Residential real estate is an area developed for people to live on. As defined by local zoning ordinances, residential real estate cannot be used for commercial or industrial purposes. Such laws vary from location to location and can restrict how many buildings are allowed on a single block and what kinds of municipal services reach those buildings.
Real estate is the land plus any buildings and resources on that land. Real estate may be used for commercial purposes, like operating a store or an office, or for industrial purposes, like operating a mine or a factory. The most common type of real estate, however, is residential real estate, which is used for housing.
Residential areas encompass a large variety of potential dwellings, from houses to houseboats, and from neighborhoods types ranging from the poorest slum to the wealthiest suburban subdivision. Many of these are not specifically real estate, which is a legal definition describing a state of ownership: residential real estate emerges when land sanctioned for residential use is purchased by someone, which becomes real property.
Residential real estate is often the most important financial investment a person owns, and the value of real property on the estate is subject to shifts in the real estate market. Some people purchase real estate in the hope of making money, either by selling it at a profit or leasing it to others and charging them rent. But most people simply live on their property.