The Three Main Types of Real Estate
Real estate includes land including the structures and other properties on it, and its accompanying natural resources like water, plants or minerals; immovable, personal property of the above nature, buildings or houses in general; an equitable right vested upon the owner to use and enjoy the property, buildings and homes in the course of his life; or a lien for the use, exchange or enjoyment of the property. Real estate also includes personal property held for the exclusive use of the owner and his family. The term ‘real estate’ encompasses numerous aspects of the commercial, residential, industrial and recreational properties, such as vacant land, manufactured home and mobile homes. It also includes the intangible assets of real estate, such as rights-of-way, easements, titles, liens, mortgages, garages, storage buildings, manufacturing facilities, construction materials, structures used in operating businesses, goodwill acquired with the real estate and the occupants thereof.
There are many economic characteristics of real estate that make it distinctively different from other forms of property. Among these characteristics are: it is a product of human enterprise, since real estate is the result of investments in building and homes, rather than on raw land or the production of commodities; it involves risks, since real estate involves investments and transactions, and the possibility of losses is higher than for many other forms of property; it generally involves borrowing, because it requires financing for large projects, and it generally is sold on the public through a real estate agent or broker. Real estate has special laws and regulations that affect the rights of the ownership of land and its development.
There are three main types of residential real estate: single-family residences, multi-unit dwellings, and townhouses. Single-family residences are generally one story in height, with attached units on adjacent floors. Multi-unit dwellings are apartment buildings of multiple units, all of which are connected to one another by shared doors and hallways. Townhouses are apartment buildings that contain multiple units within one structure, all of which are connected to each other by shared doors and hallways. Residential real estate can take many forms, but the three main types remain common.