Technically speaking, a fixture is any object that has become part of the real estate or real property. A fixture begins as personal property but becomes real property through the process of attachment or accession . But the real estate industry distinguishes between different types of fixtures, and they are treated in different ways by the courts.
For example, the lumber, concrete, wiring and other materials used to build a gazebo are considered personal property when they are dropped off by the supplier and sitting on the front lawn. When they are attached to the land to build the gazebo, those same materials become fixtures and real property.
The fixture is a legal real estate concept that can cause problems for the parties involved, if one or all of the parties are ignorant of the law. For example, John builds a fence around his house; that fence becomes a real estate fixture. When John sells his house (and all its real estate) to Sally, in most instances, he cannot remove the fence because it is part of the real property.
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