Real Estate Resource Library

Real estate is a term used to describe land, as well as homes or buildings attached to it and may also be referred to as real property or realty. The two main types of real estate consist of residential and commercial real estate. Residential real estate refers to the sale and rent of land and homes to private individuals and families. Commercial real estate involves transactions in which land and buildings are sold or leased for business-related purposes. Real estate transactions within the United States have a direct and major impact on economic activities and consumer spending, in addition to the nation’s overall economy. Therefore, the real estate industry is heavily regulated by local state and federal policies, laws and regulations.

General Real Estate

  • Real Estate Resources: A website that offers resources related to buying a home, such as the home buying and closing process, closing costs, title insurance, homeowner’s insurance and tips on celebrating the purchase of a new home.
  • Step-by-Step Homebuyers Guide: A source of information for searching for a home, applying for home mortgage loans, finding a real estate agent, making real estate offers, understanding real estate contracts and performing the closing process.
  • How to Read Probate Records: A site that explains how to research and understand probate records related to real estate and property deeds.
  • Homebuyers/Sellers: The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) provides inspection-related information for those purchasing or selling a home, in addition advice for new homeowners and consumer resources, such as consumer alerts, ethics and standards of practice.
  • Housing Topics: The U.S. Census Bureau offers a variety of housing-related links, such as factsheets; census, housing and homeownership data; community, housing and vacancy surveys; and governmental loan programs.
  • Making Home Affordable.gov: Making Home Affordable (MHA) is the Obama Administration's initiative dedicated to helping American homeowners obtain financial assistance with their mortgages through programs that modify mortgages, reduce interest rates, defer payments and perform refinancing to avoid foreclosures.
  • Global Property Guide (GPG): A database that provides information for residential property investors related to apartment and homes for sale in other countries, such as Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and the Pacific.
  • Responsibilities and Opportunities of a Real Estate Board in Building Cities: A PDF manuscript of the ideas, viewpoints and philosophies regarding national property and urban real estate development according to Jesse Clyde Nichols
  • U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: The Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides U.S. real estate consumers comprehensive research data and materials for domestic real estate, community development initiatives and sustainable community programs.
  • Home Property Values: FSBO America, LLC, provides information to for sale by owner (FSBO) real estate consumers, such as tool kits, real estate forms and articles, as well as lender and lawyer resources.

Federal Government

  • Buying a Home: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides prospective homeowners information to help consumers determine how much they can afford, resources to assist to finding mortgage loans, making offers and shopping for homeowners insurance.
  • First-Time Homebuyer Credit: The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) explains the federal government’s First-Time Homebuyer Credit program, including how to claim and repay it.
  • Federal Government Housing Loans: A website that provides links to federally-assisted home mortgage loans, in addition to descriptions of the programs.
  • The Real Estate Marketplace Glossary: How to Talk the Talk: A PDF glossary of real estate-related terms organized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
  • Real Property Acquisition Policies Act: The full Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, as amended, with links to the act’s legislative sections.
  • Rental Housing Programs for Low-Income Elderly Residents: Section 202 of Housing Policy and related HUD housing programs for the elderly in PDF form, provided by the senate’s Congressional Research Service.
  • Housing Discrimination: The Regional Human Rights Fair Housing Commission (HRFH) provides general information, definitions, standards and exemptions associated with federal housing discrimination legislation and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).
  • Housing and Urban Development: A website administered by GPO Access and provided by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). It provides information on Title 24 of the Housing and Urban Development Act as part of the federal government’s Electronic Code of Federal Regulations or e-CFR.
  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA): The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) explains the federal government’s role in government real estate transactions as it relates to market research, planning, budgeting and quality space delivery.
  • Transportation and Infrastructure Committee: The official webpage of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s, which provides information on current news, hearings and federal legislation.

Academic Research

Real Estate Law

  • Real Estate and Property Law: The American Bar Association (ABA) provides a collection of articles related to real estate and property law.
  • FDIC Law, Regulations, Related Acts: As part of consumer protection policies issued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the website provides the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act in its entirety.
  • Guide to State Real Estate Laws and Regulations: A guide provided by the United States Department of Justice that explains state-specific laws and regulations that affect competition in real estate.
  • Real Estate Transactions Law: An article by the Cornell University Law School that presents a succinct overview of the governance of real estate transactions by common law, as well as federal and state statutes.
  • American Land Title Association: A national trade association that represents the title insurance industry. It researches, reviews and protects homebuyers, as well as lenders.
  • Existing State Home Inspector Regulatory Legislation: A resource for state-specific home inspection regulatory legislation provided by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
  • Real Estate Law Book: Occupational codes, statutes and administrative rules of real estate brokers and salespeople in the state of Michigan as provided by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
  • Real Estate License Law: A PDF document of real estate license law that describes licensing and salespersons and brokers in the state of New York, supplied by the New York Department of State (DOS).
  • Law and Policy: The National Association of Realtors provides homebuyers current resources related to significant laws and policies affecting property and real estate ownership.
  • Environmental Law-Land Use Institute (LUI): Located at the Vermont Law School, LUI The Land Use Institute (LUI) researches local, national and international land use issues, policies and laws that are vital to creating sustainable societies through development.

Real Estate Organizations

  • National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB): A professional organization dedicated to supporting legislative initiatives in support of ensuring fair and affordable housing is available to all Americans regardless of race, color or creed.
  • National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust (NAREIT): The association is part of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, which is a worldwide representative for publicly traded real estate companies.
  • National Association of Real Estate Appraisers (NAREA): A leading nationwide representative that provides information to real estate professionals regarding updates on industry-related trends, guidelines and regulations.
  • National Society of Real Estate Appraisers (NSREA): An organization committed to promoting standards of professionalism among its members who are required to meet rigorous experience and educational requirements. 
  • Appraisal Institute: A global membership association comprised of approximately 23,000 real estate appraisers in 60 countries worldwide. It’s committed to ensuring high standards as related to ethics, standards, practices and methodologies within the industry.
  • The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE): A membership organization established for the purpose of supporting real estate advisors that assist clients and employers within the industry.
  • The American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA): A non-profit organization that assists in the exchange of information and opinions across academic, professional and governmental organizations involved in real estate and urban economics.
  • Institute of Real Estate Management: The IREM exists as an international group of real estate professionals and managers for all types of real estate properties. It is committed to ensuring the industry uses ethical business practices and maximizes real estate investment values for the benefit of domestic and commercial consumers.
  • Accredited Land Consultants (ALC): A professional membership organization that supports land sale experts by providing educational development programs.
  • Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute (CCIM): A globally recognized and leading professional organization in the commercial and real estate investment industry that consists of a network of members in North America and more than 30 countries.
  • Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB): The CRB is a non-for-profit affiliate that sets industry standards for innovative brokerage tools, resources and opportunities for learning.
  • National Association of Independent Real Estate Brokers: The website describes the differences between independent real estate brokers and real estate agents. It also provides resources and information on how to attain a real estate license, in addition to becoming a member.
  • Department of Real Estate: This site, operated by the Department of Real Estate, provides information on how to obtain a real estate broker license, such as general qualifications, course requirements, the examination process, the licensing application and approval.
  • American Society of Appraisers (ASA): Official website of The International Society of Professional Appraisers, provides information on becoming a real property appraiser, how to join the association, professional standards, accreditation and conferences and meetings.

Land Use Planning

  • American Planning Association (APA): A planning institute for professional certified planners comprised of 20 divisions, 47 chapters that allows student memberships.
  • Urban Land Institute (ULI): A non-profit educational and research organization entirely supported by members that represent all aspects of land use and real estate disciplines dedicated to public service and private enterprises.
  • International Right of Way Association (IRWA): A not-for-profit professional development and educational association founded in 1934 and committed to improving service to the public and land use industry employers within the right of profession worldwide.
  • Land Use Planning and Growth Management in the American West: An article that describes the progression of cooperative land use planning within North America provided by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
  • Comprehensive Land Use Planning: A PowerPoint presentation in PDF form created by a Community Development Agent that illustrates the various factors involved in land-use planning initiatives.
  • Twentieth Century Land Use Planning: A chapter from Classic Readings in Urban Planning in PDF form, which explains land-use planning in the 20th century.
  • Market-Oriented Land-Use Planning: A Conceptual Note: A composition by an Associate Professor from the Department of Infrastructure that discusses the transition of market-oriented land-use planning around the world in combination with local governments.
  • The Welfare Economics of Land Use Planning: A comprehensive and methodical PDF paper that evaluates the benefits and costs of land use planning.
  • Using GIS as an Agricultural Land-Use Planning Tool: A PDF scientific research bulletin by the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University that describes how to use soil survey data and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as tools in land use planning.
  • Center for Land Use Education & Research (CLEAR): Located at the University of Connecticut, the center provides information and educational assistance to decision makers within the land use industry by supporting natural resource protection while balancing growth strategies.

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