Real estate or fixed property is a legal term that encompasses land along with anything permanently affixed to the land, such as buildings. Real estate is often considered synonymous with real property, in contrast with personal property. However, for technical purposes, some people prefer to distinguish real estate, referring to the land and fittings themselves, from real property, referring to ownership rights over real estate. The terms real estate and real property are used mainly in common law, while civil law jurisdictions refer in its place to immovable property.
In law, the word real means relating to a thing, as well-known from a person. Thus the law broadly distinguishes between real possessions and personal property. The conceptual difference was between immovable property, which would transport title along with the land, and changeable property. In most advanced economies, the main source of capital used by individuals and small companies to purchase and get enhanced land and buildings is mortgage loans, bank loans for which the real property itself constitutes collateral.