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Common Types of Real Estate

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Houses aren’t the only properties you can sell. Every piece of land has value, and each is sold in slightly different ways. Normally, a section of land is zoned for a certain type of construction. For example, only homes or other dwellings can be built in areas that are zoned ‘residential’. Each different type of property has it’s own caveats when it comes to the market.

Residential real estate is any real estate in which people live permanently. Apart from houses and individual dwellings, residential real estate can also be leased by a landlord to a tenant. Examples of such realty are apartments, row houses, condominiums, vacation houses, duplexes and self-contained houses. Generally, these properties are rented to tenants under a lease agreement, where the tenant pays the landlord a fixed amount at fixed intervals (normally monthly).

Commercial real estate include offices, hotels, healthcare facilities, schools and other businesses that are not necessarily retail stores. The biggest difference between residential and commercial real estate is price. Because commercial real estate houses businesses, the land often costs more due to both location and potential use. Anything that is built on a commercially zoned piece of land is trying to make some sort of profit, so the land itself has higher value.

Industrial real estate is where the big money lies. Industrial lots are usually huge and the structures placed on them are too. Industrial zones are usually separated from residential areas, but are often placed close to major thoroughfares like highways and rail lines. Factories, parking lots, warehouses and automotive facilities (car wash, repairs, servicing) make up the industrial realty sector.

Retail real estate makes up shopping malls and retail storefronts. Location is key for retail spaces and this land is often very visible and placed on high-traffic roads and avenues. Similar to commercial real estate, retail spaces house businesses. Sometimes, commercial properties and retail properties may share a space. The difference is that retail businesses make point of purchase sales while commercial establishments tend to provide services or are the management end of the retail stores.

Vacant land is exactly what it sounds like. Vacant land is neither zoned or developed, and is often purchased for use as farmland, landfill, or preserved as natural parks if the land holds a forest, body of water or other natural landmark worth protecting. If valuable minerals or natural resources are discovered on or under vacant land, a company may build a mine there.

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