Real Estate Glossary
Lansing Area Real Estate
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H

habitability
Fit for human habitation.

handicap
As defined in the fair housing act, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, learning, working) or a record of having such an impairment or being regarded as having such impairment. Handicap does not include current, illegal use or addiction to a controlled substance.

hazardous waste
A subset of solid wastes that pose substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and meet any of the following criteria:

  • Is specifically listed as a hazardous waste by EPA;
  • Exhibits one or more of the characteristics of hazardous waster (ignitability, corrosiveness, reactivity, and/or toxicity;
  • Is generated by the treatment of hazardous waste or is contained in a hazardous waste.
Toxic waste materials jeopardizing the value of real estate.

highest and best use
The possible use of a property that would produce the greatest net income and thereby develop the highest value.

hold-harmless clause
A contract provision whereby one party agrees to indemnify and protect the other party from any injuries or lawsuits arising out of the particular transaction. Such clauses are usually found in leases in which the lessee agrees to "indemnify, defend and hold harmless" the lessor from claims and suits of third persons for damage resulting from the lessee's negligence on the leased premises.

holdback

Funds not released under a construction loan agreement due to a failure to lease to the required minimum.

holdover tenancy
A tenancy whereby a lessee retains possession of leased property after the lease has expired and the landlord, by continuing to accept rent, agrees to the tenant's continued occupancy as defined by state law.

holographic will

A will that is written, dated and signed in the testator's handwriting, but not witnessed. Some states consider a holographic will to be valid even though it was not witnessed, presumably on the theory that the handwriting can be analyzed to verify authenticity and demonstrate competency.

home equity loan

A loan (sometimes called a line of credit) under which a property owner uses his or her residence as collateral and can then draw funds up to a prearranged amount against the property.

home expense-to-income ratio

A ratio expressed as a percentage that is used by the mortgage industry to determine a borrower's qualification for a loan. It is calculated by dividing the borrower's total monthly housing expenses by his or her gross monthly income.

homeowner's association
A nonprofit association of homeowners organized pursuant to a declaration of restrictions or protective covenants for a subdivision, PUD or condominium.

homeowner's insurance policy

A standardized package insurance policy that covers a residential real estate owner against financial loss from fire, theft, public liability and other common risks

homestead
A statutory exemption of real property used as a home from the claims of certain creditors and judgments up to a specified amount; requires a declaration of homestead be completed and filed with the county recorder's office.

home warranty insurance policy
An insurance policy that insures against plumbing, electrical, heating, and major appliance problems for the term of the policy.

housing affordability index
A measure of the percentage of the United States population who can afford to purchase a home; based on average income and average home price.

HUD

A federal cabinet department officially known as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD is active in national housing programs. Among its many programs are urban renewal, public housing, model cities, rehabilitation loans, FHA-subsidy programs and water and sewer grants. The Office of Interstate Land Sales Registration is under HUD's jurisdiction, as are the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA).
 HUD Website

HUD-1 settlement statement
At closing, in conformance with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) regulations, a HUD-1 settlement statement is prepared showing the exact closing costs to buyer and seller.

HVAC
The acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

hybrid financing
Mixing forms of conventional financing to create a new approach.

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