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Why is land called "real" property?

Any other solid object that can be owned is real as well.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    From Black's Law:

    real property. (18c) Land and anything growing on, attached to, or erected on it, excluding anything that may be severed without injury to the land. ● Real property can be either corporeal (soil and buildings) or incorporeal (easements). — Also termed realty; real estate. Cf. personal property (1). [Cases: Property 4.]

    "Historically, the line between real and personal property stems from the types of assets administered on death respectively, in the king's and in the church's courts. The king's courts, concerned with the preservation of the feudal structure, dealt with fees simple, fees tail and life estates. Estates for years, gradually evolving out of contracts made by feudally unimportant persons, clearly became interests in land but never fully attained the historical dignity of being 'real property.' The early economic unimportance of money, goods and things other than land permitted the church courts to take over the handling of all such assets on the death of the owner. When the development of trade and of capitalism caused assets of these types to assume great, and sometimes paramount, importance we found ourselves with the two important categories of property, namely 'real' and 'personal' property, each with its set of rules evolved from a different matrix. The pressure of modern society has been strongly for assimilation and the resultant elimination of this line, but this movement is far from complete attainment of its goal." 1 Richard R. Powell, Powell on Real Property § 5.04, at 5-7 to 5-8 (Patrick J. Rohan ed., rev. ed. 1998).

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  • 9 years ago

    real is something you can't distroy. land is real and the house upon it is descresinary meaning it could burn down and leave you with real property only.

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