REAL PROPERTY Terms
- adverse possession—When a person who wrongfully
possesses someone else’s real property obtains title to that property if
certain statutory requirements are met.
- building—A structure constructed on land.
- closing—The finalization of a real estate sales
transaction that passes title to the property from the seller to the
- condominium—A common form of ownership in a multiple-dwelling
building where the purchaser has title to the individual unit and owns the
common areas as a tenant in common with the other condominium owners.
- cooperative—A form of co-ownership of a multiple-dwelling
building where a corporation owns the building and the residents own
shares in the corporation.
- co-ownership—When two or more persons own a piece of real
property. Also called concurrent
- deed—A writing that describes a person’s ownership
interest in a piece of real property.
- easement appurtenant—A situation created when the owner
of one piece of land is given an easement over an adjacent piece of land.
- easement in gross—An easement that authorizes a person
who does not own adjacent land the right to use another’s land.
- easement—A given or required right to make limited use of
someone else’s land without owning or leasing it.
- estate pour autre vie—A life estate measured in the life of a
- estate—Ownership rights in real property; the bundle of
legal rights that the owner has to possess, use, and enjoy the property.
- fee simple absolute—A type of ownership of real
property that grants the owner the fullest bundle of legal rights that a
person can hold in real property.
- fee simple defeasible—A
type of ownership of real property that grants the owner all the incidents
of a fee simple absolute except that it may be taken away if a specified
condition occurs or does not occur.
- fixtures—Goods that are affixed to real estate so as to
become part thereof.
- freehold estate—An estate where the owner has a present possessory interest in the real property.
- future interest—The interest that the grantor retains
for him- or herself or a third party.
- gift—A transfer of property from one person to another
without exchange of money.
- good title—Title that is free from any encumbrances
or other defects that are not disclosed but would affect the value of the
- grantee—The party to whom an interest in real property is
- grantor—The party who transfers an ownership interest in
- joint tenancy—A form of co-ownership that includes the
right of survivorship.
- land—The most common form of real property; includes
the land and buildings and other structures permanently attached to the
- license—Grants a person the right to enter upon another’s
property for a specified and usually short period of time.
- life estate—An interest in the land for a person’s
lifetime; upon that person’s death, the interest will be transferred to
- nonpossessory interest—When a person holds an interest in
another person’s property without actually owning any part of the
- plant life and vegetation—Real property that is
growing in or on the surface of the land.
- profit—Grants a person the right to remove something
from another’s real property.
- quiet title action—An action brought by a party
seeking an order of the court declaring who has title to disputed
property. The court “quiets title”
by its decision.
- real property—The land itself as well as
buildings, trees, soil, minerals, timber, plants, and other things
permanently affixed to the land.
- recording statute—A state statute that requires the
mortgage or deed of trust to be recorded in the county recorder’s office
of the county in which the real property is located.
- remainder—If the right of possession returns to a third
party upon the expiration of a limited or contingent estate.
- reversion—A right of possession that returns to the grantor
after the expiration of a limited or contingent estate.
- sale—The passing of title from a seller to a buyer for
a price. Also called a conveyance.
- subsurface rights—Rights to the earth located beneath the
surface of the land.
- tax sale—A method of transferring property ownership
that involves a lien on property for unpaid property taxes. If the lien remains unpaid after a
certain amount of time, a tax sale is held to satisfy the lien.
- tenancy by the entirety—A form of co-ownership of real
property that can be used only by married couples.
- tenancy in common—A form of co-ownership where the
interest of a surviving tenant in common passes to the deceased tenant’s
estate and not to the co-tenants.
- will or inheritance—If a person dies with a will, his
or her property is distributed to the beneficiaries as designated in the
will. If a person dies without a
will, his or her property is distributed to the heirs as stipulated in the
state’s intestate statute.