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Real Estate Terminology Glossary

  • A.L.T.A Title Policy: (American Land Title Association) A type of title insurance policy issued by title insurance companies which expands the risks normally insured against under the standard type policy. It is a lender's policy, but available to any one willing to pay for the extra coverage.

  • Abandonment: To release a claim, as a Declaration of Abandonment when a property has been homesteaded.

  • Abatement of Nuisance: Extinction or termination of a nuisance.

  • Abstract: A brief summary.

  • Abstract of Judgment: A condensation of the essential provisions of a court judgment.

  • Abstract of Title: A summary or digest of the conveyances, transfers, and any other facts relied upon as evidence of title, together with any other elements of record which may impair the title.

  • Abstraction: A method of valuing land. The indicated value of the improvement is deducted from the sale price.

  • Acceleration Clause: Clause in trust deed or mortgage giving lender the right to call all sums owing him to be immediately due and payable upon the happening of certain event.

  • Acceptance: When the seller or agent's principal agrees to the terms of the agreement of sale and approves the negotiation on the part of the agent and acknowledges receipt of the deposit in subscribing to the agreement of sale, that act is termed an acceptance.

  • Access Right : The right of an owner to have ingress and egress to and from his property.

  • Accession: Acquire title by having property added to your property.

  • Accretion: An addition to land from natural causes. Example: From the gradual action of the ocean or river waters.

  • Accrued: Accumulated up to this point in time. Accrued interest, accrued depreciation.

  • Accrued Depreciation: The difference between the cost of replacement new as of the date of the appraisal and the present appraised value.

  • Acknowledgment: A formal declaration before a duly authorized officer by a person who has executed an instrument that such execution is his act and deed.

  • Acquisition: The act or process by which a person procures property.

  • Acre: A measure of land equaling 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet, or a tract about 208.71 feet square.

  • Actual Notice: Knowledge of the existence of a thing or fact.

  • Administrator: A person appointed by the probate court to administer the estate of a person deceased.

  • Adjusted Book Value: Cost of acquisition minus depreciation (if allowed) plus capital improvements. Used when figuring profit for income tax.

  • Adjusted selling price: Selling price minus expenses of sale. Used when figuring profit for income tax.

  • Ad Valorem: According to valuation.

  • Adverse Possession: The open and notorious possession and occupancy under an evident claim or right, in denial or opposition to the title of another claimant.

  • Affiant: A person who makes a sworn or affirmed statement.

  • Affidavit: A statement or declaration reduced to writing, sworn to or affirmed before some officer who has authority to administer an oath or affirmation.

  • Affirm: To confirm, to aver, to ratify, to verify.

  • Affirmation: A solemn Declaration made by a person who objects to taking an oath.

  • A.F.L.B.: Accredited Farm and Land Broker.

  • Agency: The relationship between principal and agent which arises out of the contract, either expressed or implied, written or oral, wherein the agent is employed by the principal to do certain acts dealing with a third party.

  • Agreement for Purchase and Sale: A land contract.

  • Agreement of Sale: A written agreement or contract between seller and purchaser in which they reach a meeting of minds on the terms and conditions of the sale.

  • Agreement to Convey: A land Contract.

  • Alienation: The transferring of property to another, the transfer of property and possession of lands, or other things, from one person to another.

  • Alienation Clause: Clause in a loan document providing for full payment if the property is sold.

  • Aluuvion; (Alluvium): Soil deposited by accretion. Increase of earth on shore or bank of a river.

  • Amenities: Satisfaction of enjoyable living to be derived from a home; conditions of agreeable living or a beneficial influence arising from the location or improvements.

  • Amortization: The liquidation of a financial obligation on an installment basis; also, recovery, over a period, of cost or value.

  • Amortized Loan: A loan that is completely paid off, interest and principal, by a series of regular payments that are equal or nearly equal. Also called a level payments loan.

  • Anticipation, Principle of: Affirms that value is created by anticipated benefits to be derived in the future.

  • Appraisal: An opinion of value of property.

  • Appraiser: One qualified by education, training and experience who is hired to estimate the value of real and personal property based on experience, judgment, facts, and use of formal appraisal processes.

  • Appurtenance: Something annexed to another thing, which may be transferred incident to it. That which belongs to other things, as a barn, dwelling, garage, or orchard is incident to the land to which it is attached.

  • Assemblage: Putting together two or more parcels to increase the total value.

  • Assessed Value: A value placed upon property by a public officer or board, as a basis for taxation.

  • Assessment : The valuation of property for the purpose of levying a tax or the amount of the tax levied.

  • Assessor: The official who has the responsibility of determining assessed values.

  • Assets: Everything of value, both real and personal property, owned by a business.

  • Assignment: A transfer or making over to another of the whole of any property, real or personal, in possession or in action, or of any estate or right therein.

  • Assignor: One who assigns or transfers property.

  • Assigns; Assignees: Those to whom property shall have been transferred.

  • Assumption Agreement: An undertaking or adoption of a debt or obligation primarily resting upon another person.

  • Assumption Fee: A lender's charge for changing over and processing new records for a new owner who is assuming an existing loan.

  • Assumption of Mortgage: The taking of title to property by a grantee, wherein he assumes liability for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage or deed of trust against the property, becoming a co-guarantor for the payment of a mortgage or deed of trust note.

  • Attachment: Seizure of property by court order, usually done to have it available in event a judgment is obtained in a pending suit.

  • Attest: To affirm to be true or genuine; an official act establishing authenticity.

  • Attorney-In-Fact : One who is authorized to perform acts for another under a power of attorney; power of attorney may be limited to specific act or acts, or be general.

  • Avulsion: The sudden tearing away or removal of land by action of water flowing over or through it.

  • Bailment: The delivery of goods or money to another in trust.

  • Balloon Payment: Where the final installment payment on a note is greater than the preceding installment payments and it pays the note in full, such final installment is termed a balloon payment.

  • Band of Investment: A method of computing the capitalization rate by considering the return demanded by the holders of various loans, and the owner.

  • Base and Meridian : Imaginary lines used by surveyors to find and describe the location of private or public lands.

  • Bearing Wall or Partition : A wall or partition supporting any vertical load in addition to its own weight.

  • Bench Mark: A location indicated in a durable market by surveyors.

  • Beneficiary: 1.) One entitled to the benefit of a trust; 2.) One who receives profit from an estate, the title which is vested in a trustee; 3.) The lender on the security of a note and deed of trust.

  • Bequeath: To give or hand down personal property by will; to leave by will.

  • Bequest: That personal property which is given by the terms of a will.

  • Betterment: An improvement upon property which increases the property value and is considered as a capital asset, as distinguished from repairs or replacements where the original character or cost is unchanged.

  • Bilateral Contract: A contract in which both parties agree to perform certain acts.

  • Bill of Sale: A written instrument given to pass title of personal property from vendor to vendee.

  • Binder: A notation of coverage on an insurance policy, issued by an agent, and given to the insured prior to issuing of the policy.

  • Blanket Encumbrance: An encumbrance that covers more than one parcel of property.

  • Blanket Mortgage: A single mortgage that covers more than one piece of real estate.

  • Blighted Area: A declining area in which real property values are seriously affected by destructive economic forces, such as encroaching inharmonious property usages, infiltration of lower social and economic classes of in habitants, and/or rapidly depreciating buildings.

  • Board Foot : A unit of measurement of lumber,, one foot wide, one foot long, one inch thick; 144 cubic inches.

  • Bona Fide: In good faith; without fraud.

  • Book Depreciation: The depreciation shown on the accounting books of the owner. Used for income tax calculation.

  • Book Value: Value of the property as shown on the accounting books of the owner.

  • Boot : Profit gained in exchange of properties on which income tax is not deferred. May be anything of value, including mortgage relief.

  • Bounds: Boundaries in a metes and bounds description.

  • Breach: The breaking of a law, or failure of duty, either by omission or commission.

  • B.T.U.: British Thermal Unit. The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

  • Building Line: A line, set by law, a certain distance from the street line in front of which an owner cannot build on his lot. (Setback)

  • Building Residual: A method of appraising. The value of land is subtracted from the value of the property leaving the value of the building.

  • Bulk Sale: The sale of merchandise in bulk rather than in the ordinary course of business.

  • Bundle of Rights: Beneficial interests or rights.

  • Bylaws: The rules of an organization such as a homeowners association.

  • C.C. & R.s: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions affecting the use of a property.

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