Subdivision is the act of dividing land into pieces that are easier to sell or otherwise develop, usually via a plat. The former single piece as a whole is then known as a subdivision in the United States. If it is used for housing it is typically known as a housing subdivision or housing development, although some developers tend to call these areas communities.

Subdivisions may also be for the purpose of commercial or industrial development.  In most areas, subdividing land requires the approval of a local governmental body.

Just think of it like a trey of brownies, you have a big trey that is divided up into smaller pieces.  A subdivision is really nothing more than a massive trey of brownies.


Conversion is the process of changing from one form of ownership to another.  For example an apartment building could be converted and sold as condominiums.

A condominium is an example of a subdivision.

Ownership of a condominium is a blend of severalty and tenancy in common.  The airspace is owned in severalty, meaning separate from the other property owners.

All owners in a condo community have a tenancy in common interest in the improvements and the land.  This tenancy in common ownership would represent an undivided interest in the property, or an interest that cannot be physically divided.

For example, if the condominium has a swimming pool.  The swimming pool would be owned by all members of the community but there ownership interest could not be physically divided.  A condominium is a form of property ownership, not a land use or a design of a building

The owner of a condo would purchase and finance the property the same way as they would for any other piece of real estate.  Each condo will pay his or her share of the maintenance fees and special assessments. If these are not paid a lien will be placed against the owners’ property

Foreclosure of one of the owners units does not affect the other owners.  Common areas are owned outside of the unity and are owned by all.  Limited common areas are owned by all but used by one or a few owners.  Examples of limited common areas are decks balconies walls between units and parking spaces.

A condo is created by a developer who files a declaration and a master deed.  A master deed is the document that conveys land to condo use.  A declaration usually contains, a property description, description of the units and common areas, limited common areas, restrictive uses, provision for amendments and if the ownership is a fee simple or a lease hold estate.

CC’Rs which stands for Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions are the documents that controls the use, requirements and restrictions of a property as decided upon by the home owners association.

The by-laws of a condo define the responsibilities of the owners and declare how the homeowners association will operate the condo. The association consists of the owners of the condo units.  Its main purpose is to control regulate and maintain common elements in the community.  Each owner of the condo is responsible for paying his her own property taxes


In a cooperative, title is held by a corporation.  And the tenants receive stock and a proprietary lease.  The owners have a personal interest in the real estate.

The maintenance fees paid by cooperative owners include:

Mortgage payments



Maintenance of the property

If a coop tenant does not pay there maintenance fee the other coop tenants will make their payment and the defaulted tenant may be evicted.

If the cooperative does not pay the taxes and mortgage payments the entire cooperative would be sold at foreclosure and all tenants would be forced out of the property.

The articles of incorporation, the by laws and the landlord – tenant laws

Govern the operation and possession of the cooperative.

Time Shares

Many resort or vacation communities are sold as time shares.  This is a form of joint ownership by several persons who take turns owning a property.

A time share may be sold as the ownership for a block of time that can re-occur.  A timeshare estate is called interval ownership and it means the party owns the property and has a deed to it.

When a time share is sold, very often sales presentations are used.  Gifts are given as incentive to come to the sales presentation.  It must be disclosed that to obtain the gift attendance at the sales presentation is required.

Cluster housing

Cluster housing is a planned subdivision where detached housing is located in close proximity to each other.  It is a bit like community living where a group of houses, flats or bungalows share a range of facilities, such as pool, playground or gym etc.


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