Glossary of Real Estate Terms

There are 125 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Deed of trust

Deed of trust is the documents which are used in some states instead of a mortgage. Here the title is conveyed to a trustee.

Deed Restrictions

Deed Restrictions means limitation in the deed to a property which dictates certain uses which may be or may not be made of the property.


Depreciation is the opposite of appreciation. Depreciation means a decline in the value of property.


Dower is the rights of widow in the property of her husband after her husbands death.

Down payment

Down payment is the certain part of the purchase amount that the buyer pays in cash at the time of purchase. Here he needs not to mortgage anything.

Earnest Money Deposit

Earnest money deposit is the down payment that is made by a purchaser of real estate to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the right of a government to acquire private for public use on the payment of its fair market value. It is the basis for the condemnation proceeding.


Encroachment is the presence of an improvement like a wall, a fence or other fixture which overlaps onto the property of an adjoining owner.


Equity is a homeowner's financial interest in a property. The difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage and other liens is equity.


Escrow is an item of value, money, or documents which is deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For instance, the earnest money deposit is put into escrow until delivered to the seller when the transaction is closed

Fair Credit Reporting Act

It is a consumer protection law which regulates the revelation of customer credit reports by consumer/credit reporting agencies and establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on ones credit record.

Fair market value

Fair market value means the highest price that a consumer, willing but not bound to buy, would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not bound to sell, would accept.

FHA mortgage

FHA mortgage is a kind of mortgage which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Along with VA loans, an FHA loan will often be referred to as a government loan.

Firm commitment

Firm commitment means a lenders contract to make a loan to a particular borrower on particular assets.

Government loan (mortgage)

Government loan is a kind of mortgage which is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Non government loans Mortgages are classified as conventional loans.

Grant Deed

This is one of the many types of deeds which was used to transfer the real property. This contains warranties against prior conveyances or encumbrances. When title insurance is purchased, warranties in a deed are of little practical significance.

Group home

This is a kind of single-family residential structure which is designed for occupancy by unrelated developmentally disabled persons. It provides long-term housing and support services that are residential in nature.


Guardian is a person who is appointed by a court for managing the person and the property of one who is legally incompetent to handle his/her own affairs

Hazard insurance

This insurance coverage comes in the event of physical damage to a property from fire, wind, vandalism, or other hazards.


A homeowners' association (abbrev. HOA) is an organization created by a real estate developer for the purpose of developing, managing and selling a development of homes.

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