Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more generally) buildings or housing in general.
Real estate is different from personal property, which is not permanently attached to the land, such as vehicles, boats, jewelry, furniture, tools and the rolling stock of a farm. Residential real estate may contain either a single family or multifamily structure that is available for occupation or for non-business purposes. Residences can be classified by and how they are connected to neighbouring residences and land. Different types of housing tenure can be used for the same physical type. For example, connected residences might be owned by a single entity and leased out.
The size of an apartment or house can be described in square feet or meters. In the United States, this includes the area of «living space», excluding the garage and other non-living spaces. The «square meters» figure of a house in Europe may report the total area of the walls enclosing the home, thus including any attached garage and non-living spaces, which makes it important to inquire what kind of surface area definition has been used. It can be described more roughly by the number of rooms. A studio apartment has a single bedroom with no living room (possibly a separate kitchen).
In markets where land and building prices are rising, real estate is often purchased as an investment, whether or not the owner intends to use the property.
Often investment properties are rented out, but «flipping» involves quickly reselling a property, sometimes taking advantage of arbitrage or quickly rising value, and sometimes after repairs are made that substantially raise the value of the property.