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Flashcards in Physical Characteristics Deck (6)
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Pertaining to the Land Itself

Real property has specific characteristics that set it apart from other marketable and valuable commodities. These characteristics are both physical and economic.

The physical characteristics of real property are:

Indestructibility (permanence); and

Nonhomogeneity (uniqueness).
The physical characteristics define and pertain to the



The immobility of land is the primary difference between land and tangible personal property, which is highly mobile. Land cannot be relocated. Immobility of land is a major factor affecting land value. Licensees who have specific knowledge of a local real estate market are better able to serve the buyers and sellers in that community.



Land is a permanent commodity that cannot be destroyed. It may be altered substantially in its topography or other aspects of its appearance, but it remains. The indestructibility, or permanence, of land makes it attractive as a long-term investment. This is substantially different from most personal property, which often devalues, resulting in little or no salvage value.

Land values can change as a result of changing conditions in the area surrounding the land. Land values may suffer economic obsolescence, which results from changes in surrounding areas that adversely affect its value. For example, the construction of an interstate highway can radically affect land values of property located several miles away on a minor highway that loses traffic volume.


Nonhomogeneity (uniqueness)

no two parcels of land are identical. In agricultural land, fertility varies from location to location. In urban real estate, accessibility and zoning differ.

Each parcel of real estate has its own topography, soil type, zoning, size, shape and so on. These differences, whether minor or major, bestow on each parcel of realty its own unique functionality, appeal, and value.


Specific Performance

Basically, no two parcels of land occupy the same space on the earth's surface. Land is defined as the surface of the earth extending down to the center and upward to the sky, including all natural things thereon such as trees, crops or water, plus the minerals below the surface and the air rights above.

The term real property includes the land and all artificial things attached to the land such as houses, fences, fixtures and the like, together will all rights appurtenant to the property such as easements, rents and profits.


Specific Performance 2

This uniqueness of each parcel of land, even if there are no other differences, gives rise to the legal concept of specific performance, a legal remedy provided by the U.S. court system for breach of contract. If a seller contracts to sell his or her real property, the law does not consider money to be a substitute for his or her duty to convey that title. Therefore, if the seller intends to breach his/her contract and pay financial damages instead, the buyer may refuse to accept the money and insist on taking title to the agreed-upon land as the only acceptable contract performance