There are several ways to purchase real estate. A mortgage is one of the most common forms of financing. You can obtain a construction loan for a construction project, or you can purchase an undeveloped plot of land. However, a real estate transaction may also involve other types of financing, such as a land lease. In a land lease, the tenant has the right to use the land for whatever purpose they wish, without requiring access to a public road.
Other types of property are not considered real estate, but are merely part of it. Personal property does not have any permanent attachment to land, but is owned by someone else. It includes cars, boats, jewelry, furniture, and tools, as well as rolling stock from a farm. An attached/multi-unit dwelling is defined by a perimeter of locked doors. Multi-family housing often occurs in apartment buildings or multi-story detached houses.
Residential real estate refers to homes and other properties, such as single-family houses. Other types include condos, townhouses, triple-deckers, quadplexes, and multi-generational homes. Commercial real estate refers to properties such as office buildings, hotels, and shopping centers. Apartment buildings are classified as commercial real estate, but they are used for residential purposes. Buying a home is a common first experience for most people. In the U.S., federal, state, and local governments encourage home ownership by providing mortgages and other financing programs.