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What is a Mixed Property?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Mixed property is property that shares characteristics of personal property and real property. It may be movable to some extent, like personal property, but is also affixed to or associated with a specific piece of land, like real property. Such property may require special handling under the law and can be treated somewhat uniquely for tax purposes, depending on the region and the specifics of a particular case.

True real property includes land and fixtures like buildings. While it is technically possible to move buildings, they are not designed to be portable, and thus could be considered a permanent fixture on the land. By contrast, personal property is movable and intended to be mobile. Thus, a house is an example of real property, but the furniture inside is personal. Unless special arrangements are made at the time of sale, all personal property is removed and the buyer takes possession only of the real property.

Mixed property is property associated with a specific piece of land, though it is also movable. Monuments are a good example. They are installed in place and designed to be left in a specific location, but could be moved if necessary. Likewise with tombstones, a type of mixed property found in cemeteries and sometimes on private land where people perform family burials. Certain heirlooms associated with a specific piece of land are also a form of this type of property.

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The deed for a piece of real estate is itself mixed property. Title deeds are very movable, but they are associated with a particular piece of land. While someone may store a title deed off site in a location like a bank vault, it is still attached to the land, providing proof of ownership as well as information about a plot's physical characteristics and history.

When real property is transferred to a new owner, mixed property on the land often accompanies the transfer. In an example seen in some regions where old churches are being deconsecrated and sold, artifacts associated with the church, including headstones in the churchyard, are transferred to the new owner when the church is sold. Special measures may be taken to ensure that mixed property will be properly cared for even as land changes owners, such as establishing a trust to provide maintenance or creating an easement limiting the use or transfer of the mixed property in the future. There may also be cases where mixed property is relocated to a more secure place.

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