The condition in which buyers can occupy the property before the sale is completed.
Money a buyer gives with an offer to purchase a property. Also called a deposit.
A policy that provides coverage against damage to a home from an earthquake.
A right given to a third party to use a portion of the property for certain purposes, such as power lines or water mains.
The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.
The age of a structure estimated by its condition rather than its actual age.
Effective gross income
Additional income that a lender considers when assessing the loan application of a potential borrower.
White, powdery substance on concrete, stucco, or other masonry caused by water-soluble salts leaching to the surface.
Electric service panel
A panel that transfers power from the utility line into a house to be distributed through fuses or circuit breakers.
The process of having a mortgage payment automatically deducted from a borrower’s checking or savings account. Many lenders offer this service.
The exterior view of a home design that shows the position of the house relative to the grade of the land.
An extension or wing of a house that is at right angles to the main structure.
The government’s right to condemn private land for public use, such as the routing of a public highway.
Programs which help employees purchase homes through special plans developed with lenders.
Potential buyers who have raised their families and want to move into a smaller home.
Fences or other structures that extend into the property of another owner.
A claim or lien on a property which complicates the title process.
Any right or interest in property interfering with its use or transfer.
The conversion from a construction loan to permanent financing a condominium buyer secures after all units in a project have been completed.
A person who signs over ownership of property to another party.
English Tudor style
An architectural design that features stone or brick exterior walls and exposed beams.
Environmental impact statement
A government-mandated evaluation of all aspects and effects a development will have on the environment of a proposed site.
Environmentally friendly home construction
A method of construction that utilizes recycled materials.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
Federal law that prohibits a lender or other creditor from refusing to grant credit based on the applicant’s sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin, or age, or because the applicant receives public assistance.
A mass appraisal or reappraisal of all property within a jurisdiction for the purpose of equalizing values to assure that each taxpayer is bearing a fair share of the tax load.
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A determination of the value of a property after existing liens are deducted.
Errors and omissions insurance
A policy that pays for mistakes made by a builder or architect.
A situation in which the ownership of property reverts to the state when the owner dies without leaving a will.
A neutral third party holds documents and money for a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met. Also refers to a special account that a lender uses to hold a borrower’s monthly payments on property taxes and insurance.
An account that a lender or mortgage servicer establishes to hold funds for the payment of expenses such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. Also known as an impound account.
A neutral third party who ensures that all conditions of a real estate transaction are met.
A lender’s periodic examination of an escrow account to determine if the lender is withholding enough funds from a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment to pay for expenses such as property taxes and insurance.
Escrow closes when all conditions of a real estate transaction are met and the title of the property is transferred to the buyer.
A firm that acts as a neutral third party to ensure that all conditions established by the buyer, seller, and lender in a real estate transaction are met.
Funds that a mortgage servicer withdraws from a borrower’s escrow account to pay property taxes and insurance.
The total assets of a person, including real property, at the time of death.
Estimated closing costs
An estimate of expenses incidental to the sale of real estate, including loan, title, and appraisal fees. These costs are in addition to the price of the property, and are prepaid at closing. Some are one-time expenses and some are recurring.
Estimated hazard insurance
An estimate of hazard insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance or fire insurance, to cover physical risks such as fire and wind damage. Lenders usually require coverage at least equal to the replacement value of the home.
Estimated property taxes
An estimate of property taxes to be paid semiannually, or monthly if the lender requires. The amount is based on local tax rates and assessed property value, which is based on the most recent sale price plus assessment updates (subject to local policies).
Estimated taxes and insurance
A calculation of monthly estimated taxes and insurance, used by a lender to evaluate a borrower’s effective monthly housing expense.
Agency situation in which one party incorrectly states that another person is the agent, and a third person relies on that representation.
A cabinetry term referring to a style of cabinet without a face frame. Also known as box cabinets.
A system of coils in a refrigeration (or air conditioning) system that, when filled with cold refrigerant, cools the air around it. On a refrigerator, the evaporator is the coil inside the unit; an air conditioner’s evaporator is inside the plenum on the furnace or air-handler.
A legal procedure to remove a tenant for reasons including failure to pay rent.
Examination of title
An inspection by a title company of public records and other documents to determine the chain of ownership of a property.
The process of clearing trees, removing topsoil and grading land before a foundation is laid.
A term used to describe damages to a building that are not the result of normal wear and tear.
An agreement to employ a particular broker. If another broker makes the sale, both are entitled to commissions.
Exclusive buyer’s agent (EBA)
An agent, company, or franchise working exclusively for buyers as a fiduciary agent. EBAs do not represent sellers or list properties.
A contract that gives an agent the exclusive right to market a property for a specific period of time.
A contract in which all parties have fulfilled their promises.
A person appointed to carry out the instructions in a will. If no executor is named in the will, a probate court will appoint an executor.
The removal of property from the tax base. An exemption may be partial or complete.
Air leakage from a building’s interior to the environment.
Ventilating devices that remove water vapor, undesired smells, or smoke.
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An contract in which the parties express their intentions in words.