You've seen the shows on the television, people making millions of dollars buying dilapidated properties, making repairs and turning them around for a huge profit. You've also seen the people fail miserably. One of the key factors that separate the winners from the losers in the real estate game is knowledge. Just like any other business you enter, the more you know, the better your chances of being successful. Whether you're looking to flip houses, invest in rental properties or just want to learn more about real estate so you are better off when you purchase your own home, there is a wealth of knowledge if you know where to look.


Real estate is a pretty broad area. The basic definition of real estate is the land and anything attached to the land, whether it's natural or man-made. When you purchase real estate, you are purchasing the land and everything that goes with it.

Improvements: If you build a house, shed, fence or anything else on the land it is called an improvement. It doesn't matter if the thing you built makes the real estate uninhabitable, like a nuclear waste facility, it is still an improvement.

Bundle of Legal rights: Ownership of real estate comes with certain legal rights, known as the bundle of legal rights. The bundle of legal rights comes in five different areas.


Control (within the scope of the law)

Enjoyment (again, only if it's legal)

Exclusion (this is where keep out signs come in handy)

Disposition (which means you can get rid of the real estate however you choose)

When you have ownership of real estate you are said to hold the title. Title is not the piece of paper; the piece of paper used to show title is known as the deed. Just because you have the deed does not necessarily mean you have the title. If it did, people could bring an old deed and take your property.