West Virginia



Government Rights

To remember the government powers that will show up you real estate exam just think of the name PETE.

P for Police Power

E for Eminent Domain

T for Taxation

E for Escheat.

These are not rights that an individual would have.

Police Power

Police power is the state’s inherent right to regulate an individual’s conduct or property to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the community.

Unlike the exercise of eminent domain, no compensation need be paid.  Common examples of police power are Zoning, Building codes and rent control.

Eminent domain

Eminent domain is the inherent power of the state to seize a citizen’s private property, or seize a citizen's rights in property with due monetary compensation, but without the consent of the owner. The property is taken either for government use or by delegation to third parties who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, economic development. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for railroads, public utilities and highways.  Some jurisdictions require that the government body offer to purchase the property before resorting to the use of eminent domain.

The term “condemnation” is used to describe the formal act of the exercise of the power of eminent domain to transfer title to the property from its private owner to the government. This use of the word should not be confused with its sense of a declaration that real property, generally a building, has become so dilapidated as to be legally unfit for human habitation due to its physical defects. This type of condemnation of buildings (on grounds of health and safety hazards or gross zoning violation) usually does not deprive the owners of the title to the property condemned but requires them to rectify the offending situation or have the government do it for the owner at the latter's expense.

Condemnation via eminent domain indicates the government is taking ownership of the property or a lesser interest in it, such as an easement.  In most cases the only thing that remains to be decided when a condemnation action is filed is the amount of just compensation, although in some cases the right to take may be challenged by the property owner on the grounds that the attempted taking is not for a public use, or has not been authorized by the legislature, or because the condemnor has not followed the proper procedure required by law.

Inverse condemnation is a term that comes on the real estate exam and is used in the law to describe a situation in which the government takes private property but fails to pay the just compensation required by the Constitution. In order to be compensated, the owner must then sue the government. In such cases the owner is the plaintiff and that is why the action is called inverse – the order of parties is reversed, as compared to the usual procedure in direct condemnation where the government is the plaintiff who sues a defendant-owner to take his or her property.

An example would be if the city widens a boulevard and thereby taking the entire parking lot of a Market. The city offers to pay for the lot, but the market claims it has lost all its business since no one can park and now it wants the value of the entire parcel, including the market building.

In this situation they would file for inverse condemnation

The exercise of eminent domain is not limited to real property. Governments may also condemn personal property, such as supplies for the military in wartime, franchises; this includes intangible property such as contract rights, trade secrets, copyrights and patents.


Taxation is a charge on real estate that is used to pay for services provided by the government.


Escheat occurs when Property reverts to state ownership when an individual dies without a will and without heirs.  When you die without a will you would have died “intestate”


Bundle of Rights  


Government Rights  

Police Power   

Eminent domain   



Real vs Personal Property




Trade Fixture   


    OR-EE Rule   


Freehold Estate   

Fee simple absolute   

Fee simple Defeasible   

Life estate   

Less than freehold estate   

Estate for Years   

Periodic Tenancy   

Estate at will   

Estate in sufferance   

Types of Leases   

Gross lease   

Net lease   

Percentage lease   

Lease option   

Property management


Essentials of a valid contract   

Capable parties  

Lawful object   


Offer and acceptance   

Types of Contracts   

Valid, Void & Voidable Contracts   

Implied contract   

Bilateral & Unilateral contacts   

Executed & Executory   

Option contract   

Land Contract   


Types of Listings contracts   

Exclusive Listing   

Exclusive Authorization and right to sell Listing   

Exclusive Agency Listing   

Open Listing   

Net Listing   

Listings with an option   

Multiple listing service   


Universal agent   

General agent   

Special agent   

Attorney in fact   

Principal and Client   

Transaction broker   

Dual or limited agency   

Practice and disclosure   

Stigmatized property   



Actual fraud   

Negative fraud   

Constructive fraud   


Federal Law   

Truth in Lending   

Fair Housing   



Sherman antitrust laws   


Easement in gross   

Implied easement   

Prescriptive easement   

Termination of Easement   



Property Transfer




Title insurance   

Forms of ownership   

Tenancy in common   

Joint tenancy   

Community property   





Time Shares   

Cluster housing   



Appraisal Principles   

Principle of Highest and Best Use   

Principle of Substitution   

Principle of Conformity   

Principle of Contribution   

Principle of change   

Market Value   

Steps in the appraisal   

Appraisal methodology   

Market data approach   

Capitalization (income) Approach   

Cap Rate   

Cost (replacement) approach   

Gross Rent Multipliers   


Physical Deterioration   

Functional Obsolescence   

Economic Obsolescence   



Primary mortgage   



Types of Loans   

Loans clauses   


Construction Terms   

Test Taking Tips