GlossaryGlossary for Housing, Modular Homes, Landscaping and Real Estate

Glossary for Housing and Real Estate

 

Below are some general Housing, Landscaping, Modular Home, Mortgage and Real Estate terms we've compiled to help you out:


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A
Accent: The use of a plant or object to draw attention to or punctuate a space.
Acre: A unit of area in the U.S. customary system, used in land measurement and equal to 4,840 square yards, or 43,560 square feet.
Adverse Possesion: The laws of adverse possession allow a person to obtain title to land by simply using the land for a period of time specified by state and federal laws
Arbor: A shady garden shelter or bower, often made of rustic wood or latticework on which vines, roses, etc. are grown.


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B
Baffle: A built structure or planting that slightly obstructs the view into or out of an area.
Betterment: Any capital improvement that substantially increases property value.
Buildable Lot: A parcel of land that conforms to all state and federal regulations pertaining to the construction of a dwelling on the lot.
Buyers Agent: A real estate agent employed to work in the best interests of a buyer in a real estate transaction. The agent's loyalties are with the buyer. It is the agent's duty to share any information about the property or sellers that may help the buyer make decisions regarding the transaction.
Building code: Rules, regulations and laws determining exactly where and how a structure or feature is to be built, and whether any inspections are required along the way.
Bulb: A fleshy underground plant structure that contains the nutrients, energy and seed to produce a plant. Bulbs are typically buried in the ground at least one season before they emerge. Daffodils, lilies and tulips are common examples of bulbs.

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C
Casement Window: A window hinged to open from the side.
Casing: (1) the visible trim around a door or window; (2) a frame.
Closing Costs: Miscellaneous costs associated with closing a real estate transaction. Items such as points, attorney fees, appraisals, credit reports, prepaid interest, homeowner's insurance, title insurance, and reserves the lender collects for future taxes and insurance. The down payment is not considered a closing cost. 
Comparative market analysis (CMA): An informal assessment of a property's market value, usually done to establish a reasonable listing price when a property is placed for sale. The price is established by comparing the property to similar properties that have sold in the area within the past year.
Conifer: Cone bearing tree of the pine family, usually evergreen.
Construction Loan: A short-term loan, often unsecured, to a builder or developer to finance the costs of construction. The lender generally requires repayment from the proceeds of the borrower's permanent mortgage loan. The lender may make periodic payments to the borrower as the construction work progresses.
Contract For Deed: The sale of real estate using an installment agreement, where the seller retains legal title until the contract has been satisfied, usually when paid in full. 
Conveyance: This is the legal document that transfers ownership of unregistered land to you.

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D
Decking: Wood planking placed on top of beams to form a solid surface, such as a deck or path.
Deed of Trust: A deed of trust is a special kind of deed that is recorded in public records, where it tells everyone that there is a lien on your property. It is used in place of a mortgage.
Deed Restrictions: Restrictions placed within a deed that control the use of the property. Restrictions travel with the deed, and cannot generally be removed by new owners.
Detention pond: A lined or unlined hole in which surface drainage is captured, held temporarily, and then released steadily.
Drainage: The movement of water across a piece of property. Drainage is divided into two basic types: surface drainage, which is visible and above the ground or on top of surfaces such as a roof, patio, or drive; and subsurface drainage, which occurs below ground.
Drain Field: The configuration of surface swales and subsurface drain lines necessary to adequately gather and direct all the drainage on a piece of property.
Dual Agent: A dual agent is a real estate agent who has signed a buyer agency agreement with a buyer who wishes to purchase a listing held by the agent or the agent's firm. A dual agent must be loyal to both the buyer and the seller.
Due on Sale Clause: A clause inserted in loan documents that makes the entire loan balance due immediately if a borrower transfers ownership of the financed property to someone else.

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E
Easement: The right-of-way claimed by a private party, municipality or utility, usually described as a number of feet from the edge of a road or property line within which the owner of the easement has certain rights and limitations.
Edging: A crisp edge between areas of the garden. Most typically used between a lawn and a flowerbed.
Escrow: To deposit something of value with a third party who will deliver it to another party when certain conditions have been met.
Evergreen: Persisting and remains green throughout the year.

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F
Foliar: Of or about foliage, usually refers to the practice of spraying foliage, as in fertilizing or treating with insecticide; leaf tissues absorb liquid directly for fast results, and the soil is not affected.
Footing: A concrete foundation that extends below the frost line of the soil upon which a masonry structure is built.
Foreclosure: A legal proceeding where property used to secure a debt is sold to pay off that debt when the borrower has defaulted on loan payments or broken other terms of the mortgage agreement.
Formal design: Also know as symmetrical design; involves balance in a planting plan with equal parts on each side of a real or imaginary axis. Formal designs usually incorporate geometric shapes and straight lines.
Foundation: A stone, concrete block or poured concrete wall that supports the framed wood elements of a dwelling. Structurally stable to be below ground level.
Fountain Head: An attachment to a submersible pump that regulates the volume and shape of the spray.
Framing: The structural elements of a wood built structure that give it strength. The support structure for sheathing.
Frost Line: The depth below the soil line that will freeze in winter.

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G
General Warranty Deed: A general warranty deed is a type of deed where the grantor (seller) guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to you.
Germinate: To sprout. Germination is a fertile seeds, first stage of development.
Ground Cover: Plants that are used to cover bare ground; they usually spread to form dense colonies that coke out weeds.

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H
Hardscape: The sidewalk, curb, gutter and street covering the soil surface.
Header: long thick piece of wood or metal used in construction. Used to span wide horizontal openings
HUD-1: The HUD-1 is a form used by the settlement agent to itemize all charges for a real estate transaction. It gives each party a complete list of their incoming and outgoing funds.

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I
No Definitions

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J
Joist: beam used to support floors or roofs.
Junior Mortgage: A mortgage that has a lower priority than another mortgage lien against a property. 

 

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K
No Definitions


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L
Laminated Beam: An engineered structural member consisting of several thin boards glued together to create a larger board.
Landscape Fabric: A synthetic material that allows water to pass through but block light, soil, and weed roots from penetrating.
Lattice: An open framework made of strips of metal or wood, or the like interwoven to form regular, patterned spaces.
Lessee: Someone who leases property.
Lessor: A property owner who leases property to a tenant, the lessee. 
Like Kind Exchange: A type of exchange of that allows you to defer capital gains tax when you dispose of an investment property in order to acquire another investment property. Tax deferred exchange laws are structured by the Internal Revenue Service.
Limestone: A soil amendment containing calcium; it slowly raises the pH of a soil so it is more alkaline (basic). Dolomitic limestone is the safest form to use. If soil tests indicate adequate magnesium, then calcitic limestone is the safest form to use.
Line Level: A device, about the thickness of a fountain pen, that you can hook onto a taut horizontal piece of string to see if the string is level. Useful in maintaining straight lines when attaching pickets on a fence or when pruning a hedge.
Loam: Textural class name for soils having moderate amounts of sand, silt and clay.
Lot: The parcel of land that a dwelling or structure is built on.
Low-voltage Light: A light fixture (or system of fixtures) that operates on 12-volts instead of the standard 120-volt household current. Low-voltage systems use less wattage yet provide comparable performance to many 120-volt, higher wattage light bulbs.

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M
Manufactured Home: Formerly called mobile homes, manufactured homes are built in a factory and must conform to a federal building code (HUD). They are built on a non-removable steel chassis and transported to the home site on their own wheels.
Material Facts: A fact that may play a part in a buyer or seller's decision-making process. Seller's agents are required to disclose material facts to potential buyers.
Modular Home: Modular homes are homes built in modules at a factory. Modules are transported to the home site on flat bed trucks. Unlike manufactured homes, modulars conform to all state, local and regional codes where the home is to be located.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS): A group of real estate brokers who share their listing agreements with one another in order to find buyers for listed properties more quickly than they could on their own.
Mulch: A layer of organic or inorganic material placed around plants to hold in moisture and reduce weeds.

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N
Negative Amortization: Occurs when loan payments are not enough to cover the amount of interest due for that payment period. The unpaid interest is calculated and added to the total loan amount, increasing your outstanding balance.

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O
No Definitions

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P
Panelized: Completed wall sections that are factory built and assembled on site. Often used in conjunction with modular home sections to complete a project.
Prepaid Interest: Interest you pay at closing to cover the period from the the time the bank funds your loan (the day before or day of closing) to the date your first payment is due.
Peat moss: A usually weed-free form of organic matter created by the partial decomposition of sphagnum moss. It increases soil acidity and retains moisture.

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Q
Quitclaim Deed: Quitclaim deeds transfer or "quit" any interest in real property. The grantor may not be in title at all, so the grantee cannot assume that the grantor has any real interest to convey. However, if the grantor were, say, married to the owner of the property, signing and recording a quitclaim deed in favor of the spouse would transfer any interest the grantor may have in the property to the spouse.

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R
Radon: Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that's formed during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. It can also enter your home in well water.
Real Estate Appraisal: An estimate of a property's value on the open market; an estimate of a property's type and condition, its utility for a given purpose or its highest and best use.
Restrictive Covenant: Restrictive covenants are deed restrictions that apply to a group of homes or lots in a specific development or 'subdivision.' They are normally drafted and put in place by the original developer, and are different for every area of homes.
Retaining Wall: A structure made of masonry, stone or wood used to hold back soil, usually for the purpose of creating a level area in front or behind the wall.
Retention Pond: A hole dug to capture and hold surface drainage.
Reverse Mortgage: A special type of home equity loan for persons 62 and older. Reverse mortgages allow owners to convert some of the equity in their homes to cash. The loan does not usually have to be repaid during the homeowner's lifetime. Loan advances are not taxable and do not affect the homeowner's Social Security or Medicare benefits.

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S
Screen: A built structure or planting to block the view into or out of an area or to block the view of a specific object or structure.
Sellers Agent: A real estate agent employed to work in the best interests of a seller in a real estate transaction. The agent's loyalties are with the seller. It is the agent's duty to share with the seller all information about potential buyers that may help the seller make decisions regarding the transaction.
Septic System: A private waste removal system for homes that are not connected to a community sewer. A conventional septic system consists of three main parts: a septic tank, a drainfield, and the soil beneath the drainfield. Waste is filtered to the soil, where components in the soil neutralize bacteria and chemicals before they reach groundwater or nearby rivers and lakes.
Set Back: The required distance from a property line to the point where a structure or planting can be placed. A guideline established by each municipality.
Site analysis: The study and evaluation of existing site conditions.
Site inventory: A listing of all physical aspects of the property.
Site map: A scaled drawing of a piece of property that includes all important fixed objects.
Slope: The difference in height between two points, usually given in a ratio such as 1:4, which means the ground drops 1 vertical foot for every 4 feet of horizontal distance.
Stachybotrys Chartarum: Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold that produces hazardous byproducts, called mycotoxins. Researchers think mycotoxins can trigger health problems.
Starkers Exchange: A type of exchange of that allows you to defer capital gains tax when you dispose of an investment property in order to acquire another investment property. Tax deferred exchange laws are structured by the Internal Revenue Service.

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T
Title Insurance: An insurance policy that protects the owner of property against loss that occurs from a defect in a title for real estate.
Title Search: title searchers also look for re conveyances (proof that the encumbrances are paid off), and they look for easements, rights-of-way, CC&Rs, other elements affecting title to the property. 
Toxic Mold: Stachybotrys chartarum is a greenish-black mold that produces hazardous byproducts, called mycotoxins. Researchers think mycotoxins can trigger health problems.
Trellis: A frame supporting open latticework, used for training vines and other creeping vines. Used to create shaded areas.

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U
Underplant: To plant flowers or bulbs beneath the canopy of a larger plant to add color to the garden without taking up additional space. 

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V
Vegetative Growth: Non-flowering, usually leafy growth.


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W
Weep Hole: Small drainage outlet at the base of a retaining wall that allows water to seep out and prevents the build up of water pressure that may damage the wall.
Well drained soil: Soil that drains quickly, even after heavy rain.

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X
No Definitions

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Y
No Definitions

 

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Z
No Definitions

 

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