ContractsCounsel Logo

Real Property

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 7,473 reviews
Home Blog Real Property

Jump to Section

Need help with a Purchase Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Real property is a legal term for real estate, referring to land and any asset permanently attached to it, including the associated structure and improvements. Such a property type can also encompass natural resources that grow on the land. Let us delve deeper and learn more about the real property below.

Types of Real Property

Real property is often divided into several types. The distinction is based on its intended use and characteristics. Here are some common types of real property everyone must know:

  • Residential Property: This category includes properties used primarily for residential purposes. It also involves townhouses, apartments, and other kinds of vacation homes.
  • Commercial Property: Such property types are used for business or commercial activities. Examples include office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and warehouses.
  • Industrial Property: These property types are used for manufacturing, production, or storage. They can include factories, distribution centers, industrial parks, and storage facilities.
  • Agricultural Property: This property type is used for farming and agricultural activities. It includes farmland, orchards, ranches, and plantations.
  • Mixed-Use Property: These combine multiple uses within the same building or development. For example, a building might have commercial space on the ground floor. The same building might have residential units on the upper floors.
  • Vacant Land: It refers to undeveloped or unused land that does not have any structures or improvements on it. People might use it for future development, farming, conservation, or recreation.
  • Special-Use Property: Special-use properties have unique and specific purposes. Schools or sports stadiums are among the few names in this category.
  • Leasehold Property: The real property and its ownership may be subject to a leasehold interest. It is where the property is leased from the owner for a specific period. The lessee can always use and occupy the property during the lease term.
  • Water Rights: In areas where water is scarce or valuable, water rights can be considered real property. These rights give the owner the authority to use water from a river, lake, or aquifer.

Personal Property vs. Real Property

Real property and personal property are two categories of distinct assets. Both of them have different characteristics and legal implications. Here are the key differences between real property and personal property:

Real Property

  • Definition: Land and anything permanently attached to it, including structures and natural resources.
  • Permanence: Fixed and immovable.
  • Ownership and Transfer: Transferred through a deed involves more formalities and regulations.
  • Legal Treatment: Governed by real estate laws, subject to property taxes and land use restrictions.
  • Taxation: Typically subject to property taxes based on assessed value.

Personal Property

  • Definition: Movable assets, not permanently affixed to land or structures.
  • Permanence: Moveable and transportable.
  • Ownership and Transfer: Transferred through a bill of sale or simple agreements, a less complex process.
  • Legal Treatment: Governed by personal property laws.
  • Taxation: Subject to various taxes, such as sales taxes on purchases, depending on local laws.
Meet some lawyers on our platform

Owen K.

7 projects on CC
View Profile

Justin K.

27 projects on CC
View Profile

James H.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Emmanuel K.

1 project on CC
View Profile

Benefits of a Real Property

Real property, also known as real estate, offers several benefits to individuals and investors. The most common benefits of owning real property are the ones mentioned below:

  • Maximizes Potential for Value: Real estate properties can increase in value over time. That especially works in high-demand locations. The owner can benefit from capital appreciation as the property's value increases.
  • Establishes Steady Income Stream: If the property is used for rental purposes, it can provide a steady income stream through rental payments. This can be particularly attractive for investors seeking passive income.
  • Ensures Tax Benefits: Real estate ownership often comes with various tax benefits. These may include deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes. The same also includes depreciation, which can help reduce tax liability.
  • Amplifies Returns: One can leverage real estate through mortgages and loans. It allows investors to purchase properties with a small percentage compared to their capital. This leverage can amplify returns on investment.
  • Serves as a Hedge Against Inflation: Real property can serve as a hedge against inflation. The same happens, keeping pace with or outpacing inflation.
  • Offers Diversification: Real estate investments can offer diversification benefits to an investor's portfolio. Real property often behaves differently from other asset classes, like stocks and bonds, reducing overall portfolio volatility.
  • Maintains Control over Asset: Unlike some investment vehicles, real property provides owners with a tangible asset they can actively manage and improve. This sense of control can be appealing to many investors.
  • Aids in Equity Building: As mortgage payments are made and property values appreciate, the property owner builds equity in the real estate asset. This equity can be leveraged for future investments or accessed in need.
  • Gives Opportunities for Passive Investment: Real estate investment can be hands-on for active investors. However, it also offers opportunities for passive investment. The process happens through real estate investment trusts and all crowdfunding platforms.
  • Guarantees Stability: Owning real property, especially residential real estate, provides the opportunity to use and enjoy the property personally, providing a sense of pride and stability.
  • Capitalizes on Potential for Development: Investors or landowners can capitalize on real property's development potential by transforming underutilized land into profitable projects, such as residential or commercial developments.

Steps to Engage a Lawyer for Real Property

When approaching a lawyer for matters related to real property, it is essential to consider the following steps to ensure a productive and successful engagement:

  1. Identify Your Needs. Determine the specific issue or transaction involving real property for which you require legal assistance. Whether buying or selling property, resolving property disputes, drafting contracts, or dealing with zoning and land use matters, clearly understanding your needs will help the lawyer provide targeted advice.
  2. Find a Specialized Real Estate Lawyer. Research for a lawyer with expertise in real estate law. Specialized attorneys have in-depth knowledge of local regulations, property laws, and market trends, which is vital for addressing your specific concerns effectively.
  3. Research and Verify Credentials. Check the lawyer's qualifications, experience, and track record. Read reviews, testimonials, and peer recommendations to ensure their competence and professionalism. Verify if they have the license to practice law in your jurisdiction.
  4. Schedule a Consultation. Set up an initial consultation with the lawyer to discuss your real property matter. During the meeting, explain your situation, ask questions, and gauge the attorney's understanding of your needs and their approach to handling the case.
  5. Discuss Fees and Costs. Clarify the lawyer's fee structure and billing methods during the consultation. Understand the legal fees, court expenses, and other associated charges to make an informed decision.

Key Terms for Real Property

  • Easement: A legal right allowing someone else to use a specific portion of your property for a specific purpose, such as a shared driveway.
  • Encumbrance: A claim or burden on the property that may affect the owner's rights or ability to transfer the property.
  • Deed: A document that legally transfers real property ownership from one of the parties to another.
  • Zoning: Local government regulations that control the use and development of land within specific areas, defining what activities or structures are allowed.
  • Title: Legal property ownership, represented by a document known as the title deed.

Final Thoughts on Real Property

Real property, encompassing land and its permanent attachments, is a cornerstone of the global economy and an important asset for individuals and investors alike. Its unique advantages, such as potential appreciation, steady income streams, tax benefits, and leveraging potential, make it an attractive investment option. Beyond financial gains, real property also provides a sense of ownership, stability, and the opportunity for personal use and enjoyment. However, successful real estate investment requires thorough research, understanding local regulations, and careful risk management to navigate market fluctuations and capitalize on its full potential.

If you want free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

Need help with a
Purchase Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Meet some of our Lawyers

Rebecca L. on ContractsCounsel
View Rebecca
5.0 (2)
Member Since:
April 6, 2021

Rebecca L.

Free Consultation
San Diego, CA
12 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA, DC, VA
New England School of Law

I absolutely love helping my clients buy their first home, sell their starters, upgrade to their next big adventure, or transition to their next phase of life. The confidence my clients have going into a transaction and through the whole process is one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing this type of law. My very first class in law school was property law, and let me tell you, this was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I remember vividly cracking open that big red book and staring at the pages not having the faintest idea what I was actually reading. Despite those initial scary moments, I grew to love property law. My obsession with real estate law was solidified when I was working in Virginia at a law firm outside DC. I ran the settlement (escrow) department and learned the ins and outs of transactions and the unique needs of the parties. My husband and I bought our first home in Virginia in 2012 and despite being an attorney, there was so much we didn’t know, especially when it came to our HOA and our mortgage. Our real estate agent was a wonderful resource for finding our home and negotiating some of the key terms, but there was something missing in the process. I’ve spent the last 10 years helping those who were in the same situation we were in better understand the process.

Michael B. on ContractsCounsel
View Michael
4.9 (12)
Member Since:
October 30, 2020

Michael B.

Free Consultation
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL, MN, WI
University of the Pacific

Michael has extensive experience advising companies from start-ups to established publicly-traded companies . He has represented businesses in a wide array of fields IT consulting, software solutions, web design/ development, financial services, SaaS, data storage, and others. Areas of expertise include contract drafting and negotiation, terms of use, business structuring and funding, company and employee policies, general transactional issues as well as licensing and regulatory compliance. His prior experience before entering private practice includes negotiating sales contracts for a Fortune 500 healthcare company, as well as regulatory compliance contracts for a publicly traded dental manufacturer. Mr. Brennan firmly believes that every business deserves a lawyer that is both responsive and dependable, and he strives to provide that type of service to every client.

Charlton M. on ContractsCounsel
View Charlton
5.0 (10)
Member Since:
September 19, 2022

Charlton M.

Free Consultation
Dallas, TX
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in TX
University of St. Thomas School of Law

Charlton Messer helps businesses and their owners with general counsel and contract drafting services. He has helped over 500 businesses with their legal needs across a variety of industries in nearly a decade of practice.

Nicholas M. on ContractsCounsel
View Nicholas
5.0 (5)
Member Since:
June 1, 2023

Nicholas M.

Free Consultation
Providence, Rhode Island
13 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT, NC, RI
The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Nicholas Matlach is a cybersecurity expert (CISSP) and an attorney who is dedicated to helping small businesses succeed. He is a client-focused professional who has a deep understanding of the challenges that small businesses face in the digital age. He also provides legal counsel to small businesses on a variety of issues, including formation, intellectual property, contracts, and employment law.

Andrew A. on ContractsCounsel
View Andrew
4.7 (1)
Member Since:
June 1, 2023

Andrew A.

Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Charlotte NC and SF CA
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

I am the Managing Partner of Adams Global Immigration, a Business Immigration Law firm focusing on nonimmigrant visa processing (H-1B, L-1, E-2, E-3, etc.) and immigrant visa processing (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, PERM, NIW, etc.). I have many years of business immigration experience, including legal work at Jackson and Hertogs, Fragomen, E&M Mayock, and as a Freelance Immigration Specialist. My specialization includes complicated Request for Evidence responses and high-volume nonimmigrant visa preparation. I can provide legal advice regarding employment visa preparation, unique international travel issues, and various other complex immigration matters. Prior to joining Jackson & Hertogs in 2018, I served as a Certified Law Clerk with the San Diego Public Defender office through Thomas Jefferson School of Law (TJSL). In this role, I argued over 40 hearings in state court for criminal juvenile matters, adult misdemeanors, and adult felonies. I subsequently joined the TJSL Removal Defense clinic, wherein I argued and won a full asylum trial in Federal Court for a Moroccan refugee fleeing severe LGBTQ persecution.

Jocelyne U. on ContractsCounsel
View Jocelyne
Member Since:
May 30, 2023

Jocelyne U.

Free Consultation
Las Vegas, Nevada
21 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI, NV
University of Detroit Mercy

Jocelyne Uy graduated from law school in 2002 where she began her career in insurance defense where she practiced a wide range of issues relating to insurance policies and claims. Identifying a need for representation for those working cross border, Jocelyne understood the unique interplay of the laws of Canada and the U.S. and started her first firm in Michigan focusing on Canadian American immigration and tax law. Jocelyne and her partner realize that Nevada residents continuously face challenges in finding affordable and accessible representation to assist with their debt issues. Because of these challenges and continuous shifting economy, they are committed to assisting anyone who finds themselves struggling to handle the debt and credit cycle that often feels hopeless and endless. Jocelyne's firm has assisted clients in post-COVID financial crisis ranging from credit card debt, student loan debt, and COVID unemployment repayment hearings.

Steven W. on ContractsCounsel
View Steven
Member Since:
June 2, 2023

Steven W.

Free Consultation
Charlotte, North Carolina
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NC
North Carolina Central University

Attorney Steven Wax is ardent about helping his clients. Whether creating personalized estate plans, drafting and negotiating contracts or other legal matters. Steven’s goal is to assist and counsel his clients to protect them and their loved ones. Steven grew up on Long Island, New York. He attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst earning a BS in Sport Management. He earned his paralegal certificate at Duke University and earned his Juris Doctorate from North Carolina Central University School of Law in Durham, NC. Steven has an extensive legal career in the life science sector, working for some of the world’s largest Contract Research Organizations since 2013. Steven has negotiated a broad range of contracts for both businesses and individuals. Steven participated in the NCCU Elder Law Project, where he prepared wills, durable powers of attorney, living wills, and health care powers of attorneys for low/fixed income clients in Durham and surrounding counties. Steven finds meaningful ways to share his skills and passion with his community. Steven volunteers his time to Wills for Heroes, which provides no-cost estate planning documents to first responders and their families, through the NC Bar Foundation.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now
Learn About Contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Need help with a Purchase Agreement?

Create a free project posting

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city