Real Vs Personal Property

Real property incorporates all things attached to the land and all rights inherent with that land. Real property usually refers to things that are immovable, such as homes and buildings.

This is not always the case, as there are examples of things that are movable but considered real property. However, as a general rule to help pass your exam, remember Real = Immovable. When you think of real estate, you think of homes and buildings. The word “real” has to do with things that are immovable; the word “estate” has to do with duration of ownership. That is why you are getting a REAL ESTATE license.

Personal property refers to things that are generally movable. This can include furniture, jewelry, clothing, art, or other household goods.

On your exam, you may see personal property referred to as "chattels" or "personalty". To help you remember this, think of the word "cattle". Cattle sounds like "chattel", cows say "MOOOOOOO", and therefore chattels means MOOOOVABLE property. (It may sound ridiculous, but when you are taking your exam and you think "Chattel, cattle, cows mooooove, chattel is personal property," you will be thrilled.)

Severance is changing an item from real property to personal property by detaching it from the land.

Annexation is the addition to property by the act of attaching a smaller item to the larger property, as in attaching personal property to real property, thereby creating a fixture.

The term is usually used to signify connecting a smaller item to a larger one. For example, a smaller piece of land may be annexed to a larger one. Similarly, a smaller document may be annexed to a larger one, such as a codicil to a will.

Although physical joining is implied, actual contact is not always necessary. In the law of real property, annexation is used to describe the manner in which a chattel is joined to property. For example, a sink becomes a fixture when it is annexed to the plumbing outlet, and is therefore real property.