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Difference Between Real and Personal Property

Real Property V Personal Property

There are two classifications of property, real and personal. Personal property can be hidden, but real cannot. Real property consists of anything permanently attached to the property, examples being: a home, an attached garage, a shed or even a rose.

The only way the shed would be considered real property is if it is bolted into the ground, otherwise you can consider it portable, which would make it personal property. The rose is real property until it is pulled out of its garden, in which case it makes the rose personal property. Anything that is immovable, represents real property, while the movable is personal property.

Real property is not only what is on your land, but it also consists of what is below and above it. If you have oil in your backyard, by all means you have the right to dig and acquire that oil.

On the other hand, if your neighbor has that oil, you cannot dig through your yard downward, and then sideways towards the neighbors. With solar heating and cooler units, airspace becomes more demanding because of the sun needed to shine down on the property in order for the heating/cooling to take place.

Personal property deals primarily with movable things, even if they weigh a ton, as long as they are not attached to the land. You might ask yourself, what’s the purpose behind these two classifications? Well, the classifications enable the law to draw a line between the two.

For example, if you are purchasing a house with a swing and slide set in the backyard, if the swing set is not bolted, the seller of the land has all rights to take it with him or her, unless it was highlighted within the contract of sale. If the swing set was bolted, the only way the seller could take that with him or her is if it has been stated on the contract, if not, then the swing set is staying on that land since it is permanently attached.

Looking at the above example comes to display the advantages of being able to decipher between real and personal property. Same thing goes for a shed, regardless of its price, if it is portable and has wheels, it’ll be labeled as personal property, but if it is bolted or cemented, it is clearly labeled real property.

When it comes to purchasing land, some people tend to concentrate more on what is beneath the land, why? Because the minerals below the ground, whether oil, gas or even coal may be worth more than the property itself. With these kinds of minerals below your house, you are the sole owner. That means you can sell or contract those minerals to companies who have a known interest within those minerals.

All in all, Real property can never be taken from you without your permission, unless done so by a governmental agency. A governmental agency can use your property without asking, instead they’ll tell you, this occurs only when the land may be used for the benefit of the state or federal government.

NEXT: How to Get a Realtor's License

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