Principle Chapter 5 Summary


One can own the subsurface, surface or air rights to a piece of land. They can be sold individually or collectively. Selling the entire bundle of rights – Livery of Seisin.

Economic characteristics of land:

  • DEMAND – more demand, more value;
  • UTILITY – specific real estate can be more useful than other;
  • SCARCITY – the fewer houses in an area, the faster they sell;
  • TRANSFERABILITY  – transferring land from seller to buyer;
  • SITUS – its location is crucial.

Physical characteristics of land:

  • IMMOBILE – Real estate is permanent;
  • INDESTRUCTIBLE  – Land is permanent;
  • NONHOMOGENEOUS  (Uniqueness) – land has unique characteristics.

Personal Property

  • Readily moveable between location – furniture, automobiles or money;
  • An agreement for its sale must be in writing if its value exceeds $500.00;
  • Its commercial sales are subject to federal and state laws.

Annexation – Changes personal property to real property.

Real Property

  • An agreement for its sale must be in writing and signed by the party to be charged;
  • Subject to the laws of the situs state govern;
  • The state has provided by law a system for recording documents or instruments affecting the title or interest in real property.

Severance – Changes real property to personal property.

A fixture is defined  as something  that once was personal,  but has been installed.  Therefore,  it becomes real property.

A trade fixture is defined as the property of a tenant that is installed, and is necessary for their trade or business.


Determine whether property is real property or personal property:

  • Method of Attachment;
  • Adaptability;
  • Relationship of parties;
  • Intent of the parties;
  • Agreement between the parties.

Building  codes  aim  to safeguard  the health  and safety  of the public.  Zoning  laws  regulate  lot sizes,  building heights, etc.

Eminent  Domain is  the  right  of  the  government  to  take  private  property  for  a  necessary  public  use,  with compensation paid to the owner.


  • Special Assessment – an amount you must pay above and beyond your normal property taxes;
  • Ad Valorem – taxes based on the assessed value of his property

Riparian Rights relate to rivers, Littoral Rights to seashore and beaches and Doctrine of Prior Appropriation

to irrigation and water sources.

  • Accretion – increase of land;
  • Erosion – decrease of land;
  • Avulsion – “sudden” loss of land from natural causes;
  • Reliction – Increase in land due to the receding of water from the shore;
  • Alluvial plain – area where soil deposits from river;
  • Alluvion – accumulation of soil from the movement of water.

Cooperatives:  owns  property  and  members  own  stock;  individuals  have  long-term  leases  and  make  several monthly payments to the cooperative.

Condominiums: each person has own unit and makes own payments.

Timesharing consists of the right to occupy and use the facilities for a certain number