Real Estate

The law recognizes three types of property. Personal property consists of moveable items, such as furniture. Intangible property refers to ownership that does not have a physical existence but that may be represented by a physical item, such as a stock certificate. Real estate refers to land, as well as anything permanently attached to the land, such as buildings and other structures.
Ownership of real estate also can be limited by time, as with a life estate that ends upon the death of a specific person. Ownership can be shared in a variety of ways among individuals or be held by condominium associations, corporations, or other entities, as described in the deed by which the owners acquire the property.
Real estate law is closely tied to other areas of law. For example, contract law governs the sale of real estate and requires that such contracts be in writing. States dictate special inheritance laws for real estate. There are even specific types of crimes and torts that apply to real estate. For example, trespass refers to entering the land of another without authority to do so, and it can be a crime or the subject of a civil lawsuit. Real estate is also subject to special provisions in family law, such as the rights of a spouse in the marital home.