A horizontal plane from which heights and depths are
days on the market
The period of
time a property is listed for sale until it is sold or
taken off the market.
The relationship between a person's long term debt
payments and their monthly income.
A borrower's monthly long term debt payments divided by
the borrower's gross monthly income and expressed as a
percentage. This ratio is used by lenders to determine
if a loan applicant is qualified for the amount of the
declaration of restrictions
A statement of all the covenants, conditions and
restrictions (CC&Rs) that affect a parcel of land. A
sub-divider may note the restrictions on the map or plan
when recording the subdivision plat. If the restrictions
are numerous, the sub-divider may also prepare a
separate document called a declaration, listing all the
restrictions, and then record this declaration.
The voluntary transfer of private property by its
owner to the public for some public use, such as for
streets or schools. deed A written instrument that, when
executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest
in real estate.
A written instrument, when executed and delivered,
conveys title to or an interest in real estate.
Provisions placed in deeds to control future uses of
The nonperformance of a duty or obligation that is part
of a contract. The most common occurrence of default on
the part of a buyer or lessee is nonpayment of money
when due. A default is normally a breach of contract,
and the non-defaulting party can seek legal remedies to
recover any loss. Defaults in long-term leases or
contracts for deed other than nonpayment might be
failure to pay real estate taxes, damage to the property
and so forth.
A clause used in leases and mortgages that cancels a
specified right upon the occurrence of a certain
condition, such as cancellation of a mortgage upon
repayment of the mortgage loan.
defeasible fee estate
An estate in which the holder has a fee simple title
that may be divested upon the occurrence or
nonoccurrence of a specified event. There are two
categories of defeasible fee estates: fee simple on
condition precedent (fee simple determinable) and fee
simple on condition subsequent.
A condition that materially affects the value or use
of residential property in an adverse manner.
defect of record
Any encumbrance on a title that is made a part of
the public record. Recorded defects include judgments,
deeds of trust, mortgages, other liens and easements.
Physical deterioration of a building resulting from
A personal judgment levied against the borrower when a
foreclosure sale does not produce sufficient funds to
pay the mortgage debt in full.
The status of a financial obligation, such as a mortgage
loan, when it is past-due.
Zoning ordinances that restrict the maximum average
number of houses per acre that may be built within a
particular area, generally a subdivision.
Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase
property. Also called earnest money.
The decrease in the value of an asset allowed when
computing property value for tax purposes. It can also
be a loss in the appraised value of a property due to
physical deterioration. This latter type of depreciation
is curable when it can be remedied by repair or an
addition to the property, and incurable when there is no
easy or economic remedy.
In investment real estate only structures can be
depreciated. The depreciable basis is the original basis
less the value of the land.
A licensee authorized by a broker to act as the agent
for a specific principal in a particular transaction. A
designated agent is the only agent in the company who
has a fiduciary responsibility toward the principal.
A transfer of real property under a will. The donor is
the devisor, and the recipient is the devisee.
A physical or mental impairment that substantially
limits one or more major life activities, such as
walking, seeing, learning and working. Disability
includes a record of such impairment or the fact of
being regarded as having such impairment. The Americans
with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects individuals with
disabilities from various forms of discrimination in
employment, public services, transportation, public
accommodations and telecommunication services. A person
abusing illegal drugs or alcohol is not covered, but a
person who is rehabilitated in these areas may be
protected under ADA.
discharge of contract
A contract is discharged when the agreement is
terminated. Obviously, the most desirable case is when a
contract terminates because it has been completely
performed, with all its terms carried out. However, a
contract may be terminated for other reasons, such as a
party's breach or default.
A statement denying legal responsibility, frequently
found in the form of the statement, "There are no
promises, representations, oral understandings or
agreements except as contained herein." Such a
statement, however, would not relieve the maker of any
liabilities for fraudulent acts or misrepresentations.
1. It is the agent's duty to keep the principal informed
of all facts or information that could affect a
transaction. Duty of disclosure includes relevant
information or material facts that the agent knows or
should have known. 2.
A statement, made by the seller, listing information
relevant to a piece of property, such as the presence of
radon or lead paint.
An added loan fee charged by a lender to make the yield
on a lower-than-market-interest VA or FHA loan
competitive with higher-interest conventional loans. One
discount point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.
Income left over for investment after allocations for
bills and savings.
Newspaper and magazine advertisements sold by the column
inch. More elaborate than classified ads, display ads
often include more extensive text, graphics and
From domus, Latin for "house." The state where an
individual has his or her true, fixed permanent home and
principal business establishment and where that person
has the intention of returning whenever he or she is
absent from it. Once established a domicile is never
lost until there is a concurrence of specific intent to
abandon the old domicile, intent to acquire a specific
new domicile and actual physical presence in the new
The estate that is said to attach to and derive
benefit from the servient estate in reference to an
easement appurtenant. For example, an easement road
passes over an owner's land (the servient tenement) to
give access to an adjacent parcel (the dominant
tenement). The dominant tenement usually adjoins the
The legal right or interest, recognized in some
states, that a wife acquires in the property her husband
held or acquired during their marriage. During the
husband's lifetime the right is only a possibility of an
interest; upon his death it can become an interest in
1. An advancement of money against future earnings.
2. Periodic advances of funds under a construction loan
A relationship in which a real estate agent or broker
represents both parties in a transaction.
A form of acceleration clause found in some mortgages,
especially savings and loan mortgages, requiring the
mortgagor to pay off the mortgage debt when the property
is sold, resulting in automatic maturity of the note as
the lender's option. This clause effectively eliminates
the possibility of the new buyer's assuming the mortgage
unless the mortgagee permits the assumption, in which
case the mortgagee might increase the interest rate or
charge as assumption fee.
A land site where wastes are discarded in a disorderly
or haphazard fashion without regard to protecting the
environment. Uncontrolled dumping is an indiscriminate
and illegal form of waste disposal. Problems associated
with dumps include multiplication of disease-carrying
organisms and pests, fires, air and water pollution,
unsightliness, loss of habitat, and personal injury.
A structure that provides housing accommodations for two
families and supplies each with separate entrances,
kitchens, bedrooms, living rooms and bathrooms. A
two-family dwelling with the units either side by side
or one above the other.
Unlawful constraint or action exercised upon a person
whereby the person is forced to perform an act against
his or her will. A contract entered into under duress is
Any building, structure or part thereof used and
occupied for human habitation or intended to be so used,
including any appurtenances. Many municipalities have
adopted ordinances relating to the repair, closing and
demolition of dwellings unfit for human habitation.