Different Types of Real Estate in America

No matter if you are purchasing your own home or investing in real estate as an investment vehicle, it is important to understand all types of real estate. Real estate comprises land along with any properties or resources attached to it.

Real estate leaders must challenge existing financial, legal and professional frameworks that select winners and losers in the communities they serve.


Real estate encompasses land and its contents – such as buildings, roads, structures and utility systems. Land that features these features is known as improved real estate; otherwise referred to as unimproved real estate. Real estate grants an owner the rights necessary for using, selling or renting their property to others.

Residential real estate is the most commonly available form of real estate. This category encompasses single-family homes, townhouses, condos, co-ops and apartment complexes. Commercial property includes office buildings, strip malls and medical and industrial facilities while industrial real estate can include factories warehouses or manufacturing plants.

America is home to vast amounts of undeveloped land that remains mostly unclaimed due to zoning restrictions and infrastructure costs. Furthermore, soil quality and location can affect how valuable any piece of property may be; ultimately determining whether building on it would be profitable or not.


Residential real estate is the most prevalent form of real estate, including houses and other structures where people live, with countless possible add-ons, like infinity pools. This is distinct from commercial real estate which refers to land and buildings used for operating businesses that generate income such as stores, offices and factories. Real estate professionals often specialize in this form of property – helping buyers find homes that meet their needs; selling to investors; flipping homes etc.

It is crucial that when searching for residential real estate, it’s essential that you understand your financial situation and the impact that mortgage payments will have on your budget. Knowing your credit score and debt-to-income ratio will allow you to better determine the type of loan that might suit you; and keep lifestyle and location in mind when selecting a house – for instance if walking to restaurants and attractions is something you enjoy, townhouses or condos (condos) could also make great choices!


Commercial real estate comprises properties used for business-related activities, ranging from a single storefront to an entire shopping center and can be owned by individuals or corporations. Leasing out these properties to tenants often generates income for their owner in rent payments.

Offices, stores, apartment buildings, restaurants and storage warehouses all fall under commercial real estate’s domain. Meanwhile, residential real estate such as houses and condos are typically designed for living space alone; due to zoning laws preventing their use for business purposes (for instance allowing yard sales in your backyard but denying running restaurants from your living room) commercial real estate cannot be used on residential properties either.

Commercial real estate investments can be more risky than residential ones due to upfront costs and increased economic volatility, though commercial properties typically yield greater returns and can provide excellent protection from inflation. Since America was founded, investors have turned to commercial property as their main source of wealth creation – John Jacob Astor becoming America’s first millionaire thanks to commercial investments.


People usually associate commercial real estate with office and retail buildings (where employees work and where consumers shop), but industrial real estate is just as crucial to our nation’s economy. It encompasses any land and buildings used for industrial production, manufacturing, assembly, warehousing research storage of consumer goods and light and heavy manufacturing operations – as well as warehouse space distribution centers large and small logistics facilities “flex” space providing some combination of industrial use with office use as well as self storage units or showrooms.

Over the last several years, industrial spaces have seen increased demand due to e-commerce companies like Amazon building massive warehouses to meet their fast shipping needs. Tenant leases on such properties typically give tenants most control, making them attractive investments for investors.