Real property

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In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it made by human efforts: any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth. Real property and personal property are the two main subunits of property in English Common Law.

In countries with personal ownership of real property, civil law protects the status of real property in real-estate markets, where licensed agents realtors work in the market of buying and selling real estate. Scottish civil law calls real property "heritable property", and in French-based law, it is called immobilier.

Contents

Identification of real property

To be of any value a claim to any property must be accompanied by a verifiable and legal property description. Such a description usually makes use of natural or manmade boundaries such as seacoasts, rivers, streams, the crests of ridges, lakeshores, highways, roads, and railroad tracks, and/or purpose-built artificial markers such as cairns, surveyor's posts, fences, official government surveying marks (such as ones affixed by the U.S. Geodetic Survey (USGS)), and so forth.

Estates & ownership interests defined

The law recognizes different sorts of interests, called estates, in real property. The type of estate is generally determined by the language of the deed, lease, bill of sale, will, land grant, etc., through which the estate was acquired. Estates are distinguished by the varying property rights that vest in each, and that determine the duration and transferability of the various estates. A party enjoying an estate is called a "tenant."

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