title letter A letter that a title insurance
company gives to an attorney who then examines the title
for insurance purposes.
escrow Arrangements that an owner makes to
oversee the sale of one property and the purchase of
another at the same time.
offer A secondary bid for a property that the
seller will accept if the first offer fails.
Backwater valve A valve in a sewer line that prevents
sewage from flowing back into a house.
sheet A statement that shows the assets, liabilities
and net worth of an individual.
loan A mortgage in which monthly installments
are not large enough to repay the loan by the end of
the term. As a result, the final payment due is the
lump sum of the remaining principal.
payment The final lump sum payment due at the
end of a balloon mortgage.
construction A type of framing used in two-story
homes in which studs extend from the ground to the ceiling
of the second floor.
Railing held up by a set of posts on a porch or stairway.
A proceeding in which an insolvent debtor can obtain
relief from payment of certain obligations. Bankruptcies
remain on a credit record for seven years and can severely
limit a person's ability
sale The sale of a piece of property for less
than market value.
Any board or molding found at the bottom of an interior
electric heat Heating units installed in the
floor that can be controlled by a central thermostat.
The area of a home below ground level.
Point A basis point is one one-hundredth of
one percentage point. For example, the difference between
a loan at 8.25 percent and a mortgage at 8.37 percent
is 12 basis points.
The opening between two columns or walls that forms
window A window that projects outward in a
wall A wall that supports its own weight in
addition to other parts of a structure.
income Total income before taxes are deducted.
The lender who makes a loan, also called a mortgagee.
The person borrowing money is the mortgagor.
Personal property given to a person through a will.
An improvement that increases a property's value as
opposed to repairs that maintain the value.
war Offers from multiple buyers for a piece
of property. Agents also sometimes compete to list a
house for sale.
contract A contract in which the parties involved
give mutual promises. Also called "reciprocal"
of sale A document that transfers ownership
of personal property.
A report issued by a title insurance company that details
the condition of a home's title. and provides guidelines
for a title insurance policy.
mortgage A mortgage that requires payments
every two weeks and helps repay the loan over a shorter
insurance policy A policy that covers more
than one person or piece of property.
mortgage A mortgage that covers more than one
property owned by the same borrower.
area A neighborhood that has deteriorated.
nailing Nails driven into a wall and concealed
sky laws Regulations on the sale of securities
to prevent consumers from investing in fraudulent or
high-risk companies without being informed of the risks.
condition A house maintained close to its original
condition. Also called mint condition.
Board foot Measurement of lumber that
is the equivalent of 144 cubic inches.
of Equalization A state board charged with
ensuring that local property taxes are assessed in a
siding Siding is composed of 8- to 12-inch
wide wooden boards nailed vertically to create a barn-like
Form language used in deeds, mortgages and other documents.
Details can be added by individual parties.
fide A legal term that refers to actions or
persons that are honest and in good faith.
An agreement that insures one party against loss by
acts or defaults of another party.
value The value of a property as a capital
asset based on its cost plus any additions, minus depreciation.
test An analysis of soil in which holes are
bored into the ground and samples are removed.
A section of a city that has authority over local matters.
Borrow Sand, gravel or other material
used for grading.
pit The hole at a site that has been excavated.
A street lined with trees or constructed with a landscaped
The dividing line between two adjacent properties.
framing A construction method in two-story
homes in which the frame is reinforced with posts and
of contract The failure to perform provisions
of a contractwithout a legal excuse.
of covenant The failure to obey a legal agreement.
of warranty A seller's inability to pass clear
title to a buyer.
Break-even point The point in which
the owner's rental income matches expenses and debt.
height The height at which the diameter of
a tree is measured: four feet, six inches above the
A roofed passageway with open sides.
Building material made from clay molded into oblong
blocks and fired in a kiln.
loan A short-term loan for borrowers who need
more time to find permanent financing.
A person licensed by the state to deal in real estate.
The act of bringing together two or more parties in
exchange for a fee or commission.
clean The ideal condition of a building when
it is turned over to an owner or tenant.
Brownstone A vintage row house constructed
of red sandstone.
strip A parcel of land that separates two or
upgrades Extra house features or better finishing
materials that a builder offers.
and loan association An organization that raises
money to helps its members purchase real estate or construct
code A comprehensive set of laws that controls
the construction or remodeling of a home or other structure.
inspector A city or county employee who enforces
the building code and ensures that work is correctly
line or setback Guidelines that limit how close
an owner can build to the street or an adjacent property.
Building moratorium A halt on home
construction to slow the rate of development.
paper A thick, water-resistant paper that serves
permit A permit issued by a local government
agency that allows the construction of home or renovation
of a house.
restrictions Regulations that limit the manner
in which property can be used.
Appliances or other items that are framed into a home
or permanently attached.
A retaining wall designed to hold back water from the
ocean or another body of water.
of rights The various interests or rights an
owner has in a property.
A small one-story house or cottage.
roof A roof formed by two gables that dip in
the middle to resemble a butterfly's wings.
mortgage A home loan in which the lender receives a
premium as an inducement to reduce the interest rate
during the early years of the mortgage.
broker A real estate broker who exclusively
represents the buyer's interests in a transaction and
whose commission is paid by the buyer rather than the
market A slow real estate market in which buyers
have the advantage.
remorse An emotion felt by first-time homebuyers
after signing a sales contract or closing the purchase
of a house.