What Is Real Estate?

What Is Real Estate? – Real estate is defined as the land and any permanent structures, like a home, or improvements attached to the land, whether natural or man-made.

Real estate is a form of real property. It differs from personal property, which is not permanently attached to the land, such as vehicles, boats, jewelry, furniture, and farm equipment.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

👉Real estate is considered real property that includes land and anything permanently attached to it or built on it, whether natural or man-made.

👉There are five main categories of real estate which include residential, commercial, industrial, raw land, and special use.
👉Investing in real estate includes purchasing a home, rental property, or land.
👉Indirect investment in real estate can be made via REITs or through pooled real estate investment.

Understanding Real Estate

The terms land, real estate, and real property are often used interchangeably, but there are distinctions.

Land refers to the earth’s surface down to the center of the earth and upward to the airspace above, including the trees, minerals, and water. The physical characteristics of land include its immobility, indestructibility, and uniqueness, where each parcel of land differs geographically.

Real estate encompasses the land, plus any permanent man-made additions, such as houses and other buildings. Any additions or changes to the land that affects the property’s value are called an improvement.

Once land is improved, the total capital and labor used to build the improvement represent a sizable fixed investment. Though a building can be razed, improvements like drainage, electricity, water and sewer systems tend to be permanent.

Real property includes the land and additions to the land plus the rights inherent to its ownership and usage.

What Are Types of Real Estate?

Residential real estate: Any property used for residential purposes. Examples include single-family homes, condos, cooperatives, duplexes, townhouses, and multifamily residences.

Commercial real estate: Any property used exclusively for business purposes, such as apartment complexes, gas stations, grocery stores, hospitals, hotels, offices, parking facilities, restaurants, shopping centers, stores, and theaters.

Industrial real estate: Any property used for manufacturing, production, distribution, storage, and research and development.

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