding of the rectangular survey system can be very helpful in your work as a real estate agent or appraiser. It can allow you to more accurately describe and locate properties, which is crucial in many aspects of real estate.
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"Wit & Whimsy with the Dumb Ox: Unlocking Knowledge with Rhyme:"

In the land of maps and lines,
A Base Line we must find,
It goes from east to west,
To measure land, it's the best.

To find a piece of land, oh me,
Use the Base Line, you'll see,
With a Meridian line, north to south,
You'll find the land, no doubt!

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