Perhaps I’m doing too much thinking today. But I was wondering where did the word “Real estate” come from? “Real estate” is one of those terms people hear every day without thinking about it. However, if you stop and consider the term, you’ll probably end up wondering what it actually means. Of course, the “estate” part of it makes sense, since that’s the word for a type of landed property, but where does the “real” part of the term come from? The downtown Boston real estate staff from Ford Realty will try to explain what the “real” in “real estate” really stands for.

The Technical Definition of Real Estate

What does “real estate” actually mean in the first place? This term as most people understand it means something to do with property or buildings. However, having an understanding of what technically does and doesn’t count as real estate will make it easier to understand where the word “real” comes from in the first place. When people refer to real estate, they’re talking about the land, buildings, plants, natural resources, and any other immovable property within a certain boundary.

The History of the Term “Real Estate”

The term “real estate” has only been around for a few hundred years. The first official record using “real estate” is from 1666. That was the year the Great Fire of London destroyed much of the property throughout the city, so it’s no surprise that new legal terms for certain types of property were created that year. After that, “real estate” became a fairly common term throughout much of England. It spread to many of the areas colonized by Britain, so it’s now one of the most commonly used terms in discussions about buying, selling, and renting certain types of property.

Where the Word “Real” Comes From

To figure out what “real” means when talking about real estate, it’s helpful to look a little more closely at the word itself. The word comes from the Latin term realis, which is an adjective used to describe something that truly exists. Over time, realis turned into “real” for English speakers who were influenced by Latin. Since ancient times, this word has been used to describe something absolute, true, or factual.

What the Word “Real” Means in Real Estate

Starting in medieval times, people in England used the term “real” to talk about property that wasn’t movable. Items such as clothes, jewelry, furniture, and dishes were considered personal property because someone could take these items with them when they moved, while buildings and land were thought of as real property because they always existed in a single location. Gradually, the practice of referring to “land” and “houses” fell out of fashion, and people began calling these areas “estates” instead. However, the term “real” still stuck around to describe the fixed nature of properties, so the term “real estate” was born. When you’re looking for your ideal loft, penthouse, or condo for sale in downtown Boston, make sure to work with “real” real estate professionals. The team at Ford Realty have years of experience and unmatched expertise in buying and selling Boston real estate in Beacon Hill, Back Bay and the Midtown area. We can be reached via email or cell/text at 617-595-3712.

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