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An estimate or opinion of value based on supportable evidence


Earth surface extending downward to center of earth & upward into space including permanent natural objects such as trees and water

What are the intangible rights of ownership

Air rights (aka super surface rights), surface rights, & subsurface rights (aka below ground level)

Physical characteristics of land

Immobile, indestructible & uniqueness ( no 2 parcels are exactly the same)

Real estate

Land at, above & below the earths surface & all things permanently attached whether natural or artificial perm man-made improvements


Evidence of title to real estate or the land

Economic characteristics of real estate

Scarcity, improvement, permanence of the investment & area preference


Any artificial man made thing attached to the land as in building, utilities


Persons preference for given area

Real property

The physical land or real estate plus the interests, benefits and rights that are associated with it's ownership

What are the 5 bundle of rights

Possession, control, enjoyment, exclusion, disposition

Right of disposition

To sell, will or otherwise convey property


Personal property that are moveable objects which do not fit into definition of real property as in chairs, clothing or money

Bill of sale

Evidence of title now to personal property

Classifications of personal property

Chattels personal, chattels real, trade fixture, emblements & severance

Chattels Personal

Personal property that don't stay with the sale

Chattels Real

Personal property that stay after closing

Trade fixture

An article that is attached to a rented space or building for use in conducting a business but is the personal property of the tenant


Annual plants such as crops that are generally considered personal property

What happens to emblements if a property is sold?

Former owner can reenter to harvest crop for that season


To change an item of real estate to personal property


An article that was once personal property but has been affixed to the land or a building in such of a way that the law now construed it to be a part of real estate

Name the 4 legal tests of a fixture

Method of annexation, intention, adaptation and essentialness, existence of an agreement

Alludial system

Recognizes the free & full ownership of land by private individuals

What system is the basis of real property law in united states?

The alluvial system

What does PETE stand for?

Police power, eminent domain, taxation, escheat

Police power

Refers to the state inherent authority to adopt regulations necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare

How do municipalities come up with building codes and zoning ordiances.

Through enabling acts

Enabling acts

When states delegate authority to counties and municipalities through these types of laws

Eminent domain

The right of the government to acquire privately owned real estate for a public use with just compensation


The process by which the government exercises this right


The charge on real estate to raise funds to meet the public needs of a government


When privately owned real or personal property transfers to the state or county when an owner dies & leaves no heirs and no will

Two categories of easements

Appurtenant & Gross


Provides the owner of one lot access to the neighboring lot

Servient Tenement

The parcel over which an easement runs

Dominant Tenement

The neighboring parcel that benefits from the easement

Easement by prescription

Created when the person claiming the easement has made use of another's land for a time period defined by state law which is 21 years in Pennsylvania

Conditions to claim a prescriptive easement

Continuous, adverse, notorious, open & exclusive

Easement in Gross

An individual interest in or limited right to use someone's land

Reason Easements in Gross exist

To provide entities such as utilities & sewage authorities a necessary right of way through people's real estate

Easement by condemnation

Created under the governments right of eminent domain and is for public use


Personals privilege to enter the land of another for a specific purpose


Occurs when all or part of an improvement illegally extends beyond the land of it's owner beyond the legal building lines

Estate in land

Define an owners extent of interest in real estate

Freehold estates

Ownership interests that last for an indeterminable length of time such as for a lifetime or forever

Fee simple estate

Complete ownership that continues forever

Various fee simple estates

Fee, fee simple absolute, indefeasible fee, estate of inheritance

Highest quality of inters tin real estate

Fee simple estate

Fee simple defeasible

Qualified estate and may be lost

Condition subsequent with right of recovery

Dictates an activity that the new owner must not perform

Right of reentry

Provides the Former owner can retake possession of property through legal action via a court of law

Fee simple determinable

Estate ends automatically if Failure to comply and former owner reacquires full ownership with no need to go to court

Life estate

Limited in duration to the life of the owner or to the life of some other designated person or persons and not inheritable

Conventional life estate

Ends with the death of the person to whom it was granted

Life tenant

Person in possession of a life estate

Reversionary interest

Ownership reverts to the original owner

Remainder interest

The deed or will names someone else to whom title will pass

Pur autre vie

A to b for as long as c is alive

Legal life estates

Dower, curtesy, homestead


The life estate that a wife has in the real estate of her deceased husband


The life estate that a husband has in the real estate of his deceased wife


The property owned and occupied as the family home that prevents eviction from creditors

Types of water rights

Riparian rights, littoral rights, doctrine of prior appropriation

Riparian rights

Common law rights granted to owners of land along the course of a river , stream or similar body of water

Riparian rights -non navigable waterway

Owns the land under the water to the exact center of the waterway

Riparian rights - navigable rivers

Usually owned to the waters edge with the state holding the title to the submerged land.

Littoral rights

Apply to owners whose land borders commercially navigable lakes, seas and oceans and they own up to the average hi water mark

Doctrine of prior appropriation

The state rather than the adjacent landowner controls the right to use any water with the exception of limited domestic use


Owner is entitled to all land created by increases in the land from the deposit of soil by the waters actions


The gradual wearing away of the land by natural forces such as wind rain and flowing water


The sudden removal of soil by an act of nature


Tenants right to possess & occupy

Estate (tenancy) for Years

Continues for a definite period of time - specific start & end date and no notice is required to terminate

Holdover tenancy

When a tenant with an estate for years tenancy remain in possession or holds over after the lease term expires

Estate from Period to Period

Creted initially to run for a definite term but continues indefinitely until proper notice of termination is given

Estate at Will

An agreement that gives the tenant the right to possess property with the landlord's consent for an unspecified or uncertain term.

Estate at Sufferance

Arises when a tenant continues in possession of the premises without the landlord's consent

What is the lowest interest in Real Estate

Estate at Sufferance

Primary Types of Leases

Gross Lease, Net Lease and Percentage Lease

Gross Lease

Tenant pays a fixed rental amt, landloard pays the property charges (taxes, utilities) and is typically used in residential leasing

Net Lease

Tenant pays all or some of operating expenses in addition to rent and leases for commercial or industrial bldgs leases

Triple Net

Label given to leases where the tenant pays all operating & other expenses such as taxes, insurance & repairs

Percentage Lease

Tenant usually pays a minimum fixed rental fee, tenant pays a percentage of gross or net income received to the landlord and usually used for retail business

Variable Lease

Allows for increases in the fixed rental charge during the lease period

Graduated Lease

Provides for increases in the rent at set future dates

Index Lease

Allows the rent to be increased or decreased periodically based on changes in the consumer price index

Ground Lease

Landowner leases unimproved land to a tenant who agrees to erect a building on the land - usually a very long term lease (often 50 to 99 yrs)

Oil & Gass Lease

Oil companies lease land to explore for oil and/or gas and if found the landowner usually receives a small percentage of its value as a royalty

Ownership in Severalty

Title is owned by one person or one entity (sole owner)

Trust Ownership

A device by which a person transfers ownership of property to someone else to hold or manage for the benefit of a third person

Trustor (Settlor)

Create the trust & is the original owner of the property


A fiduciary who holds legal title & carrier out the trustor's instructions


The person(s) who reap the benefits from the trust

Living Trust

A trust created by agreement during a property owner's lifetime

Testamentary Trust

A trust established by will after death


Title to real estate is held by 2 or more persons or entities

Joint Tenancy

2 or more parties own with a unity of ownership

4 Unites of Ownership(PITT)

Unity of possession, unity of interest, unity of time, unity of title

Unity of Possession

All joint tenants hold an undivided right to possession

Unity of Interest

All joint tenants hold equal ownership interests

Unity of Time

All joint tenants acquire their interest at the same time

Unity of Title

All joint tenants acquire their interest by the same document (deed or will)

Right of Survivorship

Remaining owners in joint tenancy receive the interest of the deceased owner

Tenancy in Common

2 or more people own an undivided fractional interest & ea can sell their interest w/o the consent of the other and when a co-owner dies that tenants undivided interest passes to their heirs

Tenancy by the Entirety

A special joint tenancy between husband & wife in Pennsylvania (when co-owner dies the surviving spouse automatically becomes sole owner)


Consists of a fee simple estate (complete ownership) to the individual unit and a specified share of the common areas and owner receives a deed and pays their own taxes


A corporation holds title to the land & buildings then offers shares of stock to prospective tenants and becomes a proprietary (owner's) lease and stock is personal property and does not own real estate

Time Sharing

Permits multiple purchasers to buy an interest in real estate (usually in resort areas)

Time Share Estate

Real property interest with a condominium form of ownership (for your week for forever)

Time Share Use

A contract right to use the real estate owned by the developer for a certain number of years


An instrument made by owner to convey title to property after the owner's death


A person dies without leaving a will


A person dies and left a will

Testator (Devisor)

The person who makes the will


A gift of real property by will


The person who reeives the gift of real property by will

Legacy of bequest

A gift of personal property by will


Any modification, amendment or addition to a previously executed will


A person dies intestate, title to their property passes to the decendent's heirs according to Pennsylvania's law of descent and distribution


The formal judicial processess the proves or confirms the validity of a will

Involuntary Alienation

Title to property is transferred without the owner's consent (eminent domain, foreclosure)

Adverse Possession

Method of claiming title to property by taking uninterrupted possession for a period of 21 yrs

Adverse Possession must include

Open (obvious), Notorious (known by others), Continuous (uniterrupted), Hostile (without true owner's consent) & Adverse (to the true owner's possession)

Voluntary Alienation

A voluntary transfer of title by a gift or a sale during the lifetime of the owner which requires a deed of conveyance

Habendum clause

explains the ownership to be enjoyed by grantee and begins with words "to have and to hold"

Signature of Grantor

To be valid, a deed must be signed by all grantors named in the deed

Delivery & Acceptance

Title only passes when a valid deed is delivered by the grantor and then accepted by the grantee

General Warranty Deed

Provides the grantee with the greatest estate or greatest protection of any deed

Covenant of Seisin (Possession)

The grantor warrants that they are the owner of the property & has the right to convey it's title

Covenant of Quite Enjoyment

The grantor guarantees the title will be good against any 3rd party who might bring court action to establish superior title

Covenant against Encumbrances

The grantor warrants that the property is free from any liens or encumbrances, except those specifically referenced in the deed

Covenant of Further Assurane

Grantor promises to obtain & deliver any document needed to make the title good

Covenant of Warranty Forever

Greatest Protection where the grantor guarantees to compensate the grantee if any title problems arisse in the future and a loss is sustained

Special Warranty Deed

The grantor warrants the title is free and clear but only for the time they owned the property

Bargain & Sale Deed

Contains no express (written) warranties against encumbrances (foreclosures or tax sells)

Quitclaim Deed

Provides no convenants or warranties and therefore gives the least protection to the grantee of any deed (is frequently used to cure a title defect)

Deed In Trust

The trustor conveys the real estate title into the turst (goes with Truestee's Deed)

Trustee's Deed

The trustee conveys the real estate title out of the trust & to the beneficiary (goes with Deed in Trust)

Judicial Deed

Executed persuant to a Court Order and is a statutory deed used to convey title to property that is transferred by court order or a will

Identiy of Land

Expressed by a legal description that is a precise, legally acceptable way of identifying a parcel of land so that its location may be known with certainty

Metes and Bounds

Relies on the physical features of a property to determine the boundaries & measurements of the parcel of land

Metes measure what

Length (100 ft, 200 ft etc)

Bounds measure what

Boundaries (N, S, E & W)

Point of Beginning (POB)

The designated place on the parcel where the description start & ends


Fixed objects used to locate point of beginning boundaries (can be natural object or man-mde markers)


A point, line or surface from which elevations are measured (defined as the mean sea level at New York harbor)


Are permanent reference points established throughout the United States

Government Survey Method

Rectangular Survey System which is based on intersecting lines (form checker board pattern)

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