Real Estate Glossary
Lansing Area Real Estate
REAL ESTATE
 
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D

datum
A horizontal plane from which heights and depths are measured.

days on the market
The period of time a property is listed for sale until it is sold or taken off the market. 

debt ratio
The relationship between a person's long term debt payments and their monthly income.

debt-to-income ratio
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 loan.

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.

dedication
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.

deed
A written instrument, when executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest in real estate.

deed restrictions
Provisions placed in deeds to control future uses of the property.

default
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.

defeasance clause
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.

defect
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.

deferred maintenance
Physical deterioration of a building resulting from postponed maintenance.

deficiency judgment
A personal judgment levied against the borrower when a foreclosure sale does not produce sufficient funds to pay the mortgage debt in full.

delinquent
The status of a financial obligation, such as a mortgage loan, when it is past-due.

density zoning
Zoning ordinances that restrict the maximum average number of houses per acre that may be built within a particular area, generally a subdivision.

deposit
 
Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase property. Also called earnest money.

depreciation
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.

depreciable basis
In investment real estate only structures can be depreciated. The depreciable basis is the original basis less the value of the land.

designated agent
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.

devise
A transfer of real property under a will. The donor is the devisor, and the recipient is the devisee.

disability
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.

disclaimer

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.

disclosure
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. 

discount points

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.

discretionary income
Income left over for investment after allocations for bills and savings.

display ads
Newspaper and magazine advertisements sold by the column inch. More elaborate than classified ads, display ads often include more extensive text, graphics and photographs.

domicile
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 domicile.

dominant tenement
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 servient tenement.

dower
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 land.

draws
1. An advancement of money against future earnings. 2. Periodic advances of funds under a construction loan agreement.

dual agency
 
A relationship in which a real estate agent or broker represents both parties in a transaction.

due-on-sale-clause
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.

dump
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.

duplex
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.

duress
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 voidable.

dwelling
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.
 

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