Improved Real Estate Details

Real estate is land and any improvements attached, whether natural or human-made such as trees, water, buildings, homes, and bridges. Improved real estate specifically means real estate that has a building on it or will have a building constructed on it.

The word "improved" in the term refers to the building on the land. The improved real estate contains improvements that someone can use for human activity, habitation, or commercial businesses. The improvements can depreciate and have a limited life.

Examples Of Improved Real Estate

You can consider land with a mobile home improved real estate. For example, according to Virginia law, mobile homes are considered improved property instead of personal property if:

  • The wheels and other mobility equipment has been removed
  • It is attached to a real estate
  • The vehicle title has been canceled

Suppose the owner of the mobile home owns the land that the mobile home is on. In that case, they may list the land and improvements for sale or lease similar to any other improved real estate.

History of Improved Real Estate

Farmers in the Middle East built the first permanent houses over 11,000 years ago. For example, the Zawi Chemi Shanidar used river boulders in the Zagros Mountains to build their homes. These could be considered the first improved real estate.

The British history of land law dates back to Roman times and to the Early Middle Ages, when land and property were the main sources of personal wealth. In the twentieth century, many reforms developed after the war to increase residential real estate. For example, the Housing Act of 1919 had the government building more houses that were "fit for heroes." In the United States, the Fifth Amendment protects private property rights such as improved real estate.

Significance Of Improved Real Estate

Distinguishing the types of real estate can impact costs associated with zoning laws. It is important to know what type of building is on your improved real estate. While distribution buildings can be industrial, some buildings that distribute goods are commercial real estate. You would handle the construction and sales of the improved real estate differently depending on the building type.

Types Of Improved Real Estate

The different types of improved real estate depend on the building on the land. There is industrial, commercial, and residential improved real estate. Industrial improved real estate includes buildings used for:

  • Manufacturing
  • Research
  • Production
  • Storage
  • Distribution

Commercial improved real estate is structures aimed to make a profit. Examples of commercial buildings include:

  • Shopping centers
  • Medical buildings
  • Hotels
  • Offices
  • Educational buildings
  • Apartment buildings

Although a resident, apartment buildings are often considered commercial buildings because it aims to create an income. Residential improved real estate is land where the improvement is a residential building. Examples include:

  • Condominiums
  • Co-ops
  • Townhouses
  • Duplexes
  • Triple-deckers
  • Quadplexes
  • Vacation homes
  • Multi-generational homes

Improved Real Estate vs. Unimproved Real Estate

While improved real estate has structures that are usable by humans, unimproved real estate lacks basic services such as electricity, sewage, water, or street access. Generally, unimproved real estate contracts are for land or lot sale purchases.

Improved Real Estate vs. Real Estate Improvements

An improved real estate refers to land with a habitable building on it or will have such a building on it. However, real estate improvements refer to activities that alternate a piece of land or building to make it more usable or increase its value. These improvements can include home renovation projects such as:

  • Improving foundations like leaks in roofs or furnace reliability
  • Curb appeal including fresh paint and well-manicured lawns
  • Value-added amenities such as kitchen renovations and new windows
  • Personal preference developments such as wine cellars, swimming pools, and game rooms