What Is Property?
The property concept relates to people’s rights to ownership and control over things such as land, buildings, and personal belongings. Different societies have different definitions of property and systems of law for enforcing these rights. The concept of property has undergone a number of revisions in recent times, and some philosophers have even proposed abolishing the idea altogether.
Intangible property can include the right to use water or mineral deposits, or the right to build a structure on land. These rights can be sold or given to others. They can also be conveyed through a document called a deed. Physical properties, such as houses or businesses, may be sold or transferred between owners. Ownership of a building or other structure is usually passed down through the inheritance of a deceased person, or by a will. The rights to a particular land can also be transferred through a legal process called accession. For example, if a piece of land is purchased, the minerals beneath it and anything that grows on it become the property of the new owner.
Early pre-agricultural tribal societies had some forms of property, including domesticated animals and hunting grounds. These kinds of property constituted private property, in contrast with communal ownership of other resources and goods.
John Locke developed a theory of property that relied on the notion that individuals have a natural right to whatever they have mixed their labour with, and which is therefore their own. Locke’s idea was that this right to property does not need state sanction or protection, but should be guaranteed by the social contract that humans form when forming their states.
The theory of qualified property, based on the notion that possession is separate from ownership, has been developed by people as an alternative to the principle of absolute property, and some modern thinkers have embraced it. For example, a deer or a buffalo are someone’s property while they are in their possession, but once they go into the wild, they cease to be the property of that person, as it is not “go animus revertendi” (the body will automatically return to its native state).
In the case of real estate, the price of a property can be determined by comparing it to similar properties that have recently been sold. The most common comparisons are the square footage and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but other differences such as location, neighborhood, and design are taken into consideration when determining a property’s value.
A third way to value a property is to consider how much it would cost to build it from scratch, which is referred to as the cost approach. This is the preferred method when valuing newer construction or special-use properties where there aren’t enough comparables to choose from. This approach is also sometimes used for valuing bare land. However, this is a subjective method and it is possible for three appraisers to come up with wildly differing values for the same property.