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What Types Of Real Estate To Own

May 7, 2008
Property is classified into two main types - real estate property or real property and personal property or personalty. Real estate property includes land, property rights over the property and improvements or constructions on the land. Real property is also known as immovable property in many countries, immobilier in France and heritable property in Scotland.

There are various kinds of real estate properties, depending on the terms in the deed or lease. These terms determine the legal rights and permissions granted on the property. The most common type of real property ownership is Fee simple. The tenants have an almost absolute ownership of the property and can exercise a great deal of discretion over it. This is also the most freely transferable estate.

Conditional Fee simple is another type of estate in land which comes with certain conditions mentioned in the deed. As long as these conditions do not occur, the tenants enjoy an estate lasting forever. When such a condition does happen to occur, the property is transferred back to the grantor or as stated in the deed.

An estate that is inherited by the heirs of the tenant after his or her death is a Fee tail estate. A "fee tail male" can only be inherited by the sons of the landowner, and a "fee tail female" can only be inherited by his daughters.

A life estate lasts for the lifetime of its owner, or the "life tenant". A life estate can not be passed on to the owner's heirs upon his death, since the ownership ceases at his death. However, life estate is considered to be equal to complete ownership, as in fee simple, during the lifetime of the tenant. The owner of such an estate can sell the land. However, the new owner will only possess the land till the original grantor is alive.

Leasehold is another common form of estate tenure, where a party is given the rights to occupy the property for a limited time period. The tenant occupying the estate is called is the lessee, and he or she is understood to pay an agreed rent to the lessor for the time duration of occupation of the estate.

Real estate properties can be owned jointly in two manners - joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants in common. In the first case, the tenant that outlives the other one becomes the sole owner of the property. The heirs of the deceased tenants do not inherit any part of the property. Tenants-in-common is the default form of joint estate ownership. The tenants are considered to own equal parts of the property by default, unless otherwise mentioned. If one of the tenants dies, his share of the property is transferred to his heirs. Tenants are also free to sell or make a deal on his part of the property.

The most important property rights enjoyed by the owners of real estate properties include the right to decide the proper usage of real property, the right to limit the tenants who enjoy the property and the right to transfer or prohibit these rights to chosen individuals.
About the Author
John is a writer and contributor to Connecticut Mortgage and Articles About Real Estate.
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