Land Lingo and Tidbits

Ever since humans began laying claim to land, they have been coming up with different terminology.  Some terms are precise and well-defined, while others are synonymous and interchangeable with other terms. So, in no particular order, we cover some basic definitions, lingo, and some factual tidbits:


Land: Broadly defined to include the surface and minerals, forest products, and in some cases water. Some land sales exclude minerals beneath the surface. 


Tract of Land: The term "tract" when used in reference to land has no specific legal meaning, and can be used interchangeably with “piece” of land or “parcel” of land. The word does not indicate size but it does imply that the land is contiguous, of known size, and has established boundaries. Those boundaries are depicted as lot lines, which are the legal boundary that define a particular piece of land.  

Acre:  An acre is a standard measurement of land. One acre of land is equal to 43,560 square feet. There are 640 acres in a square mile of land. 

Acreage in the United States:  More than 2.4 billion acres of total area (land and water).  The top 100 landowners in the US, combined, own over 40 million acres, almost the equivalent in area to the state of Florida


Section of Land: The lands of the United States have been surveyed and divided into parcels of six hundred and forty acres; each such parcel is called a section.  These sections are divided into 320-acre half sections, and into 160-acre quarter sections, and so on.


Plat of Land: Plat maps are the blueprints of a neighborhood. They contain detailed property information including the dimensions of the subdivision, the lots to be sold, and each part of the tract intended for public use. The existence of a plat map, in and of itself, does not mean that the land has been physically developed.

Vacant land: Property that is unoccupied and is therefore not being used. It is usually raw land with no structures or improvements thereon.  With very minor exceptions, Land of Land offers only vacant land.