This week is all about doing your due diligence before purchasing a piece of real estate. Today, I’ll give you some tips on using a plat map to find a parcel.
A plat map is a document that is prepared either by a county or a title company and provides measurements of different parcels in a certain area. However, how can you see what the plat map features mean in real life? Here is one helpful option:
Use either the physical address, legal description, or the T/R/S measuring system to get within at least ½ mile of the parcel in question. Then, do what is called a “pattern comparison”. A pattern comparison is where you compare roads, bodies of water, shapes of residential areas, etc. between the plat map and a second map.
So once you have the Plat map, compare the roads on it to what you see on Google Maps or Delorme Topo USA and see if you can find any road patterns that allow you to match the two maps up with each other. From there you will be able to find the property location.
If possible, visit the land personally or send someone out with a camera. While Google Maps and other similar programs are very helpful, they don’t always have the most up-to-date images. So be sure to know what you are buying before putting any money down.