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What is Real Estate? Various Types & characteristics (With FAQs)

Real estate is perhaps one of the oldest and most diverse industries in the world. With so many ways to invest in real estate, even the most experienced investor can sometimes be unsure of where to start.

This article explains four types of real estate, explains why many people invest money in real estate, explains the best ways to invest in real estate to earn income, and helps you understand the intricacies of real estate investment.

Real Estate
Real Estate

Table of Contents

What is Real-Estate?

Real estate is property consisting of land, including buildings, facilities, roads, structures, and utility systems. Property rights give rights to land, improvements, and natural resources such as minerals, plants, animals, and water.

Characteristics of Real Estate

There are also certain physical and economic characteristics that distinguish real estate from all other asset classes.

Unique: No two properties are exactly alike.

Scarce: The land is fixed and the number of buildings that can be built on one parcel is limited.

Improvement: can increase the value of the property. Like, By generating more income or switching to more and better use.

Permanent: Infrastructure such as water supply and sewerage, sidewalks, roads, etc. cannot be relocated because it is difficult to replace them once they are in place.

Immobile: Property cannot be moved from one location to another.

Indestructible: Land is permanent and eternal (except for erosion).

Location: Real estate demand and supply are influenced by user preferences such as favorable neighborhoods and school districts, population and employment growth, and business-oriented governments.

The Four Main Types of Real Estate

Investing in real estate can be a little overwhelming with so many options.

If you’re just starting out in the business, it’s helpful to understand four main types of real estate and how they work. You can then decide which real estate asset class best suits your investment strategy.

Residential Real Estate

The US residential real estate market is simply huge. According to the World Property Journal, the combined value of the housing market hit $33.6 trillion this year, larger than the annual GDPs of the U.S. and China combined.

When you look at the different options for investing in residential real estate, it’s also easy to understand why the value of the U.S. housing market has grown by more than 50% over the last 10 years.

Residential real estate consists of housing for individuals, families, or groups of people. This is the most common type of real estate and is the asset class that most people are familiar with. Within residential, there are single-family homes, apartments, condominiums, townhouses, and other types of living arrangements.

Commercial Real Estate

The commercial real estate (CRE) marketplace is quality recognized for world-magnificence buying facilities in California, trophy workplace homes in Manhattan, and outsized investor personalities.

So, you will be amazed to study that the scale of the U.S. commercial real estate marketplace became currently anticipated to be between $14 trillion and $17 trillion which is only about 1/2 of the scale of the residential marketplace.

Part of the motive behind the economic real estate marketplace is smaller is that, even as all people desire an area to live, now no longer all people desire an area to shop – as a minimum on equal time. commercial real estate is described as assets used for commercial enterprise functions, inclusive of:

  • The office area is inclusive of scientific facilities, suburban workplace parks, and concrete workplace towers.
  • Retail area inclusive of speedy meals outlets, community strip malls, and nearby energy facilities.
  • Apartment homes and smaller multifamily properties.
  • Mobile domestic parks
  • Leisure and hospitality assets
  • Self-garage and mini-garage centers
  • Parking lots & garages
  • Grocery shops and fuelling stations
  • Movie theatres

Due to the specialized nature of commercial real estate (CRE) and the monetary length of the transactions, many times commercial real estate on the market isn’t always publicly listed. Instead, massive CRE companies consisting of Cushman and Wakefield, CBRE, Avison Young, and Marcus & Millichap paintings with buyers, sellers, institutional traders, and creditors directly.

Industrial Real Estate

Industrial real estate refers to land and homes which can be utilized by commercial corporations for sports consisting of factories, mechanical productions, studies and improvement, construction, transportation, logistics, and warehousing.

Although industrial real estate is used for commercial enterprise functions like commercial real estate, it also includes handled as a separate form of real estate class due to the particular manner assets are used:

  • Manufacturing consisting of the Tesla manufacturing facility in Fremont, California
  • Production centers and meal processing facilities
  • Freezer and refrigerated garage centers
  • Research and improvement parks inclusive of the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh-Durham
  • Power plants and solar or wind generation stations
  • Data server facilities for agencies consisting of Google and Facebook


The land is the baseline for all kinds of real property. Land commonly refers to undeveloped assets and vacant land. Developers collect land and integrate it with different homes (referred to as assembly) and rezone it so that they can boom the density and boom the price of the assets.

Land includes:

  • Undeveloped raw land
  • Recreational parcels for camping, hunting, & fishing
  • Farms & ranches
  • Timberland
  • Orchards
  • Planned city improvement (PUD) for residential or industrial improvement
  • Lots in a subdivision

How The Real Estate Industry Works

Let’s discover how the real estate industry works and what the primary jobs and careers are. The real estate industry may be divided into numerous distinctive areas:


Real estate development is a method that includes the acquisition of raw land, rezoning, creation and upkeep of homes, and sale or hire of the completed product to give up users. Developers earn an income via way of means of including the price of the land (developing homes or improvements, rezoning, etc.) and taking the risk of financing a project. Development corporations create brand-new products, which may be the concept of the “primary market” or era of recent stock.

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing corporations work with builders and developers to promote & sell the homes and units they made. These corporations earn a fee for developing all advertising fabric and the use of their income retailers to promote the stock of finished units. These corporations normally focus on newly made units.


A real estate brokerage is a company that employs a crew of realtors (real estate agents) who assist facilitate a transaction among the customers and dealers of the property. Their process is to symbolize both parties & and assist them to buy or sell with the quality feasible terms.

Property management

Property management corporations assist real estate proprietors to hire out the units of their homes. Their jobs encompass collecting monthly or annually rent, displaying units to new customers, solving deficiencies, acting on repairs, and dealing with tenants. They rate a fee, normally a percentage of the rent.

Real Estate Lending

Lenders play a chief function withinside the enterprise as honestly all houses and trends use leverage (debt) to finance their business. Lenders can encompass banks, credit score unions, private lenders, & government institutions.

Professional Services

There are a whole lot of real estate professionals who work withinside the enterprise and help to make it function. The most common examples of professional services include:

  • Accountants
  • Lawyer
  • Interior Designers
  • General Contractors
  • Construction Workers
  • Tradespeople
  • Stagers.

Examples of Real Estate

Now that we have got mentioned the four types of real estate, let’s discover a few unique examples of various forms of real estate.

Single-Family Home: Home designed for single families.

Multi-Family Home: A Group of homes designed for more than one family.

Attached: Any unit that is linked to another.

Apartment: An individual flat or unit in a multi-unit building. The barriers of the apartment are typically described by a perimeter of the fringe of locked or lockable doors. Often visible in multi-story buildings.

Multi-Family House: Each floor is a separate unit or apartment for a family. It can be often seen in multi-story detached buildings.

Condo (Condominium): Often visible in multi-story buildings, in which every ground is a separate condo or unit.

Detached House: A free-standing building now no longer connecting to something else.

Portable house: Houses that may be moved on a flatbed truck.

Mobile Home: A vehicle on wheels that has an everlasting house connected to it.

Villa: A building with having single room and commonly a steep pointy roof.

Hut: A living commonly made from raw substances which includes bamboo, mud, and clay.

Careers in Real Estate

If you are considering a career in the real estate industry, you should consider any one of the professions described below:

The most common jobs (positions) in the industry are:

Analyst: Conducting financial analysis and real estate appraisals.

Appraiser: Property Valuation.

Agent: Agent or “broker”.

Building Inspector: A person who inspects buildings and works with appraisers.

Commercial Broker: Agents selling commercial properties.

Director of Real Estate: Company work.

Home Inspector: A person hired to assess the quality of a seller’s or buyer’s home.

Loan Underwriter: Someone who analyzes the creditworthiness of borrowers.

Underwriter / Mortgage Specialist: Someone who approves mortgage applications.

Real Estate Attorney: Lawyer specializing in real estate transactions.

Final Remarks:

As a real estate investor, it’s important to understand which type of property is right for you. Also, note that not all markets are suitable for all four types of properties.

This is a big reason many people are starting to invest in residential real estate. The market is twice the size of commercial real estate, homeownership financing is easy, and housing is the type of real estate that investors and renters know and understand.

Further Readings: Relevant articles

Click on the below link to read relevant articles.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning of the real estate Sector?

This includes commercial spaces such as homes, commercial offices, theatres, hotels, and restaurants, industrial buildings such as retail stores, factories, and government buildings. Real estate includes the purchase, sale, and development of land, and residential and non-residential buildings.

What are the three types of properties?

There are three main forms of property in economics and political economics:

  • Private Property,
  • Public Property, and
  • Collective Property (also called cooperative property).

What are the 4 types of real estate?

Types of Real Estate

  • Land.
  • Residential.
  • Commercial.
  • Industrial.

What are properties and their types?

Property is anything in which a person or entity has legal ownership. A property can be a tangible item, such as a house, car, or appliance, or an intangible item that promises future value, such as a stock or bond.

What type of property is the land?


Is a house real property?

The term “real estate” or “real property” means land and anything grown on, attached to, or constructed on it, including man-made objects such as buildings, structures, roads, sewers, fences, etc., but excluding those things which can be removed from the land without any injury to the land.

Why is it called real property?

Realis is Latin and means the truth that exists. According to, real is used in Middle English legal contexts to refer to real estate (that is, houses, buildings, structures) as opposed to private property such as clothing and furniture.

Is real property tangible or intangible?

Tangible property consists of immovable property and personal property. Real property is immovable property. For example, Land and things attached to or built on it.

Intangible property is a property that does not physically exist.

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