Definition of "Situs"

“What is Situs?”, you ask.

Situs is a word in Latin that basically means the site or location where something exists or originates. Like most words in latin, situs is usually used for legal purposes.

In the Real Estate Industry, you will hardly hear the word. But, when they do, real estate agents usually use in a way to refer to the physical site where a property is located to specifically pinpoint the geographic location of land based on its economic significance for taxation and legal rights connected to government housing questions.

For example, let’s imagine a commercial real estate agent using the term in a sequence:
“The storage is everything you ever wanted, but, in the long run, the situs might be a little costly for your budget”.

That’s not a highbrow use for the word. It was necessary to differentiate the property and everything related to the property value (its construction, size, price...) to the tax incurred because of its location (plus possible legal permissions problems).

Now, if another commercial real estate agent were to say “this Lexus dealership won’t do well because this isn’t a wealthy situs”, he would be just trying to show off. And failing to do so. After all, he didn’t mean the dealership wouldn’t do well because of tax or any legal problem, right? He meant there would be no customers around. Not to mention that, if the use of situs was warranted there, it would actually be a positive point for the location: a poor neighborhood is more likely to have less expensive tax than one where the property value of homes is high.

There are also times when situs is used in complicated legal decisions regarding real estate. Imagine there’s a merging dispute or an inheritance disclosure going on. One of the items is cattle. Cattle move around, right? Sometimes you have cows or horses out of state, but they are still your property. So the lawyer asks for a disclosure of the situs of that property (cattle). Almost like the plural of site: to understand the property value and the legal procedure (and the financial burden) it will take to retrieve it, he needs to know where it is currently located and the place where it originates from, so he can understand how to proceed and advise his client.

So, to sum up: Situs is the definition of a place in relation to its legal repercussion, particularly the economic ones like tax, that is normally registered in governmental forms when registering a property.

Comments for Situs

Marilynne Baldwin Marilynne Baldwin said:

Can two adjoining properties share the same situation address?

Aug 11, 2020  11:29:54

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Marilynne!

Technically, if the property is on the same plot of land or if its a home with a guest house on it, it should share the same address. However, if it's a piece of land that has two residences, they would have their own address. It would be best if you can tell us in what city and state the land is located, so we can find a real estate agent that can assist you.

Sep 10, 2020  07:48:21
James Horn James Horn said:

When I look at a County parcel map two of my three tax Lots show up as no situs on primary address what does this mean

Sep 24, 2018  19:12:52

Real Estate Agent

Hey James,
We're not sure. It could mean that there's no registry of tax issues on those, but we suggest you reaching out to a real estate agent or lawyer to figure that one out!

Sep 25, 2018  09:57:28
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