Real Estate Dictionary
- The voluntary relinquishment of rights of ownership or another
interest (such as an easement) by failure to use the property, coupled
with an intent to abandon (give up your interest). Time limits vary
- A reduction or decrease. Usually applies to a decrease of assessed
valuation of ad valorem taxes after the assessment and levy.
- The filling of space, such as the rental of units or sale of a
tract of land. The time or rate must be estimated and considered
as part of the owner's (often a builders) cost.
- A Summary; an abridgment.
OF JUDGMENT - A summary of the essential provisions of a court
judgment, which when recorded in the county recorder's office, creates
a lien upon the property of the defendant in that county, bout presently
owned or after acquired.
OF TITLE - A compilation of the recorded documents relating
to a parcel of land, from which an attorney may give an opinion
as to the condition of title. Still used in some states, but being
replaced by title insurance.
- The vertical members (walls or heavy columns) which bear the load
or pressure of the cross member, such as a arch, pier, or similar
OWNER - One whose land is contiguous to (abuts) a public right
CLAUSE - Condition
in a mortgage that may require the balance of the loan to become
due immediately, if regular mortgage payments are not made or
for breach of other contract conditions.
DEPRECIATION - A general term including any method of depreciation
greater than straight line depreciation.
- Voluntarily agreeing to the price and terms of an
offer. Offer and acceptance create a contract.
- The right of an owner to an increase in his property by natural
RIGHT - A right to ingress and egress to and from one's
property. May be expressed or implied.
- The gradual addition to the shore line or bank of a waterway.
The land generally becomes the property of the owner of the shore
or bank, except where statutes specify otherwise.
- A written declaration by a person executing an instrument, given
before an officer authorized to give an oath (usually a notary public),
stating that the execution is of his own volition.
COSTS - Costs of acquiring property other than purchase price:
escrow fees, title insurance, lenders fees, etc.
- A measurement equal to 160 square rods or 43,560 square feet.
OF GOD - Damage caused by nature: floods, winds, etc.
- Something added. (A list added to a document, letter or contract.)
- touching or contiguous to.
- A judgment or decision by a court.
GROSS INCOME - Gross income of a building if full rented, less
an allowance for vacancies. A person's income after taxes.
VALOREM - "According to value". In real estate
it refers to the property tax rate per thousand.
ADVERSE POSSESSION - Most states have laws which permit someone
to claim ownership of property which is occupied by him for a number
of years. This is common where a fence is erected over a boundary
line (called and "encroachment") without the objection of the rightful
owner. After a number of years, the person who erected the fence
may be able to commence a court proceeding to declare that the property
belongs to him.
OF SALE - Meaning varies by state. It is synonymous with either
a purchase agreement or a land contract.
- Any relationship win which one party (agent) acts for or represents
another (principle) under the authority of the latter. Agency involving
real property should be in writing, such as listing, trusts, power
of attorney, etc.
Acts of behalf of another, representing that person's interests
and serving as an intermediary.
- Transfer of property from one owner to another.
CLAUSE- A clause within a loan instrument calling for a debt
in its entirety upon the transfer of ownership of the secured property.
Also called a "due on sale" clause.
ALTA - American Land Title Association.
- A change, either to correct an error or to alter a part
of an agreement without changing the principal idea or essence.
- Those settings or improvements to property which increase the
desirability or enjoyment other than necessities. For example a
- Payment of a debt over equal installments of principal and interest,
rather than interest only payments.
PERCENTAGE RATE(APR) - The total cost or finance charge for
a loan per year, expressed as a percentage of the loan amount. It
is the sum of the interest and any other fees, such as discount
points, compared to the amount of the loan. The lender is required
by the Truth-In-Lending Act to disclose the APR using a procedure
prescribed by the federal government.
AGREEMENT - An agreement between a man and a woman in contemplation
of marriage, setting forth the property rights of each during the
marriage, and in the even of death or divorce.
- An opinion of value at a given time, based upon a factual analysis
of the location, improvements, etc., done by a disinterested person
of suitable qualifications. The three methods are: Cost, Market
Value, or Income.
ARM - An adjustable rate mortgage. A loan whose interest rate
may adjust over time depending on certain factors or a predetermined
ARREARS - A payment made after it is due is in arrears, versus a payment made before it is due. Interest is said to be "paid in arrears" where it is made current, by agreement, to and including the payment date.
WELL - A well well bored into a subterranean body of water,
which, being under pressure, rises naturally to the surface without
IS" CONDITION - Premises accepted by a buyer or
tenant in the condition existing at the time of the sale or lease,
including all physical defects.
PRICE - The price a seller is offering property for sale. The
eventual selling price may be lower after negotiation with a buyer.
In a tight market competition among buyers may cause the final
price to exceed asking price.
- The acquisition of contiguous properties into one ownership for
a specific use.
VALUE - Value placed upon property for property tax purposes
by the tax assessor.
- An act of seizing persons or property by judicial order.
CLAUSE - The clause in a document (deed or mortgage) in which
the witnesses certify that the documents has been properly executed.
TITLE LETTER - In states where attorneys examine title for title
insurance purposes, this letter is given by a title insurance company
to an attorney, giving to said attorney the condition of title as
of a certain date.
OFFER - A secondary offer to buy property, used in case the
first (primary) offer fails.
PAYMENT - The final installment paid at the end of the term
of a note. For example; a buyer may take out an interest only
loan for five years with the principle due at the end of this
POINT - A finance term meaning a yield of 1/100th of 1%
- A room containing a toilet, sink and either a bathtub or a bathtub
and shower combination. A room with the above but a shower in place
of a tub is called a 3/4 bath. If the room only has a sink and toilet
it is called a 1/2 bath.
- A strip of insulation fitting closely between the studs of
- A narrow strip (usually wood) used to cover seams between
MARK - A survey mark showing the height of that point in relation
to seal level.
- Twice per year.
- Every two years.
(RECIPROCAL) CONTRACT - Contract under which the parties expressly
enter into mutual promises, such as sales contracts.
- Two levels. Commonly refers to construction of a house. Also called
OF SALE - An instrument by which one transfers personal property.
- 1) A report issued by a title insurance company setting forth
the condition of title as of a certain date, and setting forth the
conditions which if satisfied will cause a policy of title insurance
to be issued. 2) A policy of title insurance calling for a reduced
rate (used by investors) for a future policy if the property is
sold within a specified period.
MORTGAGE (Trust Deed) - A
single mortgage or trust deed which covers more than one piece
of real estate.
- 1) In a city, a square or rectangular area enclosed by streets.
2) In some states, a part of a subdivision legal description, such
as Lot 1, Block 2, Tract 7.
BUSTING - An illegal method of obtaining houses at below
fair market value by telling residents that people of a different
race or religion, moving into the area, will cause the property
values to fall.
- A lumber description meaning 2 inches thick and 8 or more
AND BATTEN - A siding construction of wide boards (usually one
foot wide) placed 1/2 inch apart; the seams are covered by 3 inch
PLATE - The form of language used for contract, CC&R's (restrictions),
- 1) An insurance agreement insuring against loss by acts or
default of a third party. In construction a performance bond insures
that the builder will finish the projects.
OF CONTRACT - Failure to performance a contract, in whole or
part, without legal excuse.
- 1) In construction of a house with no garage, a canopy which
extends from the house over the driveway as a protection from the
weather for an automobile and for those people going between the
house and the automobile. 2) A covering over a porch or patio, connecting
two sections of a house or garage. Open on two sides, allowing air
(LOAN) FINANCING - A form of interim loan, generally made between
a short term loan and a permanent or long term loan, when a borrower
needs to have more time before taking on long term financing.
- Floor joist bracing, usually of wood or metal.
- The act of bringing together principals (buyer-seller,
landlord-tenant, etc.) for a fee or commission, rather than acting
as a principal.
COMMISSION - see commission.
REAL ESTATE - One who is licensed by the state to carry on the
business of dealing in real estate. A broker may receive a commission
for his or her part in bringing together a buyer and seller, landlord
and tenant, or parties to an exchange.
CLEAN (BROOM SWEPT) - A term used to describe the condition
of a building, delivered to a buyer or tenant. As the term indicates,
the floors are swept and free of debris.
ZONE (BUFFER STRIP) - A parcel of land separating two other
parcels or areas, such as a strip of land between and industrial
and residential area.
- One whose occupation is the construction of structures (homes
CONTRACT - A contract setting forth the terms under which construction
is to be undertaken. Price may be based on a flat sum or cost plus
LINE - a line beyond which there can be no construction.
PERMIT - A permit given by a local government to construct a
building or make improvements.
RESTRICTIONS - Prohibition by a government body (zoning restrictions)
or a private party (a former owner) against construction of certain
structures on a property.
- Commonly described as stoves, microwaves, dishwashers, ovens,
and other appliances or furniture framed into the building construction
and not movable.
- 1) a retaining wall to hold back water and thereby extend
the shoreline. 2) A metal double doorway that leads to the basement.
- A copper bar through which electrical current flows.
- A steep hill, usually standing alone.
- A support for a wall. A prop.
MARKET - A condition favoring the buyers. More homes for sale
then there are interested buyers.
OFFER - An offer by one owner to buy out the interests of another
owner, partner or shareholder.
CABLE - The main conduits coming into a house. Electrical wiring
that runs through metal conduits.
- Rules and regulations, adopted by an association or corporation
that govern its activities. I.E. a condo association or neighborhood
RANCH ARCHITECTURE - A sprawling, one story, ranch-style building,
lending itself to interior flexibility in floor plan design.
CLAUSE - A clause in a contract, setting forth the terms
and conditions under which each party may cancel or terminate
POWER - The intensity of a light, expressed in candles.
- A present value of income property by taking the annual net
income (either known or estimated) and discounting by using a rate
of return commonly acceptable to buyers of similar properties. Example:
Net Income = $10,000 per year. Capitalizing at a rate of 10%, the
property would be worth $100,000. (10,000 / .1 = 100,000)
RATE - The percentage (acceptable to an average buyer) used
to determine the value of income property through capitalization.
- A roof supported by pillars or cantilevered which shelters a car.
WINDOW - A window hinged at its sides, allowing it to
swing open vertically.
SALE - A A sale for full payment in cash.
- The exterior surface covering an item: window, door, roof, etc.
EMPTOR - "Let the Buyer Beware". Legal maxim stating
that the buyer takes the risk regarding the quality or condition
of the item being purchased. States have enacted laws placing more
responsibility for disclosure on the seller and the real estate
- Covenants, conditions, and restrictions.
OF OCCUPANCY - A certificate issued by a local building department
to a builder or renovator, stating that the building is in proper
condition to be occupied.
OF SALE - Certificate issued by a buyer at a judicial
sale (for example a tax sale), which entitles the buyers to a deed
upon confirmation of the sale by the court under under certain conditions.
OF TITLE - In areas where attorneys examine abstracts or chains
of title, a written opinion, executed by the examining attorney,
stating that title is vested as stated in the abstract.
COPY - A true copy, attested to be true by the officer holding
OF TITLE - The chronological order of conveyance of a parcel
of land, from the original owner (usually the government) to the
AND LINKS - Real estate measurements used in surveying.
A chain is 66 feet long or 100 links, each link being 7.92 inches.
- Personal property.
MORTGAGE - A lien on personal property.
REAL - All estates in real property less than fee estates,
such as a lease.
BLOCK - A building block composed of cinders (ashes) and
cement, which does not have the weight or strength of a cement block.
HEAD WINDOW - A semicircular window, usually above a door or
another window, which has no moving parts and is used as a decorations
as well as a method of adding light.
BREAKER - An electrical device which has taken the place
of fuses in most homes. the circuit breaks when there is an electrical
overload. Rather than replace a fuse you reset a circuit breaker.
- A tank used to store rain water for use in areas where there
is no water delivered to the property through plumbing.
- Narrow boards used as siding for frame houses, and having
one edge thicker than the other. The boards run horizontal with
the thicker edge overlapping the thinner edge.
TITLE - Usually called "Free and Clear" or without
liens or mortgages.
- In real estate it refers to the principal of a real
estate agent, insurance agent, stock broker, etc. Traditional meaning
is one who represented by an attorney.
- The final procedure in a real estate transaction in which documents
are executed and recorded, and the sale or loan is completed.
COSTS - Expenses incidental to the sale of real estate, such
as loan fees, title fees, appraisal fees, etc.
STATEMENT - The statement which lists the financial settlement
between buyer and seller and which costs each must pay at the time
ON TITLE - An invalid encumbrance on real property, which if
valid, would affect the rights of the owner. For example X buys
lot A but by mistake it is recorded as the purchase of lot B. A
cloud now exists on lot B. The cloud may be removed by quitclaim
deed or court order.
HOUSING - Houses built close together with small yards and shared
common lands. To preserve open spaces governing bodies often allow
more houses to on a parcel of land in a cluster development than
it would if each house was on a standard size lot.
- A comprehensive set of laws drawn up to cover completely a given
subject. Covers diverse subjects, such as the criminal code, and
the building code.
- Often mistakenly used to mean collateral security (see below)..
ASSIGNMENT - An assignment of property as collateral security,
and not with the intent to transfer ownership from assignor to assignee.
SECURITY - Most commonly used to mean some security in addition
to the personal obligation of the borrower.
- An agreement of two or more people to do something unlawful.
Generally, an agreement between people who represent different interests
and "sell out" these interests for personal gain.
- A security under a loan. The co-maker is equally responsible
for repayment as the borrower (maker). Sometimes referred to as
the "Co-Signer" on a loan.
- To mix funds held in trust with other funds. A broker or builder
must open a trust account to hold deposits that are directed to
another party provided certain events take place. It is legal to
place more than one client's funds into the trust account. However,
it is illegal to add these funds to any other account therefore
commingling the funds.
- An amount, usually a percentage, paid to an agent (real estate
broker) as compensation for services. The amount is generally a
percentage of the sales price or total rental.
- A written promise to make or insure a loan for a specified
amount and on specified terms.
- The taking of private property for public use without the
consent of the owner, but only upon payment of just compensation.
- In real property law, some limiting restriction to a grant or
conveyance of property, stating that upon the happening or failure
to happen of a stated event, the estate shall be changed in some
COMMITMENT - A loan commitment that will become true if what
the borrower (buyer) told the finance company can be verified. Sometimes
referred to as a pre-approval.
SALES CONTRACT - A sale in which the title to property remains
with the seller until the purchaser has fulfilled the terms of the
contract, usually payment in full.
- A structure of two or more units, the interior space of which
is individually owned; the balance of the property (both land and
buildings) is owned in common by the owners of the individual units.
The size of each unit is measured from the interior surfaces of
the exterior walls, floors, and ceiling. The balance of the property
is called the common area. A new form of condominium agreement is
for all or a portion of the land exclusive of the building, sidewalks,
PRINCIPLE OF - An appraisal term stating that general uniformity
of the structures in an area will produce the highest value.
DAMAGES - Damages created by a change in other property.
An owner's right to compensation varies with state stature.
- Preservation, through zoning, of improved areas to maintain the
quality of the area.
- Anything which is, legal, of value, and induces one to enter
into a contract.
COST - The total cost of building, including overhead and profits
as well as land, labor, and materials.
LOAN - Short term financing of real estate construction.
- Near or close to , whether actually touching or not. Generally
refers to touching or bordering on.
- Commonly, the dependence upon a stated event which must occur
before a contract is binding For example, the sale of a house
could be contingent on the buyer obtaining financing.
FEES - Fees to be paid only in the event of a future occurrence.
A broker's commission is paid only if the property is sold or
leased (unless otherwise agreed upon). A buyer broker may
be paid a fee that counts toward a commission in the even a property
is purchased, but it may be forfeited if a transaction does not
take place within a time certain.
- An agreement between two or more persons or entities which creates
or modifies a legal relationship. Generally based upon offer and
OF SALE - In some areas of the country, synonymous with land
contract. In other areas synonymous with purchase agreement.
LIEN - A voluntary lien such as a mortgage or deed of trust.
LOAN - A mortgage or deed of trust not obtained under a government
- 1) Legal term referring to the "legal" changing
from real to personal property (or vice versa), although there is
no actual change in the property. 2) A taking of something for one's
own use which was originally in his possession only to hold for
the owner. 3) The changing of an apartment to a condominium.
- Transfer of title to land. Includes most instruments by which
an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged, or assigned.
BROKER - The broker who finds the buyer and so shares
in the commission with the listing broker.
- A measure, usually associated with cut wood. Pile of wood 4' high,
4' wide, and 8' long equal to 1.28 cubic feet.
- The "crowning" member of a wall. The top molding near
PROPERTY - That property which can be touched. An example would
be a window glass. The view through the window is incorporeal.
APPROACH - An appraisal method, estimating the replacement
cost of a structure, less depreciation, plus land value.
ESTIMATING - 1) In construction, the expenditure of building
based on a detailed cost of materials (usually includes the cost
of labor). 2) In appraisal the term is general, referring to replacement
cost, but not limited to a specific method of arriving at the
CONTRACT - A building contract setting the builder's profit
as a percentage of the actual cost of labor and materials.
OFFER - An offer (as opposed to an acceptance) in response to
a offer. For example A offers to buy B's house for X dollars. B responds
with an counter that is higher than what A offered. B's response is
a counter offer. In the absence of specific language to the contrary,
a counteroffer is a rejection of an offer.
OF BROKERS - Willingness of a seller to pay a commission to
any broker supplying a suitable buyer, or the willingness of a listing
broker to share the commission with any broker supplying a suitable
- Refers to any written agreement. In real estate the covenant is
most often expressed in a deed by the grantor or implied by law.
OF QUIET ENJ0YMENT - Usually inserted in leases or conveyances
whereby grantor promises that the tenant or grantee shall enjoy
possession of the premises in peace and without disturbance caused
by defective title.
REPORT - A report on the past ability of a loan applicant to
pay installment payments.
(Certificate of Reasonable Value) - An appraisal of property for
insurance purposes required by the Veteran's Administration.
DE SAC - A street or alley open at one end only. In real estate
the term usually applies to a dead-end street, in a subdivision,
with a large circular area where U turns are permitted.
- A common law interest of a husband in a deceased wife's property.
Abolished in most states.
BUILDER - One who builds for a specific owner, designing the
building or home to suit said owner's need, rather than building
a home speculating that a buyer can be found.
- A buyer of goods or services.
- 1) Money recoverable by one suffering a loss or injury. 2) The
loss of value to property adjourning a property taken in condemnation
proceedings, rather than the value of the property taken.
- Term used to designate a payment or amount owning, as opposed
to a credit which is an amount received or owed.
- One who owes a debt.
POSITION - Refers to the value over and above the amount
owned. Also known as equity.
- Any flat surface on a roof or porch that is not enclosed.
OF RESTRICTION - A set of restrictions (rules) filed by
a subdivide to cover an entire tract or subdivision.
- Actually, any one of many conveyance or financing instruments,
but generally a conveyance instrument, given to pass fee title to
property upon sale.
OF TRUST - An instrument used in many states in place of a mortgage.
Property is transferred to a trustee by the borrower (trustor),
in favor of the lender (beneficiary), and reconveyed upon payment
TITLE - Title which is not absolute but possible may be annulled
or voided at a later time. For example, Title conveyed to A with
the condition that A marries before age 21, or title will go to
TITLE - 1) Title to a negotiable instrument obtained by fraud.
2) Title to real property which lacks some of the elements necessary
to transfer good title.
NOTE - A note having no date for repayment, but due on demand
of the lender.
OF REAL ESTATE - That department of the state government responsible
for the licensing and regulation of persons engaged in the real
estate business. The person heading the department is usually called
The Real Estate Commissioner. Other names for the department are
The Division of Real Estate and The Real Estate Commission.
- Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase. Show
good faith. Commonly referred to as Ernest Money.
LIFE - A tax term meaning the number of years used to determine
depreciation of an asset. The useful life is defined by the IRS.
- 1) a Builder, 2) One who prepares the raw land for construction
and then sells the lots to one or more builders.
- A planned construction project - includes land and buildings.
LOAN - A loan for the purchase of land or off-site improvements
other than building costs. The land involved is used to secure the
- Real estate left by will.
- One to whom real estate is given by will.
- A testator who leaves real estate.
APPRAISAL - An estimate of value of real estate by one having
no personal interest in the property.
SALE - A sale of property when the seller is under extreme pressure
to sell. Generally the property is sold for less than market value.
INTEREST - Different estates in the same property, such as the
interest of the owner, lessee, mortgage holder, etc.
TAX STAMPS - Stamps affixed to a deed showing the amount of
transfer tax paid. In most states a stamp in now used instead of
TRANSFER TAX - A state tax on the sale of real property (real
estate) based on the sale price or equity transferred. Most states
quote the rate as X per thousand.
PAYMENT - Cash portion paid by a buyer from his own funds, as
opposed to that portion of the purchase price which is financed.
- 1) Commonly, a private road, paved or unpaved leading from a public
street or road to a private property. 2) The entrance to private
land for any purpose.
AGENCY - The representation of opposing principals (buyer and
seller) at the same time. Some states have declared that the real
estate agent aids the buyer but is the agent of the seller. In real
estate it means that both the buyer and seller are represented by
the same real estate brokerage company. A problem arises when both
buyer and seller pay the broker. Full disclosure must be made. An
escrow agent is the agent of the buyer and the seller and is usually
paid by both. This is why an escrow agent must be neutral.
- same as Alienation Clause.
MONEY - See deposit.
- A right created by grand, reservation, agreement, prescription,
or necessary implication , which one has in the land of another.
It is either for the benefit of land (appurtenant), such as right
to cross A to get to B, or "in gross", such as a public
APPURTENANT - An easement for the benefit of another parcel
of land, such as the right to cross parcel A to reach B. The easement
will pass with the transfer of property to a new owner.
IN GROSS - An easement for the benefit of a person or company,
rather than for the benefit of another parcel of land. Commonly
these easements are for the public utilities.
OF NECESSITY - An easement granted by a court when it is determined
that said easement is absolutely necessary for the use and enjoyment
of the land. Commonly given to landlocked parcels.
AGE - Age of a structure as estimated by its condition rather
than its age. May take into account rehabilitation and maintenance.
- A term concerning a right to come and go across the land (public
or private) of another. Usually part of the term ingress and egress.
- 1) Height above sea level. 2) The height measured from any point,
such as the elevation from a floor. Vertical elevation.
DOMAIN - A government right to acquire private property for
public use by condemnation, and the payment of just compensation.
LETTER - A letter from an employer stating the time a person
has been employed and the income from said employer.
- Generally, construction onto the property of another, as of a
fence, wall, building, etc.
ENCUMBRANCE - A claim, lien, charge or liability attached to
and binding on real property. A right to or interest in land which
may exist in one other than the owner, but which will not prevent
the transfer of free title.
- Surroundings. An appraisal term meaning the characteristics of
the area around a property which may have an affect of the value
of the property. For example a property bordering a golf course
as opposed to a highway.
LIEN - A lien in a court of equity, based on evidence of an
intent between debtor and creditor to create a lien on specific
property of the debtor, but a failure to legally create said lien.
MORTGAGE - 1) A lien against real property (mortgages) which
is enforceable in a court of equity, but does not legally constitute
a mortgage. 2) A deed given as security for a debt will be held
to be a mortgage, rather than a transfer of title.
market value of real property , less the amount of existing
PURCHASER - One who purchases the equity of another in real
property, either assuming or taking subject to existing mortgages
or deeds of trust.
- A reversion of property to the state in the absence of an individual
owner. Usually occurs when a property owner dies intestate, and
- Delivery of a deed by a grantor to a third party for delivery
to the grantee upon the happening of a contingent event. In some
states, all instruments necessary to the sale (including funds)
are delivered to a third (neutral ) party, with instruction as to
- The interest or nature of the interest which one has in property,
such as a life estate, the estate of a deceased, real estate, etc.
- The prevention of one from asserting a legal right because of
prior actions inconsistent with the assertion.
- With regard to professions, a code of professional standards,
containing aspects of fairness and duty to the profession and the
- A court action to remove one from possession of real property.
Most commonly the removal of a tenant or tenants.
OF TITLE - A document establishing ownership to property. Normally
AGENCY AGREEMENT - See Agency agreement.
LISTING - A written contract between a property owner and a
real estate broker, whereby the owner promises to pay a fee or commission
to the broker if certain real property of the owner is sold during
a defined time period, regardless of whether the broker is or is
not the cause of the sale. The broker promises to put forth his
or her best efforts to sell the property, and may make specific
promises as to advertising or other promotion in certain instances.
RIGHT TO SELL - See exclusive listing.
- A continuation under the same conditions, as opposed to as renewal,
which implies new terms or conditions. An example would be to extend
a lease without changing the rent or terms.
VALUE - The value of notes, mortgages, etc., as stated on the
face of the instrument, without considering any discount.
CREDIT REPORTING ACT - Federal law protecting consumers
by establishing procedures to correct errors on credit reports.
Gives consumers specific rights in dealing with credit reporting
MARKET VALUE - Price that probably would be negotiated
between a willing seller and a willing buyer in a reasonable time.
Typically arrived at by comparable sales in the area.
MAE (FNMA) - The Federal National Mortgage Association.
It purchases, sells and guarantees conventional, VA or FHA mortgages.
SURVEY - A study of an area before construction of a project
to determine the probable financial success of the project.
FAIR HOUSING LAW - Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act which
forbids discrimination in the sale or rental of residential property
because of race, color, sex, religion or national origin.
HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FHLMC) - Known as Freddie
Mac. Purchases conventional mortgages loans in the secondary
REVENUE STAMPS - Also called IRS stamps. A transfer tax on the
sale of real estate that has ended at the Federal level and has
been taken up by most states. Most commonly known as a transfer
SAVINGS AND LOAN INSURANCE CORPORATION (FSLIC) - A federally charted
institution for savings and home mortgages, under the regulation of
the Federal Home Loan Bank.
TRUTH IN LENDING ACT - Requires disclosures about terms
and costs intended to give consumers cost vs. credit comparisons.
SIMPLE - An estate under which the owner is entitled to unrestricted
powers to dispose of the property, and which can be left by will
or inherited. Commonly, a synonym for ownership.
HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) - A federal agency that purchases
first mortgages, both conventional and federally insured, from members
of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
SCORE - Enables a credit grantor to score borrowers using a
system that measures ones historic credit history.
DOCUMENT - A document containing general provisions but not
regarding a specific property. The fictitious document is recorded
in all counties of a state. Whenever the same type of document is
recorded regarding a specific property, the provisions of the fictitious
document are incorporated by reference, saving the cost of printing
and recording extra pages.
- One acting in a relationship of trust, regarding financial transactions.
DECREE - A decree completely deciding all pending matters before
a court thus eliminating the need for further litigation.
COSTS - The cost of interest and other charges involved in borrowing
money to build or purchase real estate.
MORTGAGE - A mortgage having priority over all other voluntary
liens against certain property.
- Personal property which is attached to real property, and is legally
treated as real property while it is so attached. Fixtures, not
specifically exempted from an accepted offer to purchase, pass with
the real estate.
INSURANCE - Insurance indemnifying against loss by flood damages.
Required by lenders (usually banks) in areas designated (federally)
as potential flood areas. The insurance is written by private insurance
companies, but is federally subsidized.
PLAN - The layout of a building or portion of a building
showing the size of the rooms and the purpose of each.
FURNACE - A furnace with a fan or blower which forces hot air
through the ducts.
SALE - A sale which is not voluntary on the part of the owner,
such as to satisfy a debt. The selling price under such a sale would
not be considered market value.
- A proceeding in or out of court, to extinguish all rights, title,
and interest, of the owner(s) of the property in order to sell the
property to satisfy a lien against it.
SALE - A sale of property used as security for a debt, to satisfy
- The taking of an individual's property by a government because
the individual has committed a crime. In the United States, private
property cannot be taken, except by eminent domain upon payment
of just compensation, or for nonpayment of taxes.
AND CLEAN - Real property against which there are no liens,
especially voluntary liens such as mortgages.
- An estate, at least of duration of a lifetime, or of fee.
LINE - The depth to which the soil freezes.
DISCLOSURE - In real estate, revealing all the known facts which
may affect the decision of a buyer or tenant. A broker must disclose
known defects in the property for sale or lease. A builder must
give to a potential buyer the facts of his new development. A broker
cannot charge a fee to buyer and seller unless both know and agree.
- An open structure, usually in the garden where one may set and
enjoy the view. Also called a belvedere.
CONTRACTOR - One who contracts for the construction of an entire
building or project, rather than a portion of the work. The general
contractor hires the subcontractors such a plumbers and electricians.
LIEN - 1) A lien such as a tax lien or judgment which attaches
to all property of the debtor. 2) The right of a creditor to hold
personal property of a debtor for payment of a debt not associated
with the property being held. Must be done under an agreement since
since it is against the general precepts of law.
- To divide an area into districts, against the obvious natural
divisions, in order to accomplish an unlawful purpose. Examples
would be; to divide a school district to keep out certain people
for reason of race or religion. To divide a political district so
as to give power to a political party.
- a voluntary transfer of property without valuable consideration.
LETTER - A signed letter or statement from an individual providing
a ash gift to a borrower in order to qualify for a loan. The letter
or statement states that the cash gift does not have to be repaid.
MAE (GNMA) - Government National Mortgage Association.
A federal association working with FHA which offers special
assistance in obtaining mortgages, and purchases mortgages in
a secondary capacity.
FAITH - Something done with good intentions, without knowledge
of fraudulent circumstances, or reason to inquire further.
FAITH ESTIMATE - A document prepared by the lender showing borrowers
the estimated cost they will incur that will be payable at closing.
SURVEY - The survey from which our present system of townships,
sections, etc., was developed.
PERIOD - A period of time past the due date that a mortgage
payment or insurance premium may be made and not considered delinquent.
PAYMENT MORTGAGE (GPM) - A mortgage based on payments that will
be increased over time dependent on a predetermined schedule.
CLAUSE - A clause in the law permitting the continuation of
use which when established was permissible but because of a change
in the law, is now not permissible.
- One to whom a grant is made. Typically the buyer.
- One who grants property or property rights. Typically the seller.
INCOME MULTIPLIER - Using the gross annual income of a property
to calculate an estimate of a property's value.
LEVEL - Being at the level of the surrounding land, such as
the ground floor of a building.
- The clause in a deed, following the granting clause, which defines
the extent of the estate of the grantee.
INSURANCE - Insurance policy placed o n property improvement
that covers damage by fire or other natural causes.
- A French unit of measurement, equaling 10,000 square meters (2.471
- One who by law, rather than by will, receive the estate of a deceased
AND ASSIGNS - Words usually found in a deed, showing the interest
the grantee is receiving. A deed to "A, his heirs and assigns",
would grant the property to A, with the right to assign said property
or to have it descent to A's heirs upon A's death.
- An appraisal term describing an area composed of building of varied
styles or uses. Not as desirable as homogenous property.
AND BEST USE - The use of land which will bring the greatest
economic return over a given time.
COST - The cost of a building when first constructed.
- Portion of a loan held back by the lender until a contingency
is met. Typically 1.5 to 2 times the estimated cost of the repairs.
If the repairs are not made in the allotted time period these funds
are used to make the repairs. In construction financing, funds are
held back until, for example a certain percentage of a subdivision
has been sold, or a certain portion of a building have been completed.
- Similar of the same. In appraisal, an area having similar style
properties or properties of similar use is considered more valuable
that a heterogeneous area.
AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) - Department of the US Government
responsible for all facets of the federal housing and urban development
- Something apparent from the circumstances, rather than from direct
action or communication.
CONTRACT - A binding contract created by the actions of principals,
rather than by written or oral agreement of the parties. An Implied
Contract may not be enforceable in court.
- Generally, buildings, but may include any permanent structure
or other development, such as a street, utilities, etc..
(ENCUMBRANCE) - A claim, lien, charge, or liability attached
to and binding real property. Any right to, or interest in, land
which may exist in one other than the owner, but which will not
prevent the transfer of fee title.
AGREEMENT - An agreement by which one party agrees to compensate
another for any loss or damage the latter may suffer.
APPRAISAL - An appraisal by one who has no interest in the property
or nothing to gain from a high or low appraisal.
- A factor used to calculate the interest on an adjustable rate
(ENDORSEMENT) - The act of the holder of a note, bill, check,
or other negotiable instrument, of assigning said instrument by
signing the back of the instrument, with or without qualifications.
AND EGRESS - A right to enter upon and pass through land.
GROSS - Personal rather than attached to land. An easement in
gross has no dominant tenement.
PERPETUITY - Of endless duration; forever.
- An examination of property for various reasons, such as a termite
inspection, inspection to see if required repairs were made before
funds were released. To determine the general condition of a building.
SALE OR CONTRACT - A tax term used to describe a sale which
is usually accomplished by use of a land contract. If the seller
receives less than x percent (at the time this was written 30%)
of the sale price in the year of the sale (not including interest),
the tax on the profit (gain) from the sale may be paid over the
installment period, providing the percentage rule is followed each
VALUE - Value of property for insurance purposes. Based on the
value of the property, less indestructible parts (land) for fire
insurance. For insurance purposes the sales price, market value,
or replacement value is used.
- A contract under which, for a consideration, one party (the insurer)
agrees to indemnify another (the insured) for a possible loss under
specific conditions. May be loss of life, health, property, or property
MORTGAGE - A mortgage insured against loss to the mortgagee
in the event of default and a failure of the mortgaged property
to satisfy the balance owning plus costs of foreclosure. May be
insured by FHA, VA or by independent mortgage insurance.
RATE - The percentage of an amount of money which is paid for
its use for a specified time. Usually expressed as an annual percentage
FINANCING - Temporary financing, usually for construction.
DECREE - A provisional or temporary decree, pending some contingency
before a final decree. Sometimes the contingency may be only the
passage of time.
- A court action which may be filed in an existing case to be the
initial action. One holding funds which are in dispute, but not
having in interest in the funds, would file an interpleader. Example
would be an escrow agent holding a deposit of a buyer which funds
both buyer and seller claim to be entitled. Escrow is willing to
give the funds to either party (buyer or seller) but does not want
to be liable. The interpleader filed by the escrow agent asks the
court to determine to whom the funds should be awarded.
TESTATE - Without leaving a will, or leaving an invalid will
so that the property of the estate passes by the laws of succession
rather than by direction of the deceased.
APPRAISAL - An appraisal by more than one appraiser, but
one which states common conclusions of all.
TENANCY - An undivided interest in property, taken by two or
more joint tenants. The interest must be equal, accruing under the
same conveyance, and beginning at the same time. Upon the death
of a joint tenant, the interest passes to the surviving joint tenants,
rather than to the heirs of the deceased.
TENANTS - Those holding joint tenancy.
(Judgment) - The decision of a court of law. Money judgments,
when recorded, become a lien on real property of the defendant.
FORECLOSURE - Foreclosure through court action rather than by
a power of sale. Judicial foreclosure is sometimes necessary to
remove certain tax liens.
SALE - A sale made under court order, by one court appointed,
rather than a voluntary sale by the owner.
LOAN - A home load that is monetarily more than the limits of
Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
LIEN - A lien which is subordinate to a prior lien.
COMPENSATION - In condemnation the amount paid to the property
owner. Just is defined as making the owner no richer or poorer than
before the taking.
PLATE - A metal or plastic strip, placed at the lower edge of
a door or riser to protect it from damage by accidental kicking.
- 1000 watts.
WINDER - The steps at the curvature of a circular stairway,
which are triangular, or kite-shaped.
- A small rounded hill.
- The hard irregular shaped defects in boards caused by cutting
at the point where the branch of a tree meets the truck.
- Leave alone, let proceed, French expression made used to describe
a theory that free trade promotes a better business climate that
COLUMNS - Load-bearing steel columns, which are filled with
- A general term which includes the ground and those things of a
permanent nature such as trees, crops, oil and minerals in the ground,
unless specifically excepted.
CONTRACT - A contract used in a real property sale where the
seller keeps the title to the property until the sales price has
PARCEL - A parcel of land surrounded entirely by privately owned
land, with no access to a public right of way (road). Condemnation
for a limited access highway is a major cause of such parcels.
- Act of modifying a landscape, or features used in such modification,
such as trees, lawns, grade changes, etc.
USE MAP - A map of a given area, showing the different land
uses in the area.
DEFECT - A hidden or concealed defect. One which could not be
discovered by inspection, using reasonable care.
- Removal of liquid waste material from sewage by filtration (gravel,
sand, etc.) or in which filtration materials are placed to remove
the liquid waste from sewage.
- An estate in realty held under a lease; an estate for a fixed
term. Considered in many states to be personal property.
WITH OPTION TO PURCHASE - A lease under which the lessee has
the right but not the obligation to purchase the property.
STREET MANAGEMENT - A Chicago area residential rental real estate management
firm owned and operated by Michael Lee.
DESCRIPTION - A method of geographically identifying a parcel
of land, which is acceptable in a court of law.
RATE OF INTEREST - A rate of interest established by
law, rather than by agreement.
TITLE - Usually title without ownership rights, such
as the title placed in a trustee under a deed of trust, or the
title in a vendor under a land contract.
- A general term encompassing all mortgages, and beneficiaries under
deeds of trust.
OF ATONEMENT - A letter from a grantor to a tenant, stating
that the property has been sold, and directing rent to be paid to
the grantee (new owner).
OF INTENT - A formal method of stating that a prospective developer,
buyer, or lessee, is interested in property. Not an offer and creates
no obligation. A builder may use letters of intent to justify a
loan to construct a property.
- Use of debt financing to purchase a property.
- A collection, seizure, assessment, etc. such as a tax levy.
- A general term used to describe all types of debts and obligations.
- A encumbrance (legal hold) against the property as security for
the payment of debt, mortgages, judgments or taxes.
- The length of time an improvement will last, either in relation
to its physical utility or as an accounting procedure.
ESTATE - An estate in real property for the life of a
living person. The estate then reverts back to the grantor or to
a third party.
- An agreement between an owner of real property and a real
estate agent, whereby the agent agrees to secure a buyer or tenant
for specific property at a certain price and terms in return for
a fee or commission.
AGENT - A real estate agent obtaining a listing. The opposite
of the selling agent.
- A lending of a principal sum of money to one who promises to repay
said sum, plus interest.
PACKAGE - The file of all items necessary for the lender to
decide to give or not give a loan. Items would include the information
of the prospective borrower (loan application, credit report, financial
statement, employment letters, etc.) and information on the property
(appraisal, survey, etc.). There may be a charge for "packaging"
POLICY - A title insurance policy insuring a mortgagee, or beneficiary
under a deed of trust, against loss caused by invalid title in the
borrower, or loss of priority of the mortgage or deed of trust.
TO VALUE RATION - Ration reflecting the mortgage loan amount
to the appraised value or purchase price of a home.
- The prohibition of prepayment of a loan secured by mortgage
or deed of trust, so that the borrower is "locked in"
to the loan for a specific time period.
- Generally, any portion or parcel of real property. Usually refers
to a portion of a subdivision.
FEE - As applied to condominiums and planned developments, the
amount charged each unit owner to maintain the common areas. Usually
a monthly fee paid as part of the budget.
- One who executes (signs) as the maker (borrower) of a note.
LOT - A lot upon which construction of a building may begin.
Having all off-site improvements and approvals of government agencies.
- Salability. The probability of selling property within a period
of time, within a price range, for specific terms.
TITLE - Title which can be readily marketed (sold) to a reasonably
prudent buyer aware of the facts and their legal meaning concerning
liens and encumbrances.
VALUE - The highest price that a buyer is willing to pay and
the lowest price that a seller is willing to accept for real estate.
VALUE APPROACH - Appraising the value of property by comparing
the price of similar properties (comparables) recently sold. The
degree of similarity of the properties and circumstances of the
sale are important considerations in determining value.
PLAN - A zoning plan for an entire governmental subdivision,
such as a city. A comprehensive plan to allow a city to grow n an
orderly and sound manner, both economically and ecologically.
FACT - A fact upon which an agreement is based, and without
which said agreement would bet be made.
LIEN - A lien created by stature for the purpose of securing
priority of payment for the price or value of work performed and
materials furnished in construction or repair of improvements to
land, and which attaches to the land as well as the improvements.
AND BOUNDS - Description of land by boundary lines, with their
terminal points and angles. Originally meets referred to distance,
bounds to direction; modernly, the words have no individual meaning
of practical significance.
RIGHTS - The ownership of minerals (coal, gold, iron, etc) under
the ground, with or without ownership of the surface of the land.
LOT - The smallest allowable lot size for development,
as stipulated by local zoning laws.
- A statement or conduct by a person which represents to another
a fact which is not true. A seller, broker, or builder may have
a duty to disclose certain defects n property to a buyer or tenant.
Failure to disclose is also misrepresentation The misrepresentation
may be innocent( reasonably believed to be true), deliberate (known
to be wrong), or negligent (should have known). Depending on the
facts and extent of misrepresentation, there may be a suit for damages,
rescission of a contract, punitive action against the broker (loss
of license), etc..
- A guarantee of real estate from a borrower as security for the
payment of a loan to a lender.
INSURANCE - Insures the lender against nonpayment of a government
or conventional loan.
- The lender for a home loan.
- The borrower in a home loan.
LISTING - An exclusive listing, submitted to all members of
a real estate association, so that each member may have an opportunity
to sell a property.
CHANGE - In conveyancing, setting forth both the present name
of the grantor and the name under which said grantor acquired title,
if different. For example; Jane Doe, a married woman who acquired
title as Jane Smith prior to her marriage.
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS (NARA) - An association of people engaged
in the real estate business. Organized in 1908, it currently lists
over half a million members. NARA is dedicated to the betterment of
the real estate industry thorough education, legislation, and high
ethical standards for its members.
ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE BOARDS (NAREB) - A national trade
association whose members include not only real estate brokers,
but appraisers, property managers, and other affiliated groups.
ASSOCIATION OF REAL ESTATE BROKERS - An organization dedicated
to the betterment of the real estate industry and specifically to
the roll of blacks in the real estate industry. It is comprised
of black real estate brokers who have adopted the term "realists".
Founded in 1947.
AMORTIZATION - A loan schedule in which the principal increases
due to a payment that does not cover all of the interest.
- Capable of being negotiated. Commonly used to mean assignable
or transferable in the ordinary course of business, such as negotiable
bonds, securities, notes, etc. Many charges on home loans are negotiable
as is the price of buyer is willing to pay.
- A general term describing a contiguous area of similar properties.
Since the development of tract housing, the term is not as significant.
ACRE - An acre which may be used for building. Assume a builder
or developer purchases a 20 acre tract and uses 3 acres for roads,
sidewalks and other off-site improvements. The remaining 17 acres
are the net acres of the 20 acre tract.
INCOME MULTIPLIER - The number which, when multiplied by the
net income, gives the selling price. Found by dividing the sales
price by the net income. Usually, a gross income multiplier is used.
LISTING - A listing under which a real estate agent receives
any amount over a given net amount to the seller. Illegal in some
LISTING - A listing under which the real estate broker has an
exclusive listing as opposed to other agents, but the owner may
sell the property without using an agent, and not be liable to pay
a commission. Also called an agency agreement.
LOAN - A loan not allowing for a deficiency judgment.
The lenders only recourse in the event of a default is the security
(property) and the borrower is not personally liable.
- A unilateral agreement containing an express and absolute promise
of the signer to pay to a named person, or order, or bearer, a definite
sum of money at specified date or on demand. Usually provides for
interest and, concerning real property, is secured by a mortgage
or trust deed.
OF ACTION - A recorded notice that property may be subject to
a lien, or even that the title is defective due to pending litigation.
OF CESSATION - A notice stating that work has stopped on a construction
project. Done to accelerate the period for filing a mechanic's lean.
OF COMPLETION - A notice, recorded to show that a construction
job is finished. The length of time in which mechanic's liens can
be filed depends upon when and if a notice of completion is recorded.
OF DEFAULT - Written notice to a borrower showing default on
OF RESPONSIBILITY - A notice filed by an owner of property to
show that work being done has not been contracted by said owner.
If properly done, mechanic's liens will not attach to the property.
Often done when a tenant contract for work on a property.
OF PRECISION - A recorded notice to rescind a notice of default
of a mortgage or deed of trust.
TO QUIT - A notice by a landlord to a tenant to vacate rented
POSSESSION - A requirement for adverse possession. Possession
so open (notorious) that the owner is presumed to have notice of
it and its extent.
- Substitution of a new contract, debt, or obligation, for an
existing one, between the same or different parties.
- A use of property which interferes with the use and enjoyment
of other property by excessive noise, odors, fumes, or other harmful
or unpleasant emissions.
AND VOID - Void. Not legally binding.
PR0 TUNC - Now for then. Applied to acts or entries allowed
to be done after they should have been done, with a retroactive
WILL - An oral will, usually in a deathbed situation, before
witnesses who later testify to its authenticity.
- One to whom an obligation (promise) is owed.
- One who legally binds (obligates) oneself, such as the maker of
a promissory note.
- A presentation of proposal for acceptance, in order to form a
contract. To be legally binding an offer must be definite as to
price and terms.
AND ACCEPTANCE - Necessary elements of a contract o sell real
IMPROVEMENTS - Not on the property to be sold. An example
would be for the developer of a housing tract to sell only the house
and lot, but stipulate that he must build the streets, sewers and
etc. not on the lot.
IMPROVEMENTS - Structures erected permanently for use on a site,
such as buildings, fences, etc.
MORTGAGE - A mortgage permitting the mortgagor to borrow additional
money under the same mortgage, with certain conditions, usually
as to the assets of the mortgage.
HOUSE - Refers to a property that is available for public viewing
(without an appointment) during a set time period.
LISTING - A written authorization to a real estate agent by
a property owner, stating that a commission will be paid to the
agent upon presentation of an offer which meets a specified price
and terms. However, the agent has no exclusive right to sell and
must bring in his offer before any other offer is presented or accepted.
REPAIRS - Repairs necessary to keep a property in good condition,
against ordinary wear and tear, decay, etc.
COST - The purchase price of property, paid by the present owner.
The present owner need not be the first owner.
FEE - Lender's fee for processing and underwriting loan documents.
Usually a percentage of the loan such as 1%..
- One who has the rights of ownership.
MORTGAGE - Mortgage covering both real and personal property.
- A general term meaning any part of portion of land.
RELEASE - A release of a portion of property covered by a mortgage.
A sub divider may obtain a partial release as each lot is sold and
upon payment of an agreed upon amount.
- Lender involvement in a development for a percentage of the gross
sales or profit, as well as interest on the loan. Usually occurs
when money is difficult to obtain.
- The payment in full of an existing load or other lien.
ANNUM - Yearly, annually.
- The absorption of liquid into soil by seepage.
(PERK) TEST - The test to determine the capability of
the soil to absorb liquid, both for construction and septic systems.
DIEM - Daily.
BOND - A bond posted by a builder to insure completion
of a project.
- Continuing forever. In real property terms any condition extending
the inalienability of property beyond the time of a life or lives
in being twenty-one years.
SE - By itself; of itself; inherently.
PROPERTY - Any property which is not designated by law as real
LOAN - A loan made by two or more lenders on the same property
under one mortgage or trust deed. A 90% loan, for example may have
one lender loaning 80% and another (subordinate) lender loaning
the top 10% (high risk portion).
- Principal, interest, taxes and insurance, which combined make
a monthly mortgage payment.
COMMISSION - A board of a city, county or similar local
government, which must approve proposed building projects.
- All drawings necessary to a construction project, including the
(PLAT MAP) - A map dividing a parcel of land into lots, as in
BOOK - Holds plat maps.
PLAN - A plan of the location of improvement on a parcel of
land. Also called a plot map. Don't confuse with plat.
- A one time payment to lower the interest rate of a mortgage. One
point is equal to 1% of the total loan amount.
- A general term used to describe all contracts of insurance.
- Being in physical control of land or personal property, whether
the owner or not. Possession may be lawful or wrongful.
OF ATTORNEY - An authority by which one person (principal) enables
another (attorney in fact) to act for him.
- Amount a borrower can borrow predicated on certain conditions
such as an appraisal.
- The manufacturer of parts of a structure, such as walls, roofs,
etc, which are assembled at the construction site. More recently
called modular housing.
TITLE REPORT - A report showing the condition of title before
a sale or loan transaction . After completion of the transaction
, a title insurance policy is issued.
- Money paid for an insurance policy. The opposite of a discount.
INTEREST - Interest paid before becoming due.
ITEMS - Those expenses of property which are paid in advance
and will usually be prorated upon sale, such as taxes, insurance,
PENALTY - A fee paid by the borrower if loan is paid before
its due date.
PRIVILEGE - A right to prepay a loan without penalty, either
in full or in part.
EASEMENT - This is the right one property owner (dominant)
has over the property of a neighboring property owner (servient.)
It arises after a specified period of time wherein a portion of the
servient owner's property has been used by the dominant owner in the
open, with the servient owner's knowledge, without his permission and
under adverse conditions.
- A non-binding opinion of how much a borrower will be qualified
LENDING RATE - The most favorable interest rates charged by
commercial banks on short term loans, (not mortgages).
MORTGAGE INSURANCE (P.M.I.) - Insurance required by lender
from a non-government insurer if down payment is less than around
NOTE - A promise in writing, and executed by the maker, to pay
a specified amount during a limited time, or on demand, or at sight,
to a named person, or on order, or to bearer.
- Anything which is owned by someone.
LINE - The boundary line of a parcel of land.
TAX - Generally, a tax levied on both real and personal property;
the amount of the tax is dependent of the assessed value of the
RATE - To divide in proportionate shares, such as taxes, insurance
or other items which buyer and seller share as of the time of closing
or other agreed upon time.
- To divide (prorate) between buyer and seller.
- A potential buyer, seller or tenant rather than one which actually
in the process of buying, selling or leasing.
- A brochure, presenting for a prospective buyer or investor the
details of the offering.
- The term legally encompasses any agent who has written authority
to act on behalf of another.
LAND - Land belonging to the government.
OFFERING STATEMENT - A report given to prospective buyers or
investors for a new subdivision, stating the conditions of the offerings
(cost of common facilities and areas). Should disclose important
fact such as availability of schools, noise factors (i.e. airports),
or any other information that would effect the owner. Normally
issued by the real estate commission.
RECORDS - Usually located at the county level of government
and containing all documents which are necessary to give public
notice. The records are available to the public. Although a deed
does not have to be recorded it should be to protect the rights
of the owner.
REPORT - See Public Offering Statement.
SALE - An auction open to the public. Could be due to a foreclosure,
tax sale, excess state land sale etc. required notice (advertising)
and must be held in a place accessible to the general public.
UTILITY - Usually a gas, water, or electric company. Any
business given access to provide services for the good of the public.
Companies under the control of the Public Utilities Commission.
- An opinion not based on fact, but intended to enhance the value
of a property.
AUTRE VIE - During the life of another. A life estate measured
not by the life of the grantee, but by the life of another.
AND SALES AGREEMENT (PURCHASE AGREEMENT) - An agreement between
the buyer and seller of real property setting the price and terms
of the offer and acceptance.
MONEY MORTGAGE - A mortgage given by the buyer to the seller
as part of the purchase consideration.
- A quarter of section of a circle. One of the quarters created
by two intersection of a road or street.
SURVEY METHOD - Also called "price take-off" method.
A process of arriving at an estimate of new construction costs by
a detailed estimate of quantities of necessary building materials
plus labor costs.
SECTION - One quarter of a section equates to 160 acres.
DEED - A deed operating as a release; intended to pass any title,
interest, or claim which the grantor may have in the property, but
not containing any warranty of a valid interest or title in the
- A division of land in the government survey, being a six
mile wide row of townships. running North and south, and used in
legal descriptions. Generally used to describe and area where livestock
LAND - Land in its natural state with no improvements.
WILLING, AND ABLE - Capable of present performance. A broker
supplying an offer from a ready, willing and able buyer, which meets
the price and terms of the listing, is entitles to a commission,
even though the seller is not bound to accept the offer. A standard
listing agreement should sate this.
ESTATE - Land and anything permanently affixed to the land,
such as buildings, light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures.
Personal property is not attached and is not normally considered
real estate. The term is generally synonymous with real property,
although some states have a fine line to distinguish real property
from personal property. Real estate may refer to rights in real
property as well as the property itself.
ESTATE BOARD - A board comprised of regular members (real estate
brokers and salespersons) and affiliated members (lenders, title
companies, and etc.) for the purpose of furthering the real estate
business in a given area.
ESTATE BROKER - Someone licensed by the state to carry on the
business of dealing with real estate. A broker may receive a commission
for his or her part in bringing a buyer and seller together to transact
a transfer of title. Brokers may be compensated for leasing property
or for bring about an exchange of property. Broker are responsible
for the supervision of Associate Brokers, Realtors, and sales agents.
Commissions and all other forms of compensation related to real
estate must flow through the broker.
ESTATE COMMISSION - 1) A department in state government, 2)
the amount paid to a broker on the sale of real property.
ESTATE LICENSE - A state license granted to one as a broker
or salesperson, after passing an examination. Some states have educational
requirements before the brokers' examination may be taken.
ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (R.E.S.P.A.) - Requires advance
disclosure to consumers about mortgage loans and settlement costs.
- A member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
- A designation given to a real estate broker or sales associate
who is a member of a board associated with the National Association
of Real Estate Boards. By becoming a Realtor one must subscribe
to a strict Code of Ethics in conducting any and all Real Estate
business. A licensed real estate agent is not a Realtor unless they
join the national association and abide by its Code of Ethics. A
Realtor who is not a broker - owner works under their real estate
- Real estate.
- Re-estimating the value of all property in a given area for tax
- A discount or reduction in price of a product or interest, not
given in advance. Many states regulate gifts and educational aids
given to real estate brokers by supporting companies such as title
companies, calling these in effect, a price discount (rebate) or
- A court appointed person who holds property which is either in
dispute or cannot competently be handled by its owner.
- A mutual exchange of privileges by states, allowing attorneys,
real estate brokers, and others to practice in one state while being
licensed in another. Quickly being fazed our in real estate due
to the liability issues caused by laws that vary from state to state.
- An instrument used to transferring title from a trustee to the
equitable owner of real estate, when title is held as collateral
security for a debt. Also known as a deed of reconveyance or release.
- Filling instruments for public record (and notice) with a recorder
(usually a county official).
MAP - A map recorded in a county recorder's office. May be a
subdivision map or it may describe a non-subdivided parcel. Reference
to a recorded map is common in legal descriptions.
OFFICE - The county office where instruments are recorded, giving
public notice. Often referred to as the county recorder's office.
- Filing documents affecting real property as a matter of public
record, giving notice to future purchasers, creditors, or other
interested parties. Recording is controlled by stature and usually
requires the witnessing and notarizing of an instrument to be recorded.
ACTS - State statutes enacted to cover the public recording
of deeds, mortgages, etc, and the effect of these recording as notice
to creditors, purchasers, and other interested parties.
OWNER - Owner of record.
- The right of the holder of a note secured by a mortgage or deed
of trust to look personally to the borrower or endorser for payment,
not just to the property.
- Technical name for a clause in a conveyancing instrument or lease,
creating a reservation to the grantor or lessor.
- The process of canceling a defeasible title to land, such as is
created by a mortgage foreclosure or tax sale.
PERIOD - A time period during which a mortgage, land contract,
deed of trust, etc., can be redeemed. Usually set by stature, and
after judicial foreclosure.
LINING - The illegal practice of lending institutions denying
loans to certain areas of a community. Strictly against the law.
The term is used to describe an area on a map that lenders consider
"high risk" and in the past refused to service.
- In the real estate business, generally the act of a past client
recommending a real estate broker or agent to one currently seeking
to buy or sell real property. Also refers to a referral from one
real estate agent to another. This site screens agents and in effect
refers them to visitors.
- The borrower pays off one loan on a property and replaces it with
- An action to correct a deed or other document which, through mistake
or fraud, does not express the real agreement or intent of the parties.
OF DEEDS - A term used in some states to describe the person
in charge of recorded instruments. More commonly called a recorder.
Z - Federal Reserve regulation issued under the Truth-in-Lending-Law,
which requires that a credit purchaser be advised in writing of
all costs connected with the
- Payment of a note, mortgage, deed of trust, etc., to bring it
from default to good standing.
- The transferring of a portion of the liability to other insurers.
One insurance company may insure $250,000 of a $1,000,000 policy
by reinsuring the extra $750,000 with another company. The first
$250,000 is known as the primary liability and the second portion
only comes into play when the cost of settlement exceeds $250,000.
RATE - A charge for a title insurance policy if a previous
policy on the same property was issued within a specified period.
The reissue rate is less than the original charge.
ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST (R.E.I.T.) - A method of investing in
real estate in a group, with certain tax advantages. Federal and
state statutes dictate procedure.
- An instrument releasing property from the lien of the mortgage
judgment, etc. When a trust deed is used, the instrument is called
a reconveyance. In some areas, a "discharge" is used instead
of a release.
CLAUSE - A clause in a blanket encumbrance allowing for the
"release" of certain parcels upon payment of a specified
amount. A developer or builder might might have a blanket loan for
a subdivision that allows for the release of each parcel upon a
- An estate which vest n one other than a grantor. A grandparent
might grant the use of land to a child, but leave the land to a
grandchild upon the death of the parent. This also refers to the
portion of property remaining after a taking under eminent domain.
MAN - The one entitled to the remainder.
- To give up or remit. Used in a deed, especially a quick claim
- An appraisal term used to describe the land that remains after
the partial taking of a plot by eminent domain that is so small
or poorly shaped as to have no economic value.
- Improving a structure by changing its plan, characteristics or
function as opposed to reconditioning which would be to improve
a structure without changing its size or use.
- An attempt to agree on new terms to an existing contract. In real
estate this often refers to the repairs found during a "home
inspection". Could refer to an offer when the appraisal returns
a value below the price that the two parties had agreed upon.
COST - In appraising, the cost of a substitute property either
identical to or of equivalent utility.
COST - The cost of reproducing a property (usually one which
has been destroyed) at current prices using similar materials.
FOR RECONVEYANCE - A request by a beneficiary under a deed of
trust to the trustee, requesting the trustee to reconvey the property
(release of lien) to the trustor, usually upon payment in full.
- The recording of a deed for a second time to correct an error
contained in the deed. Also known as a correction deed, confirmation
deed, or reformation deed.
- To void or cancel in such a way as to treat the contract or other
object of the precision as if it never existed.
- A place where someone lives.
BUILDING RATE - The rate of residential construction in a given
area. Determined by housing starts per 1,000 population.
ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (R.E.S.P.A.) - A federal statute
effective June 20, 1975, requiring disclosure of certain costs in
the sale of residential (one to four family) improved property which
is to be financed by a federally insured lender.
SUPERIOR - Doctrine of responsibility of a principal for the
wrongful acts of an agent arising fro the authorized acts of said
agent. In real estate, one of the reason for the status of independent
OF ALIENATION - Restrictions placed against the transfer (vesting)
or sale of property. Certain restriction are lawful but must conform
to the rule against perpetuities and the free right of an owner
to sell. You could not sell on the condition that the grantee could
only resell to a member of a certain family as this would be too
- Most commonly used to describe a use of uses prohibited to the
owner of land. Restriction are set froth by former owners n deeds
or in the case of a subdivision, a declaration of restrictions is
recorded by the developer. A limitation on use of the property by
law (zoning ordnances) may be termed restrictions. A similar term
would be covenants.
COVENANT - See restriction
WITH THE LAND - Usually applies to easements and covenants.
Passing with the transfer of the land.
- Concerning the country, as opposed to urban - concerning the city.
- A sale and subsequent lease from the buyer back to the seller.
The lease actually follows the sale, but both are part of the same
RATIO - The ratio of the assessed value of a property to its
selling price, assumed to be the market value. Assume a house was
assessed at $80,000 and sold for $100,000 is would have sold at
125% of its assessed value ($100,000 / $80,000 = 1.25).
COMPARISON APPROACH - The construction and locations of homes
comparable to the subject property are used to form an estimated
value or appraisal.
CONTRACT - Same as a sales agreement, purchase agreement, etc.
Not the same as a land contract, which is a conditional sales contract.
See Purchase and Sales Agreement.
KIT - Materials carried by a sales person to aid in listing
and sales. Today these materials may be in printed or on a laptop
computer with a portable printer. The materials include forms, maps,
tape measure (or inferred-measure), amortization schedules, digital
camera, pens and paper.
- One who is licensed to work in real estate under a licensed broker.
- Discharge of an obligation by paying the amount due, such as paying
off a mortgage, trust deed, contract or judgment. Also known as
the recorded instrument stating payment has been made.
AND LOAN ASSOCIATION - An association chartered to hold savings
and make real estate loans. S&Ls are federally insured and active
in long term financing. As the laws change S&Ls are moving into
areas formally reserved for banks.
OF AUTHORITY - The authority of an agent to bind a principal.
The agent may bind a principal not only when the agent has actual
authority, cut implied or apparent authority as well.
MORTGAGE - A mortgage that ranks after a first mortgage in priority.
A single property may have several mortgages, each ranked by a number
to show which gets paid off in what order.
MORTGAGE MARKET - Market where investors buy and sell existing
mortgages. The purchasers of first mortgages or trust deeds are
banks, government agencies, insurance companies, investment bankers,
or government agencies. This allows lenders to keep an adequate
supply of money available for new loans.
- A division of land on a government survey comprising one square
mile (640 acres). Thirty-six section comprise a township.
- Real or personal property pledged or hypothecated by a borrower,
as additional protection for the lender's interest.
INSTRUMENT - The mortgage or deed of trust verifying the pledge
of real property as security for the repayment of a debt.
(INSTALLMENT) LAND CONTRACT - A form used in California which
combines a land contract with a deed of trust, creating a land contract
in order to defeat a first lender's "due-on-sale" (alienation)
clause but having the foreclosure provisions of a deed of trust.
AGENT - The real estate agent obtaining the buyer rather than
listing the property. The listing and selling agent may be the same
person or company (dual agency).
- A prefix meaning partly, one half or twice in a time period. Bi
is a prefix meaning every other.
PROPERTY - Property owned by a husband or wife in which the
other has no legal interest or ownership.
SYSTEM - A sewage system, whereby waste is drained through pipes
and a tile field into a septic tank. Located in areas where city
or county sewers have not yet been installed.
TANK - An underground tank into which a sanitary sewer
drains from a building. The sewage is held until bacterial action
changes the solids into liquids or gases, which are then released
into the ground.
- The operational procedures related to the collection of home loan
payments and other payments related to mortgage loans.
APPRECIATION MORTGAGE (SAM) - Loan in which the lender participates
in any profits when the property is sold.
DEED - A deed given at a sheriff's sale in foreclosure of mortgage.
The giving of this deed begins a statutory redemption period.
LINE - The lands alongside navigable waterways, between the
high and low water marks.
- An advertisement placed on a property showing that the property
is available for "sale". One of the three best methods
of selling a property along with the MLS and the Internet.
- The act of putting one's name on an instrument. It is now legal
to fax or email a signature.
SEALED, AND DELIVERED - A phrase indication that everything
necessary to convey and been done.
INTEREST - Interest payable on the principal amount of the loan
only. Compound interest is paid on the principal and accumulated
FAMILY HOME - Originally used to distinguish a house designed
for use by one family. Now included houses with no common area from
a planned development or condominium.
- A term signifying a plot of land suitable or set aside for a specific
ANALYSIS - The study of a specific parcel of land and the surrounding
area to determine its suitability for a specific use.
- The top layer of earth in which plants grow and through water
HEATING - Heating by use and control of the energy of the sun.
| SPALL - To break up or split off in layers parallel to a surface, as in bricks or stone.
ASSESSMENT - Lien assessed against real property by a public
authority to pay the cost of pubic improvements (sidewalks, water
pipes, sewers, streetlights, and etc.) which directly benefit the
- Written details or drawings showing a contractor how to proceed
- One's husband or wife.
FOOT - A one by one foot section of floor space. In construction
the number of square feet in a building or piece of land is often
used to help determine the sales price.
LIEN - An involuntary lien created by law. Includes tax liens,
judgments, mechanic's liens, etc.
MORTGAGE - A mortgage calling for principal to be paid in a
lump sum at maturity.
- One who works under a general contractor (builder), such as a
roofer, framer, electrical contractor, etc.
- Commonly know as a division of a single parcel of land into smaller
parcels (lots) by filing a map describing the division and by obtaining
approval by a governmental commission. A condominium is sometimes
called a "one lot subdivision".
TO CLAUSE - A clause in a deed stating that the grantee takes
title "subject to" an existing mortgage. The original
mortgagor is alone responsible for any deficiency, should there
be foreclosure of the mortgage. Different from an assumption where
one replaces another.
- Substituting the legal rights and claims from one creditor to
AGREEMENT - An agreement by which an encumbrance is made subject
(junior) to a junior encumbrance. A loan on land may be made subordinate
to a construction loan.
- The substitution of one person for another in order for the former
to exercise certain rights or claims for the latter. For example,
a life insurance policy on a person to cover a mortgage would be
paid to the holder of the mortgage.
RIGHTS - The rights (by fee or easement) to oil, gas, or minerals
below a certain depth. The right to of surface entry may or may
not be excluded.
- The area around a city.
PUMP - A pump used to force the collected liquid from a sump
in a basement. The sump being the area that collects the liquid.
- One who voluntarily binds himself to be obligated for the debt
or obligation of another.
RIGHTS - The rights (easements) to use the surface of land including
the right to drill or mine through the surface when subsurface rights
WATER - Water that spreads over the land and stays on the surface.
Swamp or water that percolates thought the ground.
- The giving up of an estate, such as a lease.
- The measurement of the boundaries of a parcel of land, its area,
and sometimes its topography.
- A loan can be suspended when more information is required. The
application is neither approved or denied.
-An association of individuals formed for the purpose of carrying
on some particular business venture n which the members have a mutual
COMMITMENT - Agreement by a lender to place a long term (take
out) loan on real property after completion of construction.
LOAN - Loan in which the lender provides long term financing
upon completion of construction.
PROPERTY - see Corporeal Property.
VALUE - Value in appraisal of the physical value (land, buildings,
etc.) as opposed to the value of an intangible such as a favorable
BASE - The assessed valuation of real property, which is multiplied
by the tax rate to determine the amount of tax due.
DEED - 1) Deed from tax collector to governmental body after
a period of non-payment of taxes according to state statute. 2)
Deed to purchase at a public sale of land taken for delinquent taxes.
The buyer receive equal title to what the former owner held and
strict procedures must be followed to prevent attachment of prior
DISTRICT - An area over which a governmental body has authority
to levy property taxes; may one or more assessment districts.
- A mandatory contribution of money to meet the expenses of a governmental
body, whether federal, state, or local.
EXEMPTION - Freedom from payment of property or other taxes
granted to religious, educational, and similar tax exempt organizations.
Some states and taxing authorities offer partial exemptions to individuals,
such a veterans, seniors, handicapped etc..
LIEN - A lien for nonpayment of property taxes. Only attaches
to the property upon which the taxes are not paid. Whereas a federal
income tax lien attaches to the individual and all he owns.
RATE - Traditionally expressed in dollars per thousand dollars
of evaluation. Such as $26 per thousand. A $100,000 property would
be taxes $2,600. Also referred to percentage of evaluation. Such
as taxes are accessed at 95% of evaluation.
ROLL - A published list, by taxing authority, containing the
descriptions of all parcels, the names of the owners (or whomever
receives the tax bill, i.e. trustee, etc.), the assessed value of
the property, and the taxes imposed.
SALE - Public sale of property at auction by governmental authority,
after a period of nonpayment of property tax.
SEARCH - The portion of the title search that determines if
there are any outstanding taxes or assessments that may constitute
a lien against the property being searched.
SHELTER - General term used to describe any property which gives
the owner tax advantages such as deductions for property taxes and
mortgage interest. In the case of rental property; insurance, maintenance,
and depreciation are included.
BUY DOWN - Money paid at closing to temporarily reduce the interest
rate of a mortgage.
BY THE ENTIRETY - A form of ownership by husband and wife where
each owns the entire property. In the event of death the survivor
owns the property without probate.
IN COMMON - An undivided ownership in real estate by two or
more persons. The ownership does not need to be equal and in the
event one member dies there is no right of survivorship.
FOR LIFE - Life estate.
IN SEVERALTY - One who owns property alone without any other
person being joined in ownership.
- The offer of money or performance in connection with a contract.
- The considerations in a sale, lease, or mortgage etc. other than
TRUST - A trust created by will.
- Having written a last will and testament.
- One who dies leaving a testament or will.
IS OF THE ESSENCE - A clause in contracts to bind one party
to perform at or by a specified time in order to bind the other
party to performance.
- The evidence one has of right to possession of land.
INSURANCE - Insurance policy protecting the owner or lender
against loss from defective title.
INSURANCE COMPANY - A company that issues insurance regarding
title to real property.
ORDER - An order for a search of the title to some parcel of
property, eventually leading to the issuance of a title insurance
PAGE - The page n a subdivision map which is signed by all parties
having an interest in the land, agreeing to the subdivision.
SEARCH - A review of all recorded documents affecting a specific
piece of property to determine the present condition of the title.
- A parcel of land. In some states, synonymous with a subdivision.
- The act by which the title to property is conveyed from one party/person
TAX - State tax on the transfer of real property. Some states
use the term, documentary transfer tax.
- A fiduciary relationship under which one holds property for the
benefit of another. The property is held for the beneficiary, by
the trustee and is created by the settlor.
- Someone appointed by the court and required by law to execute
a trust. May hold title to real property under the terms of the
DEED - A deed by a trustee under a deed of trust, issued to
a purchaser at at auction, pursuant to foreclosure.
FINANCING - A mortgage, deed of trust, etc. prior to (underlying)
a land contract, mortgage, etc, on the same property.
- One who insures another. A small title company may buy insurance
from a larger one (the underwriter) for all or part of the liability
or its policies.
PRINCIPAL - A principal whose identity is not revealed by an
INFLUENCE - Influence used to destroy the will of another so
that his decisions is not of his free will.
- Free of liens and other encumbrances. Free and clear.
COMMERCIAL CODE - A code/law which regulates the transfer of
personal property; it took the place of the various state statutes
covering chattel mortgages, conditional sales, trust receipts, etc.
- A term used to describe equality in the burden of taxation in
both assessment and the rate of taxation.
CONTRACT - A contract where one party expressly makes a promise.
the other party, although having made no reciprocal promise may
be obligated by law or may be required to give consideration.
OF TITLE - In joint tenancy, the holding by the joint tenants
under the same title.
TITLE - Not saleable. Having serious defects.
INSTRUMENT - A mortgage, deed, etc., which is not recorded and
therefore not protected under recording statutes. An unrecorded
instrument is valid between the parties but is not protected from
the innocent acts of third parties.
LIFE - An appraisal term for evaluation purposes. The economic
tax terms the number of years that an item can be depreciated. The
useful life starts over when a new owner acquires the property.
- Charging an interest rate greater than the rate permitted by law.
- Public utilities companies under the control of Public Utilities
Commission such as the gas, water, electric, and telephone companies.
FACTOR/RATE - The estimated percentage of vacancies in a rental
project. Derived from historic records, a professional guess, or
from the average of surround buildings.
- Legally binding. Carried out properly in accordance with legal
LOAN - A home loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans
Affairs. Enables a veteran to buy a home with no money down.
- The estimating of value. Appraisal. Assessment.
- The monetary value of an object. What a ready-willing-and-able
buyer would pay.
INTEREST RATE - An interest rate that fluctuates as the prevailing
rate moves up or down. In mortgages there are usually maximums as
to the amount and frequency that rate can change. Most have lifetime
- Buyer of a land contract.
- Seller of property. Commonly used term in land contracts.
- To confirm.
ADMINISTRATION (VA) LOANS - Housing loans to veterans by banks,
savings an loans, insurance companies and other lenders that are
insured by the Veterans Administration, enabling veterans to buy
a home with little or nothing down.
- Verification of Deposit.
- Having no legal force. Canceled.
LIEN - A lien placed against real property by the voluntary
act of the owner. Most common in mortgages or deed of trusts.
- Verification of Mortgage.
- The covering of an interior wall with wood (tiles, panels, etc.)
from the floor to a point approximately half way to the ceiling
with the remaining portion either painted, wallpapered, or covered
with a material different from the lower portion.
- To knowingly abandon, give up, surrender, or relinquish
a right, claim, or benefit.
- to relinquish a right. A subcontractors waver of their mechanic's
lien rights in order for the owner (usually a builder) to obtain
draws under a construction loan.
AIR HEATING SYSTEM - Hot air or forced hot air heating system.
Describes a system where the air is heated in a furnace an is circulated
through ducts. Enables the addition of central air conditioning
where as a forced hot water system may not.
- To legally assure that title conveyed is good and that possession
will be undisturbed.
- A legal, binding promise given at the time of sale whereby the
seller gives the buyer certain assurances as to the condition of
the property being sold.
DEED - A deed used in may states to convey fee title to real
- Property fronting on a body or water.
HOLDING CAPACITY - The amount of water a given type and amount
of soil will absorb and hold under normal conditions. The amount
is expressed as a percentage of the soil's own weight when dry.
TABLE - The depth measured from the surface to where natural
underground water as found.
AND TEAR - The deterioration or loss in value caused by the
normal and reasonable use of the property. In leases, the tenant
is not usually responsible for normal wear and tear.
- The deterioration of the exterior of a structure caused by exposure
- Strips of metal or felt, etc. installed between a window or door
and its casing to keep out wind, moisture and other elements of
HOLE - Small hole in a retaining wall where it is necessary
to drain off excess water to avoid pressure build-up.
- A hole or shaft dug into the ground to obtain water, gas, oil,
INTEREST - An interest of record which cannot be traced in the
chain of title. Often caused when an incorrect legal description
appears in a document. A woman could obtain title under her maiden
name and sell under her married name leaving no clear chain of ownership.
- Any natural or artificial structure which shelters by breaking
the force of wind.
SILL - The bottom framing member of a window casing.
RECOURSE - A finance term. A mortgage or deed of trust securing
a note without recourse allows the lender to look only to the property
FRAME CONSTRUCTION - Buildings in which the walls, roof and
floors are constructed of wood. The exterior covering may be of
any material such as stucco, brick etc.
MORTGAGE - A loan in which a new loan is added to the existing
first mortgage loan.
OF EXECUTION - A writ to carry out a judgment or decree of the
- A partition in a chimney which contains more than one flue, separating
BASIN - A system of docks and channels used for the keeping
of yachts and similar boats.
- A measure of 3 feet or 36 inches. The land area between a building
and the properties boundary line.
LUMBER - Lumber generally found in a lumber yard, that is graded
for general building purposes.
LOT LINE - The construction of a building on the boundary lines
of a lot. Usually built on the front line, such as a store built
to the sidewalk. In some states a lot is measured from the center
of a street or easement.
SIDE YARD - The building of a subdivision with each house built
on a side boundary line. An easement for maintenance is given over
a portion of the lot adjoining each lot.
- An area of a county or city set aside for a certain purpose where
the use of the land is restricted by law - zoning ordinance.
- The division of a city or county by legislative regulations into
areas (zones), specifying the use allowable for the real property
in these zones.
MAP - A map of a community showing the zones of permitted use
under zoning ordinances.
ORDINANCE - A law controlling the use of land and construction
of improvements in a given area (zone).
VARIANCE - A variance within a zone.