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Difference Between Personal Property And Real Property

Personal property is movable property. It’s anything that can be subject to ownership, except land. Real property is immovable property – it’s land and anything attached to the land. This article reveals the difference between personal property and real property.

There are two types of property. In legal terms, all property will be classified as either personal property or real property. This distinction between types of property comes from English common law, but our modern laws continue to distinguish between the two.

A lot of people are constantly faced with defining the difference between Personal property and Real property. Most of these people are those who want to convert personal to real property. They usually end up frustrated most of the time, as ignorance of what these terms entails cost them to make great loss. This article therefore aims to provide a basic, and precise answer, or say, solution to this problem to usually beset people in the property market.

First, let us define both terms. Real property is land, anything attached to it and any rights that are appurtenant. Personal property is anything you own other than real property and is divided into two categories: tangible and intangible.

Tangible personal property is something you can touch and is movable. Intangible personal property is property that has no physical existence. Examples are: stocks, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights, professional reputation, goodwill and trademarks.

Some “untouchable” items may be represented by a certificate or license.

If you were building a house and received a delivery of the sinks, toilets, bathtubs and heating and air conditioning equipment, all those boxes and crates stored in the unfinished dwelling would be personal property. Once it was all installed it would become part of the real property.

Therefore the personal property would have been converted to real property. If you sold the home after it was completed that property could not be removed since it would be legally considered part of the real property.

The simpler answer to look at this is that the way to convert personal property into real property is to sell the personal property, then use the cash to buy real property.


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