What is real property? In a previous post I described the various types of real estate property more generally and touched on “real property” as a specific type of real estate property. Let’s take a deeper dive into understanding real property…
Land is the primary component of real property. Land includes not only the physical land you can walk on, but also the airspace above it and the subsurface below it. This where the idea of buying and selling air rights and mineral rights comes from.
Improvements to the land are also real property and may be owned by the same or a different owner. Tangible property examples are buildings, houses, fences, landscaping, canals, wells, etc. A condo owner, for example, may own the individual condo unit, but not have ownership of the actual land it sits on, thereby separating the ownership of actual land and the tangible improvement built on top of that land. In similar fashion, a rancher may own his surface land and an energy company may own the subsurface mineral rights to that land. In Downtown Denver, Holy Ghost Catholic Church owns the land it is built on and its beautiful stone building, but sold the air rights to a skyscraper developer. The result is an interesting marriage of traditional stone and modern glass designs.
Real property may also consist of intangible rights, privileges, and interests associated with the land ownership.
Landowner’s may have appurtenance rights, such as: air rights, water rights, solid mineral rights, oil and gas rights, and support rights.
A real property owner’s rights include the right to possess, use, enjoy, encumber, will, sell, or do nothing at all with the land, in accordance to government regulation.