Real Estate & Investing Dictionary
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Outer shape of a structure which has steeply sloped roofs and is in the shape of an A, thus the name.

Leaving an object in a place, without the intention of returning.

The voluntary surrendering of property rights but not transferring title to another.

the removal or correction, including demolition, of any condition at a property that violates the provisions of any duly enacted building or housing code, as well as the making of such other improvements or corrections as are needed to effect the rehabilitation of the property or structure, including the closing or physical securing of the structure;

Dwelling, house, residence.

Absentee Owner
Landlord who lives another location.

A summary or abridgement. Prior to the use of photo-static copying, public records were kept by abstracts of recorded documents. Commonly used to mean any document of record.

Abstract Of Judgment
An abstract is a summary; an abstract of judgment is a summary of a judgment; a judgment is the end result of a lawsuit. A judgment may run many pages. An abstract of judgment typically runs one or two pages. It just shows who won the lawsuit, who lost, how much is owed, what court made the decisions, the date of the judgment and the attorney for the winner of the lawsuit. Once the abstract of judgment is recorded (filed with the county clerk or county recorder), it creates a general lien on the judgment debtor's property, including the real estate. An abstract of judgment will be discovered by a title company whenever a landowner tries to sell the land. Most title companies will demand that it be paid off as a condition of insuring the resale.

An individual familiar with the filing systems and retrieval of recorded documents. Sometimes used synonymously with "searcher".

Supporting structure (column) at the end of a bridge or arch.

Abutment Piece
The bottom plate of a wall.

Property adjoining or bordering another property.

Acceleration Clause
A clause in your mortgage which allows the lender to demand payment of the outstanding loan balance for various reasons. The most common reasons for accelerating a loan are if the borrower defaults on the loan or transfers title to another individual without informing the lender.

An offeree’s consent to enter into a contract and be bound by the terms of the offer.

A means of entering a property or building. Ability to reach something.

Accessory Building
Building which is secondary to the main structure on the same piece of property such as a shed or garage.

Record of financial transactions. Credit extended. Commercial relationship involving credit. A customer. A financial fund.

Person who specializes in keeping, inspecting and adjusting financial records. A person who will be useful when preparing to work with a lender.

Accounts Payable
Money owed to another person.

Timber brace or a tie of timber between two structural members. Pairs of columns placed close together.

The gradual buildup of soil by water.

Accrual Accounting
Recording income as accounts receivable when earned and recording debts as accounts payable when they are incurred. Also called accrual basis accounting.

Accrual Basis
Recording income as accounts receivable when earned and recording debts as accounts payable when they are incurred. Also called accrual basis accounting.

Accrued Interest
Accumulated interest earned or due but not yet paid.

Accrued Items of Expense
Those incurred expenses that are not yet payable. The seller's accrued expenses are credited to the purchaser in the closing statement.

The securing of ownership or controlling interest in a property or other object through either purchase or a merger.

Acquisition Loan
Money borrowed for the sole purpose of purchasing property

Land measurement equaling 43,560 square feet.

Also known as Sectional Descriptions. A style of describing real property by section, township, and range.

Act of God
Action occurring without the intervention of man which could include but not be limited to hurricanes,earthquakes, floods, lightening, etc.

Actual Size
The actual size of a piece of material, as opposed to its nominal size.

Ad Valorium
A measure of worth based on the value of something.

Joining of a thing to another thing. A thing or part added, such as a porch onto a house

Adjoining Owners
Property owners with property touching a common property and who have a legal right to notification when a zoning variance or change to the common property is being formally considered.

Adjoining Property
Contiguous property sharing a common border.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage
A loan that has an interest rate that can go up or down at certain intervals, called periods, and within certain limits, called caps. The loan is secured by a house, on which the lender will foreclose if the loan is not paid.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage - ARM
A mortgage in which the interest changes periodically, according to corresponding fluctuations in an index. All ARMs are tied to indexes.

Adjusted basis
The original cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.

Adjusted Cost Basis
Tax purpose cost measuring method that allows cost to be increased by the cost of capital improvements or reduced due to depreciation. The cost of a home would be increased by the amount paid to install a permanent improvement such as air conditioning.

Adjustment Date
The date the interest rate changes on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

A party appointed by a court to administer the estate of a person who has died without leaving a will.

Administrator’s Deed
Record of appraisal and sale of property of deceased persons by administrators, giving name of estate, date of appraisement and sale, consideration, description of property, authority to sell, name of administrator, date and time filed, and certificate of recorder. Arranged chronologically by date filed.

To deliver a portion of money borrowed under a mortgage or loan before the loan instrument requires the money to be delivered.

A sworn statement setting out facts which the affiant states are true. Sworn before a Commissioner for swearing Oaths, Notary Public or other public official.

Affordability analysis
A detailed analysis of your ability to afford the purchase of a home. An affordability analysis takes into consideration your income, liabilities, and available funds, along with the type of mortgage you plan to use, the area where you want to purchase a home, and the closing costs that you might expect to pay.

After Tax Cash Flow
Effective gross income minus operating expenses and debt service plus or minus any tax savings or tax liability.

After-acquired Title
Doctrine (document) by which the title of real estate (property), previously unsuccessfully transferred because of lack of possession by grantor, automatically passes to the buyer upon acquisition by the grantor and is based on the acquisition of title by estoppel.

After-completion Costs
Expenditures incurred after the completion of a building.

The relationship between two people or entities where one is a principal and the other is an agent representing the principal in activities with other parties, such as a real estate agent buying or selling for a client.

Agency Closing
The use of a Title company or another firm to complete a loan.

Anyone who has the authority to act on the behalf of another, representing the business interests of that person. Sometimes referred to as a realtor (when dealing with real estate).

The transferring of property from one person to another.

Alienation Clause
A clause that states that upon sale or transfer of certain property, a loan is immediately due and payable. - Due on Sale Clause, Accelleration Caluse

All Inclusive Trust Deed - AITD
The borrower obtains a new mortgage, which is structured to include the old mortgage. The borrower makes payments on the new mortgage directly to the lender, who makes payments on the old first mortgage.

All-Inclusive Deed or Trust
A form of deed of trust that, in addition to any other amounts actually financed, includes the amounts of any prior deeds of trust. -Wrap Around Contract

The loan payment consists of a portion which will be applied to pay the accruing interest on a loan, with the remainder being applied to the principal. Over time, the interest portion decreases as the loan balance decreases, and the amount applied to principal increases so that the loan is paid off (amortized) in the specified time.

Amortization Schedule
A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.

Amortization Tables
Mathematical tables used to calculate a monthly payment on a loan.

Amortization term
The amount of time required to amortize the mortgage loan. The amortization term is expressed as a number of months. For example, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization term is 360 months.

Amortized Mortgage
Mortgage where the interest and principal have been fully repaid by the mortgagee.

Annual Percentage Rate - APR
This is not the note rate on your loan. It is a value created according to a government formula intended to reflect the true annual cost of borrowing, expressed as a percentage. It works sort of like this, but not exactly, so only use this as a guideline: deduct the closing costs from your loan amount, then using your actual loan payment, calculate what the interest rate would be on this amount instead of your actual loan amount. You will come up with a number close to the APR. Because you are using the same payment on a smaller amount, the APR is always higher than the actual not rate on your loan.

A payment of equal installments paid periodically for a given number of periods.

Apartment Building
A structure with individual apartment units and a common entrance and hallway.

Apartment House
Multi-family housing complex of rental apartments managed by the property owner or a resident manager.

Acronym for Assessor's Parcel Number. Refers to the number assigned to the property or parcel by the county assessing agency.

The form used to apply for a mortgage loan, containing information about a borrower’s income, savings, assets, debts, and more.

A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified appraiser. Contrast with home inspection.

Appraisal by Comparison
An estimate of value by comparing the sale prices of other similar properties.

Appraised Value
An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property. Since an appraisal is based primarily on comparable sales, and the most recent sale is the one on the property in question, the appraisal usually comes out at the purchase price.

An individual qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property. Although some appraisers work directly for mortgage lenders, most are independent.

The increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions, inflation, or other causes.

A confirmation of an amount able to be borrowed by an individual, based upon assessment of his ability to repay said loan. Alternatively, an authorization obtained from governmental authorities for a building project to proceed.

Term used to indicate that a particular installation has been found to be in line with regulations, such as the building code, by a governing body. Also refers to a building project that has received all regulatory authorization required for construction to proceed.

Something which is outside the property itself but belongs to the land and adds to its greater enjoyment, such as a right-of-way or a barn or a dwelling.

The payment of money after the fact. Interest and taxes paid in arrears would represent money paid for a period of time gone by.

As is
A clause that is sometimes used in the transfer of property. It means that the present property is being transferred with no guarantee or warranty provided by the seller.

Asking Price
The price an appraiser has determined for a property and the price for which it is on the market.

Asking Price
Seller's initial price asked for a property.

Assessed Valuation
A valuation placed upon property by a public officer or a board as a basis for taxation.

Assessed Value
A property's value, determined by the county assessing agency's office for tax purposes.

The placing of a value on property for the purpose of taxation.

A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.

Assessors Parcel Number
A number assigned by the county tax assessor to identify a parcel of real property.

Items of value owned by an individual. Assets that can be quickly converted into cash are considered "liquid assets." These include bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on. Other assets include real estate, personal property, and debts owed to an individual by others.

Item of value, i.e. cash, securities, investments, real estate, etc. (used by the borrower to establish credit)

When ownership of your mortgage is transferred from one company or individual to another, it is called an assignment.

Assignment of Rents
A procedure in which a borrower gives a lender the right to receive the rents collected from a tenant in a house owned by the borrower.

Assumable Mortgage
A mortgage that can be assumed by the buyer when a home is sold. Usually, the borrower must "qualify" in order to assume the loan.

Assumes and Agrees to Pay
A clause in a deed or related document under which a buyer who takes over payments on the seller's old loan also agrees to pay the old loan. The buyer will normally receive title and make the payments. The assumes and agrees to pay language is often found in the consideration section of the deed that transfers title from the seller to the buyer in such an assumption. The seller may or may not be released from liability, but in either case, the buyer is responsible legally to make payments on the loan.

Assuming / Mortgage
Taking of title to a property by a buyer, whereby he assumes payment of note or bond secured by a mortgage against the property.

The term applied when a buyer assumes the seller’s mortgage.

The transfer of the seller’s existing mortgage to the buyer. See assumable mortgage.

Assumption Clause
Provision allowing a buyer to take over transfer of the mortgage, which is held by the seller.

Assumption Fee
Fee the lender charges to process the paperwork for the buyer assuming the existing loan.

Assumption of Mortgage
Occurs when a person takes title to property and assumes liability for the payment of an existing note or bond secured by a mortgage against the property.

American Society for Testing and Materials. A private, not-for-profit standards-writing organization.

The process of selling property at a public sale to the highest bidder. The person conducting the sale will call out the initial asking price and each price that anyone in the audience bids until no one will bid a higher price. The auctioneer then calls out "going once, going twice, sold to the highest bidder!"

Automatic Stay
A bankruptcy court order. When bankruptcy is filed, the bankruptcy court will issue a court order that prevents any creditor from attempting to collect any debt from the person who declared bankruptcy. Creditors, even though they are owed money, may not undertake foreclosure, repossession, eviction or seizure, or even call or write the debtor demanding payment. Instead, they must all come to the bankruptcy court and seek the money they are owed together with the other creditors.
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