I spend a lot of working hours talking about real estate Notes, but today I want to focus on a little history—the origin of the term “real estate.”

Real estate. It’s funny, we use these words so often and I think most people know it represents a building and the land it’s on, but when you pause and think about it, it’s easy to wonder: where do these words come from?

Turns out…London, in 1666.

Just after midnight on Sunday, September 2, a fire started in a bakery shortly after midnight. The “Great Fire of London” swept through the central parts of London through Thursday, destroying 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, St Paul’s Cathedral, and most other buildings. Ironically, historians believe this is when “realty” was first used to describe the loss of immovable property.

From “realty” came “real estate”. Real comes from the Latin word, realis, which means existing and true. Estate comes from combining the Latin word, status (which means state or condition) with stare (which means to stand) and its French derivative, estat (which means state or condition).

So, the dumbed-down translation of “real estate” is the existing state of immovable property.

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Sources: wikipedia.org, Google Translate, finance.yahoo.com

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