QUADRAPLEX Back to topAny building designed to accommodate four families.
QUALIFYING RATIOS Back to topTwo ratios used in determining credit worthiness for a mortgage loan. One is the ratio of a borrower's monthly housing costs to monthly income. The other is a ratio of all monthly debt to monthly income.
QUITCLAIM DEED Back to topA legal document which transfers any ownership an individual has in a piece of property. Often used when the amount of ownership is not known or is unclear.
RAFTER Back to topA structural element of the roof, sloping from the peak to the outer walls.
RANCH HOUSE Back to topAn architectural style typified by a single-story, low-roof construction. Popular in the western U.S.
RATE LOCK Back to topA guarantee from a lender of a specific interest rate for a period of time.
RAW LAND Back to topAny land which has not been developed.
REAL ESTATE Back to topA piece of land and any improvements or fixtures located on that land.
REAL ESTATE AGENT Back to topA licensed professional who facilitates the buying and selling of real estate.
REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT (RESPA) Back to topA federal law requiring lenders to give full disclosure of closing costs to borrowers.
REAL PROPERTY Back to topLand, improvements and appurtenances, and the interest and benefits thereof.
REALTOR® Back to topA real estate agent or broker who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS®.
RECEPTACLE Back to topAn electrical outlet to plug into.
RECORDER Back to topA local government employee whose role it is to keep records of all real estate transactions within the jurisdiction.
RECORDING Back to topThe filing of a real estate transaction with the appropriate government agent (normally the RECORDER). A real estate transaction is considered final when it is recorded.
REFINANCE TRANSACTION Back to topA new loan to pay off an existing loan. Typically to gain a lower interest rate or convert equity into cash.
REGISTER Back to topWhere air from a furnace or air conditioning system enters the room.
RELOCATION SERVICE Back to topAny company or agency that assists corporate employees in relocating from one place to another. Services may include hiring and coordinating real estate agents, moving companies, utilizes and the like.
REMAINING BALANCE Back to topThe amount of principal, interest and other costs that has not yet been repaid.
REMAINING TERM Back to topThe amount of time remaining on the original amortization schedule.
REMODEL Back to topAn activity designed to improve the value or desirability of a property through rebuilding, refurbishing, redecorating or adding on to it.
REPAYMENT PLAN Back to topA plan to repay delinquent payments, agreed upon between a lender and borrower, in an effort to avoid foreclosure.
REPLACEMENT RESERVE FUND Back to topAn account, or fund, setup for the replacement of short life items, such as carpeting, in the common areas of a cooperative property.
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY Back to topA piece of property whose highest and best use is the maintenance of a residence.
REVOLVING DEBT Back to topA type of credit that allows the borrower/customer to make charges against a predetermined line of credit. The customer then pays monthly installments on the amount borrowed, plus interest.
RIDGE BOARD Back to topThe structural member of a roof where the rafters join at the top.
RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL Back to topAn agreement giving a person the first opportunity to buy or lease a property before the owner offers it for sale to others.
ROOF PITCH Back to topThe degree of slope in a roof.
RURAL Back to topAn area outside of an established urban area or metropolitan district.
SALE PRICE Back to topThe actual price a property sells for, exclusive of any special financing concessions.
SALES COMPARISON APPROACH Back to topAn appraisal practice which estimates the value of a property by comparing it to comparable properties which have sold recently.
SCARCITY Back to topAn economic principal that dictates the price of a good or service through the interaction of supply and demand. When an item is scarce, its price tends to rise, given a constant demand. Real Estate is a classic example of scarcity.
SECOND MORTGAGE Back to topA loan secured by the equity in a home, when a primary mortgage already exists.
SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET Back to topAn economic marketplace where mortgage bankers buy and sell existing mortgages.
SECURED LOAN Back to topA loan that is backed by collateral. In the case of a mortgage loan, the collateral is the house.
SECURITY Back to topThe property used as collateral for a loan.
SEMIDETACHED HOUSING Back to topTwo residences which share a common wall.
SERVICER Back to topA financial institution which collects mortgage payments from borrowers and applies the appropriate portions to principal, interest and any escrow accounts.
SERVICING Back to topThe processing of payments, mailing of monthly statements, management and disbursement of escrow funds etc Typically carried out by the company you make payments to.
SHEATHING Back to topThe covering on outside walls beneath the siding or exterior finish such as stucco.
SHEETROCK Back to topAlso called drywall, the gypsum board commonly used on interior walls.
SILL PLATE Back to topThe lumber used around the foundation to support exterior wall framing.
SILL COCK Back to topGarden hose pipe connection.
SINGLE-FAMILY PROPERTY Back to topA property designed and built to support the habitation of one family.
SOFFIT Back to topThe underside of a cornice at the eaves.
STUCCO Back to topA textured plaster exterior (and occasionally interior) wall finish.
STUD Back to topA vertical framing piece in a wall, generally 2x4 lumber in interior walls.
SUBDIVISION Back to topA residential development that is created from a piece of land which has been subdivided into individual lots.
SUBJECT PROPERTY Back to topA term which indicates a property which is being appraised.
SUMP Back to topA basin into which water drains and from which the water is pumped out.
SURVEY Back to topA specific map of a piece of property which includes the legal boundaries and any improvements or features of the land. Surveys also depict any rights-of-way, encroachments or easements.
SWEAT EQUITY Back to topThe method whereby a home owner develops equity in a property, either during the purchase or throughout its life, by personally constructing improvements rather than paying to have them built.
TAX-EXEMPT PROPERTY Back to topAny property which is not taxed.
TENANCY Back to topThe right to occupy a building or unit.
TENANCY IN COMMON Back to topA form of holding title, whereby there are two or more people on title to a property, ownership does not pass on to the others upon the death of one individual.
THIRD PARTY ORIGINATION Back to topWhen a lender uses a third party to originate and package loans for sale to the secondary market (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac).
TITLE Back to topA specific document which serves as proof of ownership.
TITLE COMPANY Back to topAn organization which researches and certifies ownership of real estate before it is bought or sold. Title companies also act at the facilitator ensures all parties are paid during the real estate transaction.
TITLE INSURANCE Back to topA policy which insures a property owner should a prior claim arise against the property after the purchase has been completed. This also covers a lender should a question of ownership arise.
TITLE SEARCH Back to topThe process whereby the TITLE COMPANY researches a properties title history and ensures that no outstanding claims exist.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP Back to topAny means by which the ownership of a property changes hands.
TRANSFER OF TAX Back to topTaxes payable when title passes from one owner to another.
TRAP Back to topA bend in water pipe.
TRUSTEE Back to topA fiduciary that holds or controls property for the benefit of another.
TRUTH IN LENDING Back to topA federal law requiring full disclosure by lenders to borrowers of all terms, conditions and costs of a mortgage.
TUDOR Back to topA style of architecture typified by exposed stone, wood and brick construction. Similar in style to English manor homes.
UNDER IMPROVED LAND Back to topA piece of land which has been improved, but not to the full extent of its potential.
UNENCUMBERED PROPERTY Back to topAny property which has no outstanding claims or liens against it.
UNIFORM STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL APPRAISAL PRACTICE (USPAP) Back to topDeveloped in 1986 by the Ad Hoc Committee on Uniform Standards and copyrighted in 1987 by The Appraisal Foundation, USPAP forms the guidelines followed by every licensed and certified real estate appraiser in the United States. The purpose of these Standards is to establish requirements for professional appraisal practice, which includes appraisal, appraisal review, and appraisal consulting. The intent of these Standards is to promote and maintain a high level of public trust in professional appraisal practice.
USEFUL LIFE Back to topThe span of time over which a property can be used or can provide benefits to its owner.
VACANCY RATE Back to topThe current percentage of vacant properties in a given area, regardless of why they are vacant.
VA MORTGAGE Back to topA mortgage that is guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
VARIANCE Back to topAn exception to municipal zoning regulations granted for a specific time period to allow for non-conforming use of the land.
VENT PIPE Back to topA pipe allowing gas to escape.
VESTED Back to topHaving the right to use a portion of a fund such as an IRA. Typically vesting occurs over time. If you are 100% vested, you have a right to 100% of the fund.
VETERANS AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF (VA) Back to topThe successor to the Veteran's Administration, this government agency is responsible for ensuring the rights and welfare of our nation's veterans and their dependents. Among other duties, the VA insures home loans made to veterans.
VOLTAGE Back to topAn expression of electric force, or pressure. One volt being the force needed to move one amp against one ohm resistance.
WALK-THROUGH INSPECTION Back to topA process whereby an appraiser examines a property in preparation for estimating its value. Also, the process of inspecting a property for any damage prior to that property being bought or sold.
WARRANTY Back to topAn affidavit given to stipulate the condition of a property. The person giving the warranty assumes liability if the condition turns out to be untrue.
WATT Back to topAn expression of amount of electrical power. Volt times amps equals watts.
WEAR AND TEAR Back to topA term used to indicate the normal damage inflicted on a property through every-day use.
WEATHER STRIPPING Back to topMaterial used around windows and doors to prevent drafts.
WEEP HOLE Back to topDrainage hole that allows water to escape.
ZERO LOT LINE Back to topA municipal zoning category wherein a building or other fixture may abut the property line.
ZONE Back to topA specific area within a municipality or other jurisdiction which conforms to certain guidelines regarding the use of property in the zone. Typical zones include single-family, multi-family, industrial, commercial and mixed-use.