Real Estate Glossary
Lansing Area Real Estate

maintenance charges
Monthly or annual charges assessed in a condominium, planned united development, or cooperative development to cover operational costs.

Refers to the amount of personal or hired time, it takes to run the investment.

management agreement
A contract between the owner of income property and a management firm or individual property manager that outlines the scope of the manager's authority.

management plan
The financial and operational strategy for the ongoing management of a property. It is based on market analysis, a property analysis and the owner's goals. (See market analysis, property analysis)

manufactured home   
Formerly referred to as mobile homes or trailers, manufactured homes are factory built on a
non-removable steel chassis and delivered to the site on their own wheels. Manufactured homes conform to a HUD code rather than local building codes and are not always placed on a permanent foundation, making them more difficult to finance. Manufacture homes are generally less expensive than site built or modular homes. 
  Manufactured Housing Institute

In an adjustable-rate loan, the amount added to the index rate that represents the lender's cost of doing business (including costs, profits and risk of loss of the loan). Generally the margin stays constant during the life of the loan.

A place where goods can be bought and sold and a price established.

market conditions
Factors affecting the sale and purchase of homes at a particular point in time.

market analysis
A regional and neighborhood study of economic, demographic and other factors made to determine supply and demand, market trends, and other factors important to leasing and operating a specific property.

market approach
A method of pricing single-family rental homes and condos using comparable market data. When pricing multiple unit rental properties, the income approach is probably better.

market-data approach
Estimating a property's value based on a comparison of the property with similar properties in the same locale that have sold recently. Also known as the direct sales comparison approach.

marketable title
Good or clear title, reasonably free from the risk of litigation over possible defects.

market value
The most probable price a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale. Such such conditions include the assumption that the buyer and seller acted prudently and knowledgeably and that the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

master deed
The principal conveyance document used by the owners of land on which condominiums are located.

master plan
A comprehensive plan to guide the long-term physical development of a particular area.

material fact
Any fact that is relevant to a person making a decision. Agents must also disclose to buyers material facts about the condition of the property, such as known structural defects, building code violations and hidden dangerous conditions. Brokers are often placed in a no-win situation of trying to evaluate whether a certain fact is material enough that it needs to be disclosed to a prospective buyer, such as the fact that a murder occurred on the property 10 years ago or the fact that the neighbors throw loud parties. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between "fact" and "opinion." The statement "real property taxes are low" is different from "real property taxes are $500 per year." Even though brokers act in good faith, they may still be liable for failure to exercise reasonable care or competence in ascertaining and communicating pertinent facts that the broker knew or "should have known." Many state laws provide that the fact that an occupant of property has AIDS is not deemed to be a material fact. A broker who fails to disclose this fact is not liable for concealment of a material fact.

The average of all items included within a group, calculated by dividing the sum of the individual items, or variates, by the number of variates.

mechanics' lien
A statutory lien in favor of a building contractor (architects and designers in some states) to secure payment for materials supplied and services rendered in the improvement, repair or maintenance of real property.

The middle figure in a set of numbers.

A process where a neutral third party intervenes between the disputing parties to reach a satisfactory solution.

One of a set of imaginary lines running north and south used by surveyors for reference in locating and describing land under the government survey method of property description.

metes-and-bounds description
A legal description of a parcel of land that begins at a well marked point and follows the boundaries, using directions and distances around the tract, back to the place of beginning.

One-tenth of one cent. Some states use a mill rate to compute real estate taxes; for example, a rate of 52 mills would be $0.052 tax for each dollar of assessed valuation of a property.

Someone who has not reached the age of majority and therefore does not have legal capacity to transfer title to real property.

mineral rights
Rights to subsurface land and profits. Normally, when real property is conveyed, it includes everything above and below the surface of the land, except where specified by the grantor.

A false statement or concealment of a material fact made with the intention of inducing some action by another party.

An error or misunderstanding. A contract is voidable if there is a mistake that is mutual, material, unintentional and free from negligence, such as both parties honestly contracting for a different lot in a subdivision (mistake of fact). Innocent mistakes seldom serve to void a contract. A party cannot claim "mistake" to get out of a contract on the basis that he or she did not read the contract he or she signed and was therefore mistaken as to its material terms; neither ignorance nor poor judgment is a mistake of fact. Nor can a party claim mistake in not knowing the legal consequences upon signing the contract (mistake of law). When there is an ambiguity known by one party who fails to explain the mistake to the innocent party, the innocent party's interpretation generally will prevail.

Measures taken to reduce adverse impacts on the environment. To make less severe, as in the "mitigation" of environmental hazards.

Prefabricated trailer-type housing units that are semi-permanently attached to land, which is either the owner's fee land or a leasehold, such as in a mobile-home park. Mobile homes are usually affixed to a concrete foundation and connected to utilities. Although they may not be as mobile as the word implies, they may be removed from such attachments and hauled to a new location. In this respect mobile homes possess the features of both real and personal property. They are like real property when the units are attached to the earth's surface, and like personal property when they are detached and moved. The courts, however, generally consider a mobile home as a fixture and thus treat it as real property.

mobile-home loan
A mortgage loan on a large mobile-home, usually drawn for a shorter term than conventional mortgages.

mobile-home park
An area zoned and set up to accommodate mobile homes by providing water hookups and sewage disposal for each home. The mobile-home park contains all utilities, streets, parking and amenities. Mobile-home parks are also called trailer parks.

The most frequently occurring variate.

modular home
Modular homes are built in sections at a factory, transported to the building site on truck beds, then joined together by local contractors. Modular homes are built to conform to all state and local building codes at their destinations. Local building inspectors check to make sure a modular home's structure meets requirements and that all finish work is done properly. Modular homes are not necessarily less expensive than than site built homes.

Molds are simple, microscopic organisms that are present virtually everywhere both indoors and outdoors. Molds are fungi and are needed to break down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. For molds to grow and reproduce they need only a food source such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt - and moisture.

month-to-month tenancy
A periodic tenancy under which the tenant rents for one month at a time. In the absence of a rental agreement (oral or written) a tenancy is generally considered to be month to month.

A fixed natural or artificial object used to establish real estate boundaries for a metes-and-bounds description.

1.A temporary suspension of payments due under a financial obligation in order to help a distressed borrower recover from financial difficulties and avoid default and foreclosure. 2. A temporary suspension of issuing building permits.

A legal document used to secure the performance of an obligation. The term mortgage, which is derived from the French words mort meaning "dead" and gage meaning "pledge," is appropriate in that the pledge is extinguished only after the debt is paid. In the usual real estate transaction, the buyer seeks to borrow money to pay the seller the difference between the down payment and the purchase price. When the lender (mortgagee) lends the money, the buyer/borrower (mortgagor) is required to sign a promissory note for the amount borrowed and to execute a mortgage to secure the debt. The purpose of the mortgage note is to create a personal liability for payment on the part of the mortgagor; the purpose of the mortgage is to create a lien on the mortgaged property as security for the debt.

mortgage banker
A person, corporation or firm (not otherwise in banking and finance) that normally provides its own funds for mortgage financing as opposed to savings and loan associations or commercial banks that use other people's money - namely that of their depositors--to originate mortgage loans. Although some mortgage bankers do supply permanent long-term financing, the majority specialize in supplying short-term and interim financing, either through their own resources or by borrowing from commercial sources.
Mortgage Bankers Association of America Website

mortgage broker/company
A person or firm that acts as an intermediary between borrower and lender; one who, for compensation or gain, negotiates, sells or arranges loans and sometimes continues to service the loans; also called a loan broker. Loans originated by the mortgage broker are closed in the lender's name and are usually serviced by the lender. This is in contrast to mortgage bankers, who not only close loans in their own names but continue to service them as well. Many mortgage brokers are also licensed as real estate brokers and provide these financing services as supplements to their realty services.

mortgage insurance
A kind of insurance policy that will pay off the mortgage balance in the event of death, and in some policies, disability. Premiums are paid with the regular monthly mortgage payment.

mortgage insurance premiums (MIP)
Most FHA loans require the borrower to pay two mortgage insurance premiums: one upfront paid at closing; the second is an annual premium based on the loan balance each year.

mortgage lien
A lien or charge on the property of a mortgagor that secures the underlying debt obligations.

mortgage report survey
The precise measurement of a piece of property, including all improvements and easements.  This survey will show the placement of buildings, driveways, walks and fences.

In a mortgage transaction, the party who receives and holds a mortgage as security for a debt, the lender. A lender or creditor who holds a mortgage as security for payment of an obligation.

mortgagee's title insurance
An insurance policy protecting the lender for the amount of the loan in the event of a future title dispute.

In a mortgage transaction, the buyer/borrower is the mortgagor. The mortgagor is required to sign a promissory note for the amount borrowed and to execute a mortgage to secure the debt. The mortgage note creates a personal liability for payment on the part of the mortgagor.

motivated buyer
Any buyer with a strong incentive to make a purchase.

motivated seller
Any seller with a strong incentive to make a deal.

move-in condition 
A house that needs no repairs or updating and is ready for trouble-free occupancy.

multiple-listing service (MLS)
A marketing organization composed of member brokers who agree to share their listing agreements with one another in the hope of procuring ready, willing and able buyers for their properties more quickly than they could on their own. Most multiple-listing services accept exclusive-right-to-sell or exclusive agency listings from their member brokers.

municipal bonds
Bonds issued to finance public improvements such as parks, schools and urban renewal projects.

must-buy buyers
Buyers looking for properties that meet specific needs.

must-sell sellers
A highly motivated or desperate seller.

mutual consent
A meeting of the minds; a mutual assent of the parties to the formation of the contract.

mutual mortgage insurance
Insurance premiums and other specified FHA revenues are paid into one of four FHA funds. Losses due to foreclosure are met from these funds.

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