Real Estate & Investing Dictionary
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H shaped, steel structural piece.

Habendum Clause
The "to have and hold" clause which defines or limits the quantity of the estate granted in the premises of the deed.

A description of a dwelling or property that is appropriate for human occupancy.

320 acres of land, 72 half-sections make up a township.

A small community, smaller than a village.

Handyman's Speacial
A descriptive term for a property which requires significant work to bring it up to normal standards of condition and repair. Often marketed at a lesser price.

Harbor Line
A boundary set by local authorities marking the extent of the area allowed for development along the sides of a navigable river or other body of water.

Hazard Insurance
Insurance coverage that in the event of physical damage to a property from fire, wind, vandalism, or other hazards.

Hazard Insurance
Homeowner's insurance or fire insurance, hazard insurance covers physical risks such as those from fire or wind. Usually required by lenders for the full replacement value.

Head Joint
Joint between the ends of two masonry units.

A proceeding before a court.

Heating Cooling
A coded value identifying the heating and cooling attributes of a property: Code H C B Description Heating System Cooling System Both

A measurement, equaling 2.471 acres or about 107,637 square feet or 10,000 square meters.

Property, personal and real, capable of being inherited.

Hidden Amenities
Qualities of a property which may not be immediately noticeable but add to the value of the property, such as high quality materials used in construction.

A nine-story or taller building containing residential apartments or condominium units. In addition to spectacular views, most high-rises offer their residents a full range of amenities. Building features may include 24-hour concierge service, swimming pools, spas, saunas, tennis courts, exercise areas, party rooms and guest suites. Security is enhanced at these buildings by the manned entry desks and limited access, covered parking garages. Compare with mid-rise.

A building usually taller than six stories, serviced by elevators. The designation as to high-rise is determine by local codes.

Highest and Best Use
The particular use of a real property which will produce the greatest financial return. The optimum use of a site as used in appraisal. This is often determined by location, neighboring properties, deed restrictions and local zoning regulations. A home built on a busy street, surrounded by commercial property, and not restricted from other development, is not fulfilling its highest and best use. Once the property is redeveloped into commercial property, it can meet it economic potential.

A main road or thoroughfare

Highway Easement
The construction of a highway right of way over a privately held parcel of land. Property owners are compensated for the value of the property usurped by a highway easement.

Historic District
Area designated by government to have historical importance. Various incentives, including tax breaks to rehabilitate and preserve the area are provided.

Historic Preservation
A movement begun in the 1960's in the United States to protect landmarks and to unify neighborhoods. To physically rehabilitate a historic building.

Hold back
Portion of a construction loan withheld by a lender from a contractor until all construction work is satisfactorily completed or sufficient space is leased in a floor loan.

Hold Harmless
In a contract, a promise by one party not to hold the other party responsible if the other party carries out the contract in a way that causes damage to the first party. For example, many leases include a hold harmless clause in which the tenant agrees not to sue the landlord if the tenant is injured due to the landlord’s failure to maintain the premises. In most states, these clauses are illegal in residential tenancies, but may be upheld in commercial settings.

Hold Harmless Clause
Contractual clause where one party assumes a liability risk for another and, thus, effectively indemnifies the named party from any liability.

Holder in Due Course
A legal doctrine that holds that a person or entity that obtains a note without notice of any borrower defenses to its enforcement may enforce payment of that note in a court despite any borrower defense or other reason for not paying.

Holding Company
Company formed for the purpose of owning or controlling other companies.

Holding Funds
Funds retained in an account until a certain event occurs.

Holding Period
The time span of ownership of a real estate investment with the return tied to the time period of the investment for tax purposes, determining whether a profit earned of loss incurred is treated as short or long-term capital gains or losses.

Hollow Wall
Wall with an air space within the wall.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage - HECM
Usually referred to as a reverse annuity mortgage, what makes this type of mortgage unique is that instead of making payments to a lender, the lender makes payments to you. It enables older home owners to convert the equity they have in their homes into cash, usually in the form of monthly payments. Unlike traditional home equity loans, a borrower does not qualify on the basis of income but on the value of his or her home. In addition, the loan does not have to be repaid until the borrower no longer occupies the property.

Home Equity Line of Credit - LOC
A mortgage loan, usually in second position, that allows the borrower to obtain cash drawn against the equity of his home, up to a predetermined amount.

Home Inspection
A thorough inspection by a professional that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.

Home Loan
Also known as a mortgage, it is a lien that makes property security for the repayment of a debt, such as the one incurred upon purchase of that home.

Home Ownership
The state of living in a structure that one owns.

Home Warranty
Warranties issued by contractors, sellers and real estate agencies that protect homebuyers from specified defects in a house as per the contract.

Homeowner Exemption
Code Y Blank Description Homeowner's Exemption exists None or Unavailable

Homeowner's Insurance
An insurance policy that combines personal liability insurance and hazard insurance coverage for a dwelling and its contents.

Homeowner's Warranty
A type of insurance often purchased by homebuyers that will cover repairs to certain items, such as heating or air conditioning, should they break down within the coverage period. The buyer often requests the seller to pay for this coverage as a condition of the sale, but either party can pay.

Homeowners' Association
A nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements. In a PUD project, it holds title to the common elements.

Homeowners' Insurance Policy
Type of insurance policy covering the risks of homeowners, including damage, theft, fire, personal liability, etc.

Homeowners' Warranty
Special insurance covering certain home repairs for a specified amount of time.

Special legal protection that many states give to a person's principal residence.

Homestead Exemption
Protection extended by law preventing the forced sale of an owner occupied dwelling by certain creditors.

Homestead Tax Exemption
The credit against taxes, given in some states, to a person who owns and occupies a dwelling and to certain other individuals including disabled veterans, those over age 65, widowed, or handicapped.

House Closing
The final transfer of the ownership of a house from the seller to the buyer, which occurs after both have met all the terms of their contract and the deed has been recorded. Also known as just "closing".

Housing Code
Federal, state or local government ordinance that sets minimum standards of safety and sanitation for existing residential buildings, as opposed to building codes, which govern new construction.

Housing Expense Ratio
Percentage of gross monthly income devoted to housing costs.

Housing Starts
Estimate of the number of dwelling units on which construction has begun during a stated period.

HUD Median Income
Median family income for a particular county or metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

To use something as security without giving up possession of it.

To pledge real estate as security for a loan without having to give up its possession.
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