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PURCHASES AND SALES OF REAL PROPERTYContracts for sales and purchases of real estate make up a large portion of many protocolos, especially in regions where a significant percentage of the people owned at least a small plot of land.
Land sales have formats and language that differ from those of other contracts. Nearly every real property sale (venta real) contract contains the following parts, most often found in this order:
1. Reception by the notary.
2. Identification of the parties.
3. Legally binding language of sale to buyer and his heirs.
4. Description of real property being sold.
5. Easements retained by seller against property, if any.
6. Statement of terms of contract:
a. property transferred or service to be provided.
b. price and terms of payment.
c. liens and mortgages against property.
7. Place and date of contract.
8. Identification of witnesses.
9. Authentication by notary.
The legal language to transfer the property nearly always gives a detailed description of the real property sold. This includes a delineation of the property boundaries, usually specifying the owners of adjacent properties although not in the metes and bounds format familiar to Anglo-American researchers. Examples of Spanish property descriptions make that distinction clearer, usually in language like the following:
. . . en la calle de San Nicolas entre la casa de Juan Francisco Sanchez Rebollo y la yglesia de San Pablo (in the street of San Nicolas between the house of Juan Francisco Sanchez Rebollo and the church of San Pablo).
. . . tierra que linda al poniente con huerta de Jose Valdivia y al norte con olivar que pertenece a los heredores de Vicente Maleton y al oriente con heredad de Pablo Gonzalez de los Rios y al sur con el rio Genil (land which borders on the west with the garden of Jose Valdivia and on the north with the olive grove that belongs to the heirs of Vicente Maleton and on the east with cultivated land of Pablo Gonzalez de los Rios and on the south with the river Genil).
. . . en el término y jurisdicción de esta villa al paso que tiende de las longueras que linda con el comprador y heredades de Juan Diaz Xptobal, Juan Martin de los Nogales y Franco Curiel mi hermano, vezinos de esta villa (within the boundaries and jurisdiction of this town along the line that runs on the paths that border with the cultivated lands of the seller and Juan Diaz Xptobal, Juan Martin de los Nogales and Francisco Curiel my brother, residents of this town).
Property descriptions would frequently indicate how the current owner (the seller or transferor) received the property. If the property was part of an inheritance, it can provide interesting genealogical or social history information, such as the parent, grandparent or other relative who previously held it.
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