COMMONLY USED REAL ESTATE TERMS

Abstract of Title:

Condensed history of termtitle to real property consisting of a summary of the links in the chain of title extracted from documents bearing on the title status.

Accretion:

Gradual addition of land caused by natural forces, such as wind, tide, flood, or watercourse deposits.

Acknowledgement:

Formal declaration before an authorized official, by the person who executed the instrument, that is a free act.

Actual Notice:

Information a person has actually learned by reading, seeing, or hearing.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM):

A financing technique in which the lender can raise or lower the interest rate according to a set index.

Ad Valorem:

According to the value; in proportion to worth.

Agency:

Express or implied authorization for one person to act for another.

Agent:

A representative; one who is authorized to act on behalf of another.

Amortized Mortgage:

A loan characterized by payment of a debt by regular installment payments.

Appraisal:

Professional service provided by a registered, licensed, or certified appraiser or real estate licensee to produce an estimated value.

Appraised Value:

Estimated worth of a property determined by someone qualified in valuation.

Arbitration:

The act of having a third party render a binding decision in a dispute between two parties.

Assessed Value:

Worth established for each unit of real property for tax purposes by a county property appraiser.

Assignment:

Written instrument that serves to transfer the rights or interests of one person to another.

Associate:

Person working for a Broker.

Assumption of Mortgage:

Taking over an existing mortgage by the buyer.

Balloon Payment:

A single, large payment made at the maturity of a partially amortized mortgage to pay of the debt in full.

Breach:

Failure to do or perform what has been promised.

Broker:

A licensee who acts as a intermediary between two parties and negotiates contracts between them.

Buyer's Market:

The supply of available properties exceeds the demand.

Buydown:

A financing technique in which points are paid to the lender by the seller or builder that lowers (buys down) the effective rate paid by the buyer.

Bylaws:

Rules that govern the administration of a condominium.

Capital Gain:

The profit from the sale of an asset, including real property.

Certificate of Occupancy:

An occupancy permit issued by the local government after construction is complete and final inspection is approved.

Chain of Title:

A successive listing of all previous holders of title back to an acceptable starting point.

Closing:

Final settlement between the buyer and seller; the date on which title passes from the seller to the buyer.

Cloud on Title:

Any defect, valid claim, or encumbrance that serves to impair the title or curtail an owner's rights.

Commission:

Compensation paid to a broker for successfully concluding a real estate transaction.

Comparable Property:

A recently sold property simular to one being evaluated.

Comparative Market Analysis (CMA):

An informal estimate of market value performed by a real estate licensee for the seller to assist in arriving at an appropriate listing price, or if working with the Buyer,an informal estimate of market value to assist the buyer in arriving at an appropriate offering price.

Condominium:

A multi-unit project consisting of individual ownership of a dwelling unit and undivided ownership of common areas.

Conflicting Demands:

When different parties each make claims that are inconsistent with one another.

Contract:

An agreement between two or more competent parties to do, or not to do, some legal act for a legal consideration.

Conventional Mortgage:

A real estate loan granted that is neither FHA-insured or VA-guaranteed.

Cooperative:

A multi-unit project consisting of individual dwelling units owned by the corporation in which the individual apartment tenants own stock rather than owning their respective units.

Counter-Offer:

A rejection of the original offer by proposing a new offer, thereby terminating the original offer.

Declaration:

The legal document that the developer of a condominium must file and record in order to create a condominium under state law.

Deed:

A type of conveyance; a written instrument to transfer title to real property from one party to another.

Deed Restrictions:

Provision placed in deeds to control future uses of property.

Default:

Failure to comply with the terms of an agreement tor to meet an obligation when due.

Deposit:

Earnest money or some other valuable consideration given as evidence of good faith to accompany an offer to purchase or rent.

Decent:

The passage of title to real property upon the death of the owner to his or her legal descendants.

Discount Points:

A method for increasing a lender's yield.

Discount Rate:

The amount of interest the Federal Reserve charges to lend money to it eligible banks.

Documentary Stamps on Deeds:

Tax required on all deeds or other documents used as conveyances.

Documentary Stamps on Notes:

Tax required on all promissory notes.

Down Payment:

A portion of a purchase price paid prior to closing the transaction.

Due on Sale Clause:

A provision in a conventional mortgage that entitles the lender to require the entire loan balance to be paid in full if the property is sold.

Easement:

A right, privilege, or interest in real property the one individual has in lands belonging to another; a legal right to trespass; right-of-way authorizing access to or over the land.

Encumbrance:

Any lien, claim, or liability affecting the title or attaching to real property.

Equity:

The market value of a property less any debt against it.

Erosion:

Gradual loss of land due to water or other natural causes.

Escalator Clause:

A provision in a mortgage permitting the lender to increase the interest rate that is usually tied to an event or a contingency.

Escrow Account:

An account in a bank, title company, credit union, savings association, or trust company used solely for safekeeping customer funds and not for deposit of personal funds.

Escrow Disbursement Order (EDO):

A course of action for determining the disposition of a contested deposit.

Estate:

Tenancy; the interest one holds in real property.

Estate by the Entireties:

A tenancy created by husband and wife jointly owning real property with instant and complete right of survivorship.

Estate for Life:

Tenancies whose durations are limited to the life of some person; known also as Life Estate.

Estate for Years:

A tenancy measured from a starting point to a termination date.

Estate in Fee:

The most comprehensive and complete interest one can hold in real property; known also as Fee Simple Estate.

Estate in Reversion:

An estate that comes back to the original grantor.

Estoppel Certificate:

A written statement that bars the signer from making a claim inconsistent with the instrument.

Executory Contract:

An agreement containing some act or condition that remains to be completed.

Express Contract:

An agreement wherein the terms are specifically stated by all parties, either orally, in writing, or by a combination of the two.

Fixture:

An object that was once considered to be personal property but has become real property because of attachment to, or use in, improvements to real property.

Freehold Estate:

A tenancy in real property with no set termination date that can be measured by the lifetime of an individual or can be inherited by heirs.

General Warranty Deed:

An instrument of conveyance containing the strongest and most comprehensive promises of further assurance possible for a grantor to convey to a grantee.

Hazard Insurance:

Coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to guarantee another party against loss resulting from physical damage to real property.

Home Equity Loan:

A mortgage secured by a personal residence.

Homestead:

Term used to describe three separate but related situations: 1) a tax exemption, 2) a tract of land limited in size, and 3) statutory condition designed to protect the interests of a spouse and lineal descendants.

Implied Contract:

An agreement wherein the terms are not stated but are inferred from the conduct of the parties.

Intangible Tax:

Tax required prior to a mortgage being recorded.

Joint Tenancy:

An estate or interest owned by more than one person, each having equal rights to possession and enjoyment; the interest a deceased tenant conveys to surviving tenants by specific wording in the deed establishes joint tenancy.

Lease:

An estate for years; an agreement that does not transfer ownership but does convey possession and the use.

Leasehold Estate:

A tenancy in real property held under a lease arrangement for a definite number of years.

Lender's Policy:

Title insurance issued for the unpaid mortgage amount to protect the lender against title defects.

Lien:

A claim on property for payment of some obligation or debt.

Listing:

Oral or written employment agreement between the broker and property owner.

Littoral Rights:

Legal rights related to land abutting an ocean, sea, or lake, usually extending to the high-water mark.

Loan to Value Ratio (LTV):

Relationship between amount borrowed and the appraised value or sale price of a property.

Market Value:

The most probably price a property will bring from a fully informed buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, and the lowest price a fully informed seller will accept if not compelled to sell.

Millage:

A tax rate expressed as the number of mills to be applied.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP):

Fee paid by FHA borrowers to obtain a loan.

Note:

Legal evidence of a debt that must accompany a mortgage in Florida; a legally executed pledge to pay a stipulated sum of money.

Offer:

An intentional proposal or promise made by one party to act or perform.

Opinion of Title:

A formal statement by an attorney regarding the status of a title after examination of the chain of title.

Opinion of Value:

An estimate of a property's worth given by a licensee for the purpose of a prospective sale.

Origination Fee:

A charge by a lender for taking a mortgage in exchange for a loan.

Owner's Policy:

Title insurance issued for the total purchase price of the property to protect the new owner against unexpected risks.

Per Diem:

By the day; per day; an allowance for daily expenses.

Performance:

Point when a party or parties to contract fulfill the promises or obligations.

Personal Property:

Tangible and movable property; not classified as real property.

Point:

A charge of 1 percent of the mortgage value; assessment by a lender to increase the interest yield to compete with the interest yield from other types of investments.

Prepayment Clause:

A provision in a mortgage that allows the mortgagor to pay the mortgage debt ahead of schedule without penalty.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI):

Needed to insure all of the mortgage representing more than 80 percent of appraised value or purchase price.

Prorate:

To divide or assess proportionate shares of charges and credits between the buyer and the seller according to their individual period of ownership.

Quite Title:

A suite or action in a court to remove a defect, cloud, or claim against the title to real property.

Quitclaim Deed:

A type of deed that will effectively convey any present interest, claim, or title to real property that the seller may own.

Real Estate:

Land, including the air above and the earth below, plus any permanent improvements affecting the utility of the land.

Restriction:

Any device or action that controls or limits the use of real property.

Restrictive Covenants:

Conditions placed by developers that affect how the land can be used in an entire subdivision.

Right of Survivorship:

A situation by which the remaining joint tenant succeeds to all rights, title, and interest of the deceased joint tenant without the need for probate proceedings.

Riparian Rights:

Private ownership rights extending to the normal high-water mark along a river or stream and including access rights to water, boating, bathing, and dockage in accordance to state and federal statues.

R Value:

A special rating or method of judging the insulating effectiveness of insulation products.

Satisfaction of Mortgage:

A certificate issued by the lender when the debt obligation is paid in full.

Seller's Market:

The demand for available properties exceeds the supply.

Setback:

Restrictions established by zoning or deed on the space required between lot lines and building lines.

Severalty:

Sole ownership of real property.

Special Assessments:

Taxes levied against properties to pay for all, or part of, improvements that will benefit the properties being assessed.

Specific Performance:

A remedy for an injured party obtained through a court of equity, which requires specific accomplishment of the contract terms by a defendant.

Subordination Clause:

A provision in a mortgage in which the lender voluntarily permits a prior or subsequent mortgage to take priority over the lender's otherwise superior mortgage.

Taxable Value:

The assessed value less allowable exemptions resulting in an amount to which the tax rate is applied to determine property taxes due.

Tax Certificate:

A document sold by a local tax authority granting the certificate buyer the right to receive delinquent taxes plus interest when paid by the property owner.

Tax Deed:

A type of deed used to convey title after real property is sold at auction by public authority for nonpayment of taxes.

Tax Lien:

A claim against real property arising out of nonpayment of the property taxes.

Tenancy in Common:

A form of ownership by two or more persons having an equal or unequal interest and passing the interest to heirs, not surviving tenants.

Term Mortgage:

A non-amortizing loan that normally calls for repayment of the principle in full a the end of the loan term.

Time is of the Essence:

A phrase in a contract making failure to perform by a specific date a breach or violation of the agreement.

Title:

The group of rights that represent ownership of real property and the quality of the estate owned; evidence of ownership.

Title Insurance:

A policy of insurance that protects the holder from any loss resulting from defects in the title.

Title Search:

An examination of all the public records to determine whether any defects exist in the chain of title.

Underwriting:

The analysis of the extent of risk assumed by a lender in connection with the proposed mortgage loan.

Yield:

The rate of return; the return on an investment or the amount of profit stated as a percentage of the amount invested.