The terms "lot" and "tract" both describe an area of land. These two terms are not synonyms. Lot is used to discuss a legally defined piece of property or real estate. Every lot is not the same size, but the term is used when discussing a piece of land that is or will be owned and developed by a specific person. A tract of land is a general term, and can define a few acres, square miles or large identifiable area of land.
A Tract of Land
A tract of land is an identifiable expanse of land. A land tract is generally boundaried by geological formations, which make the tract simple to describe and discuss. For example, if a land area is boundaried by a river on one long side, and then features rolling hills before it is boundaried by steep mountains of the other long side, this tract of land could be easily described by local residents as the tract of land between the river and the mountains. A tract is generally an area of land that has no significant forestation.
A Land Lot
A lot of land is a legally identifiable piece of land or real estate that has an owner, or is divided by a public identity for the purpose of a sale. A lot of land is typically small enough for a person or group to purchase and develop. A lot will be registered with local government offices so that title deeds, measurements and ownership can be logged and protected.
After a tract of land is purchased, tracts are subdivided into lots when they are sold to individuals or organizations. A tract of land can be any size. Therefore when parceling out the land, the tract will be surveyed so that individual lots can be identified and sold, and their ownership registered. Lots will have formal, legal names, and ownership is registered with local governmental office. Large lots can also be subdivided into smaller lots.
Both a lot and a tract can be either publicly or privately owned, and both can be bought and sold. A lot is a parcel of real property which can be purchased and developed by the owner according to local rules and regulations. A tract would have to be formally defined and surveyed before it could be sold and ownership registered.