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Real Estate Terms

ABANDONMENT The relinquishment of all rights and title to a property with no intention of reclaiming ownership.
ABSOLUTE FEE SIMPLE TITLE Absolute and unqualified title; the ultimate one can hold.
ABSTRACT OF JUDGMENT A summary of a court order which when recorded creates a general lien upon real and personal property of a debtor in the county in which it was recorded.
ABSTRACT OF TITLE A condensed history of the title to a parcel of land consisting of the original grant and all subsequent conveyances and recorded instruments, together with a statement of all liens, charges, or encumbrances affecting title to that land.
ABUSUS Civil Law Term: The right of the owner to the proceeds from a sale or mortgage.
ACCELERATION CLAUSE A clause in a mortgage or installment contract stating that upon default of payment due, immediate and full payment of the balance of the obligation becomes due and payable.
ACCEPTANCE The indication by the offeree that he is willing to be bound by the terms of the offer, and the receipt on delivery of the instrument.
ACCESSION Acquisition of property by its joining or union with other property.
ACCESS RIGHT The right of a property owner to have ingress and egress to and from his property.
ACCORD The agreement between contracting parties to make a substitution in a contract.
ACCRETION Gradual additions to land by deposits of sand or soil by bordering waters through natural causes.
ACCRUED DEPRECIATION The difference between the cost of a replacement new, on the date of the appraisal, and the present appraised value.
ACCRUED ITEMS OF EXPENSE Those incurred expenses which are not yet payable. The seller's accrued expenses are credited to the purchaser in a closing statement.
ACCUSATION A written statement of charges against the licensee, delivered to him prior to a hearing regarding the possible revocation or suspension of his license.
ACKNOWLEDGMENT A formal declaration made before a notary public or other authorized person, by a person who has executed an instrument, that such execution is his free act and deed.
ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION Civil Law Term: A concept existing in Louisiana Civil law which is similar to the Common Law concept of adverse possession.
ACRE A measure of land equal to 160 square rods, 4,480 square yards, or 43,560 square feet.
ACRE FOOT The volume of water equal to the quantity of water required to cover 1 acre 1 foot deep; 43,560 cubic feet.
ACTUAL EVICTION Dispossession from a leasehold by the lessor resulting from the intentional actions of the lessee.
ADMINISTRATOR A person appointed by the court to administer the estate of a deceased person who died intestate, or left no will.
ADMINISTRATOR'S DEED A deed given by an administrator.
AD VALOREM Tax according to valuation, e.g. property tax.
ADVERSE POSSESSION The means of acquiring title to land against the real owner, where possession has been actual, open, hostile, exclusive, continuous, and under claim of right for the statutory period of time.
AFFIDAVIT A voluntary statement reduced to writing and sworn to before a notary public or some other authorized officer.
AFFIRM To confirm or to ratify.
AGENCY the legal relationship resulting from an agreement that the agent is authorized by a principal to perform certain acts on behalf of the principal in dealing with a third party.
AGENT One who represents another from whom he has derived authority.
AGREEMENT OF SALE A written agreement in which the buyer agrees to buy certain realty and the seller agrees to sell upon terms and conditions set forth therein. Title remains with the seller until terms and conditions are fulfilled.
AIR RIGHTS The rights vested by a grant of an estate in real property to all or any portion of the space above the ground.
ALIENATION The transferring of real property from one person to another.
ALIENATION CLAUSE A provision in a document giving a person the right to transfer or forbidding him from transferring payment of a debt under a mortgage to be due in full upon transfer of ownership of the secured property. Also called “due on sale” clause.
ALLODIAL SYSTEM A real property ownership system in which ownership is free and absolute except as limited by those rights held in government.
ALLUVION That increase of soil on a shore or bank of a river as the result of accretion.
AMENITIES Those things which are marked by such qualities as pleasantness, comfortableness and agreeableness. In appraising, the amenities of property are those qualities which increase the pleasure of ownership and are not necessarily related to monetary values.
AMORTIZATION The gradual paying off of a debt on an installment basis.
APPRAISAL An estimate of value of real estate; the report stating and supporting the estimated value of realty.
APPRAISAL BY CAPITALIZATION Determining the value of property by dividing net annual income by the capitalization rate. Used on income producing properties.
APPRAISAL BY COST APPROACH Estimating the value of a piece of property by adding to the estimated land value the estimate of the replacement cost or reproduction cost of the building less depreciation. Also called summation or reproduction cost approach.
APPRAISAL BY MARKET DATA An appraisal of property through the examination and comparison of actual sales of comparable properties. Also called a comparable.
APPRECIATION An increase in the value of property due to economic or related causes which may prove to be either temporary or permanent.
APPURTENANCE That which has been added to a property which becomes an inherent part of the property and will pass with it when conveyed.
ARPENT Civil Law Term: A measurement of land in Louisiana based upon an old French measure generally 0.84 of an acre or approximately 192 feet square. In certain areas of Louisiana the term is used linearly and is taken to mean 192 feet by 192 feet.
ASSEMBLAGE Putting together two or more lots to form a large parcel. To be distinguished from plottage, which is the resulting value.
ASSESSED VALUATION An assessment of property values by the government for the purpose of taxation.
ASSESSMENT A charge against real estate made by a unit of government to cover the proportionate cost of improvements.
ASSIGNEE The person to whom an agreement or contract is transferred.
ASSIGNMENT The method or manner by which a right, specialty, or contract is transferred from one person to another.
ASSIGNOR A party who assigns or transfers an agreement or contract to another.
ASSUMPTION OF MORTGAGE Taking of title to property by assuming liability for payment of an existing note secured by a mortgage.
ATTACHMENT The artificial transfer of real property or improvements on real property by mistake. A garage erected on the wrong lot or siding affixed to the wrong home are examples of the transfer of property by attachment. Such improvements may be allowed to stand i
ATTORNEY IN FACT One who is authorized to perform certain acts for another under a power of attorney.
AUTHENTIC ACT An act passed by a notary in the presence of the affiant and two competent witnesses (three witnesses if the affiant is blind); a necessary condition for an act to become selfproving and accepted by a court, particularly in dealings with immovables.
AVULSION The sudden removal of land of one owner and depositing on the land of another when a stream changes its channel.
BALLOON PAYMENT The final installment payment on a note which is greater than the preceding installment payments and pays the note in full.
BARGAIN AND SALE DEED A deed used to convey title to real property, which may or may not include warranties; if any, they are generally limited to an assertion by the grantor that he has possession of the property.
BASELINE AND MERIDIAN Imaginary lines used by surveyors in locating and describing land under the rectangular survey method. The north
BATTURE LAND – The land between a riverbank and the water’s edge when the water level is low than normal. In Louisiana, the term applies to certain portions of the Mississippi River bed that are uncovered at the time of low water, but covered at the time of ordinary hig
BENCHMARK A permanent reference mark or point established for use in measuring differences in elevation.
BENEFICIARY A person who receives and benefits from the gifts or acts of another; or who receives the proceeds from a will, insurance policy or trust. Also, the term is used to describe theperson who receives the proceeds or principal of a trust left in the will of a
BEQUEATH The giving of personal property by will.
BEQUEST Personal property given by a will.
BIANNUAL Happening twice each year; semi
BIENNIAL Happening once every two years.
BILATERAL CONTRACT A contract in which both parties have reciprocal obligations towards each other.
BILL OF SALE A written instrument which passes title of personal property from seller to buyer.
BINDER An agreement to cover a down payment for the purchase of real estate as evidence of good faith on the part of the purchaser; shows the receipt of a deposit and outlines the basic terms of the transaction.
BLANKET MORTGAGE One mortgage covering two or more specific parcels of real estate.
BLOCKBUSTING The discriminatory practice of encouraging members of one race or creed to move into a neighborhood, and then exploiting the situation by persuading residents to sell their houses at deflated prices because of the alleged social deterioration of the neigh
BONA FIDE In good faith, without fraud; genuine; real.
BOND FOR DEED Civil Law Term: An instrument used in conveying Louisiana properties whereby the seller retains title after execution until such time as a designated amount has been paid in by the buyer (deemed the bond) at which time title passes and the seller assumes
BREACH OF CONTRACT Violation of any of the terms or conditions of a contract; default; nonperformance.
BROKER A licensed person who negotiates the purchase and sale of real estate for another.
BUDGET MORTGAGE A mortgage with payments that cover principal and interest, plus taxes, fire insurance, lease rent, etc.
BUILDING CODES Rules established by local governments to regulate construction standards.
BUILDING LINE A line at a certain distance from the front and/or sides of a lot, beyond which no building may project.
BUILDING RESTRICTIONS Limitations on the use of property or the size and location of improvements established by legislation or by covenants in deeds.
BUNDLE OF RIGHTS Ownership concept in real estate which embraces the rights of possession, use, enjoyment and disposition.
CAPITALIZATION The act of converting future income into current equivalent value.
CAPITALIZATION RATE The relationship or ratio between the net income from a real estate investment and the value of the investment, usually expressed as a percentage; the rate of interest which is considered a reasonable return on the investment.
CAUSE – Civil Law Term: The reason a person obligates himself.
CAVEAT EMPTOR Let the buyer beware; the buyer must examine the goods or property and buy at his own risk.
CC&R'S An abbreviation of covenants, conditions, restrictions, rights of way, and recorded easements.
CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY The document which verifies the entitlement of an individual to the benefits of the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 by establishing his service record qualifications with the government agency.
CERTIFICATE OF REASONABLE VALUE Commonly known as C.R.V.; this is the appraisal commitment of the Veteran's Administration used to fix the value of a property being proposed for purchase by a veteran under the GI bill of rights.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE A certification based on immediately available public records and issued by a title company, or an opinion rendered by an attorney that the seller has good, marketable and/or insurable title to the property.
CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER Commonly known as C.P.M.; this identification is bestowed upon any property manager who has met the requirements of the Institute of Property Management operated under the auspices of the National Association of Realtors.
CHAIN OF TITLE A sequential history of the conveyances and records of ownership to a piece of property through the years from the original grant to the present, as revealed through the public records.
CHATTEL Personal property which is tangible and movable.
CHATTEL MORTGAGE A mortgage covering personal property.
CIVIL CODE Civil Law Term: In Louisiana, the system of law as distinct from the common law of other states; handed down from the French and Spanish settlers who established their system of laws before the Louisiana Purchase.
CLIENT The principal to a real estate transaction who employs the agent.
CLOSING The time when a transaction is consummated, or the actual signing over of the documents and delivery of the deed; the time after signing when the documents are recorded.
CLOSING STATEMENT A statement of settlement made by a broker or an escrow company that reflects the financial position of the buyer and seller in that particular real estate transaction.
CLOUD ON TITLE Any conditions revealed by a title search which may affect or impair the owner's title to property because of their apparent or probable validity.
CODICIL A supplement or addition to a will which adds to, subtracts from, alters, revokes or qualifies the provisions of a will.
COLLATERAL Civil Law Term: A person with equal claim of inheritance; brothers and/or sisters from the same parents. This term is also used to indicate money or preferably real property pledged to guarantee the payment of a debt.
COLLATERAL MORTGAGE Civil Law Term: A type of mortgage not defined in the Code which secures a collateral note; this note may then be issued as security for debts incurred now or in some future time.
COLOR OF TITLE That which appears to be good title but which is not in fact good title, such as title held under a defective deed.
COMMINGLING Mixing money belonging to clients with personal funds.
COMMISSION An agent's compensation for performance of the duties of his agency; in real estate practice, a percentage of the selling price of the property, or percentage of rentals, etc.
COMMON ELEMENT In a condominium, land and all parts of a building normally used by all of the owners for their mutual convenience or safety.
COMMON LAW Laws which have evolved from general usage and are legally established through court decision.
COMMON THINGS Civil Law Term: Common "things" are those which may not be owned by anyone; things such as air and the high seas which may be freely used by everyone conformably with the use for which nature has intended them.
COMMUNITY PROPERTY Personal and real property acquired by husband and wife through their joint efforts during marriage and owned equally by them.
COMPETENT PARTIES Those who are qualified or mentally competent to enter into a contract.
COMPOUND INTEREST Interest paid both on the original principal and on interest accrued from the time it fell due.
CONCURRENT OWNERSHIP The ownership of property by two or more people.
CONDEMNATION The process by which property of a private owner is taken for public use, with just compensation to the owner, under the right of eminent domain.
CONDITIONAL SALE Civil Law Term: A sale which includes conditions.
CONDOMINIUM OWNERSHIP The individual outright ownership of a single unit in a multi
CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT Civil Law Term: A statement of acknowledgment of debt of principal, interest, and other costs. It is a mandatory statement in a collateral mortgage and the words "confess judgment" must appear in the terms of the mortgage.
CONFUSION Civil Law Term: The merging of ownership of both dominant and servient estates by the same person.
CONSIDERATION Valuable consideration, a promise or an act of legal value bargained for andreceived in return for a promise; good consideration, love and affection.
CONSTRUCTION LOAN A short term loan for building or repairing properties allowing the disbursement of funds at designated intervals as the work progresses.
CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION Breach of the covenant warranting quiet enjoyment in a lease; when a landlord performs an act depriving the tenant of quiet enjoyment of the premises thereby causing the tenant to move.
CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE Notice given by the public records; legal notice.
NON-CONSUMABLE – A thing which cannot be used without being consumed or its substance changed.
CONTINGENT Dependent upon an uncertain future event.
CONTRACT A legal agreement between competent parties for a consideration to perform or refrain from performing certain acts.
CONTRACT, IMPLIED One in which, from the conduct of the parties, their mutual promises are implied
CONTRACT, UNILATERAL One in which only one party is obligated to do something.
CONTRACT, VOIDABLE Civil Law Term: A relatively null contract that is capable of being affirmed or rejected at the option of one of the parties but which is binding on the other.
CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE A mortgage which is not FHA insured, or VA guaranteed.
CONVENTIONAL SERVITUDE Civil Law Term: By contract; voluntary. May be established by judicial act, prescription, or destination of the owner.
CONVEYANCE Civil Law Term: The transfer of the title of land from one to another; an instrument which carries from one person to another an interest in land.
COOPERATIVE OWNERSHIP Ownership that usually takes the form of shares of stock in a corporation owning the entire building and a proprietary lease giving the stockholder/tenant the right to occupy a unit for which he pays a proportionate share of the maintenance and operating
CORPORATION A vehicle used to carry on business with its owners having liability only to the extent of their stock ownership considered to be an individual or separate entity.
CORPOREAL Pertaining to a right or group of rights of a visible and tangible nature.
CORRECTION LINE A system for compensating inaccuracies in the Government Rectangular Survey System which are caused by the curvature of the earth. Every fourth township line, at 24 mile intervals, is used as a correction line on which the intervals between the north and
COUNTER LETTER – An agreement to re
COUNTEROFFER Created by the rejection of an original offer, the counteroffer invalidates the original offer and in effect constitutes a new offer.
COVENANT An agreement written into deeds and other instruments which promises or guarantees that something shall or shall not be done; an agreement stipulating certain uses or non
CUBIC FOOT METHOD A means of estimating a building's value based on the cubic foot construction cost of comparable buildings.
CURTESY The right which a husband has in his wife's estate at her death.
DAMAGES The indemnity recoverable by an injured party to compensate him for the loss suffered through an act or default of another.
DATION EN PAIEMENT Civil Law Term: Giving by the debtor and receiving by the creditor of something besides money for the payment of a debt. This is directly from the French which means "a gift in payment".
DEBENTURE A note or bond given as evidence of a debt; an unsecured note.
DEBT SERVICE The amount needed for payment of principal and interest on an amortized debt.
DECLARATION To make known openly and in definite terms; that which along with the by
DEDICATION An appropriation of land by its owner for some public use, and acceptance for such use by authorized public officials on behalf of the public. In certain cases, five years of uninterrupted public use will be considered an acceptance.
DEED An instrument in writing, duly executed and delivered by the grantor that conveys to the grantee some right, title or interest in or to real estate.
DEED RESTRICTIONS Clauses in a deed specifying the limitations to which the grantee's property may be subject, its permissible and impermissible uses, and the ways in which the premises are to be maintained.
DEFAULT Failure to meet an obligation or promise when due.
DEFEASANCE CLAUSE The clause in a mortgage that gives the mortgagor the right to redeem his property upon the payment of his obligation to the mortgagee, and declares the instrument null and void upon payment of debt when due.
DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT A judgment for the balance of a debt; issued when the difference between the indebtedness sued upon and the sale price obtained at the foreclosure sale is less than the debt.
DELIVERY The act or intent of transferring an instrument from one person to another in such a way that it cannot be recalled.
DEMISE A conveyance of an estate to another for life, for years or at will; to lease.
DEPOSIT Money given by one to another as evidence of his good faith; evidence or security for performance of a contract.
DEPRECIATION Loss of value brought about by physical deterioration or functional or economic obsolescence.
DEPTH TABLE A statistical table that may be used to estimate the value of the added depth of a lot.
DERELICTION – Land formed by water receding from a river or stream.
DESCENDANTS Children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren to the Nth generation living at the time of a person's death who have rights or claims on the property of the decedent.
DESIGNATED AGENT – A licensee named by a broker as the agent of a client.
DEVISE A gift of realty by will.
DEVISEE One who receives a gift of real estate by will.
DEVISOR One who gives realty by will
DIRECT REDUCTION LOAN A loan having a replacement schedule in which a declining amount of interest is deducted from a fixed payment amount. What remains of each payment is applied to the loan's outstanding principal.
DISCOUNT POINTS A fee based on a percentage of a loan, charged by a lender, as a service charge, or as an amount needed to produce the same yield on an FHA or VA loan that he would receive in the conventional mortgage market; each point charged represents 1% of the loan
DISINHERISON Civil Law Term: The act of depriving a forced heir of the inheritance the law gives him.
DISPOSABLE PORTION Civil Law Term: That amount of a person's property which he may freely dispose of without affecting the legitime (forced heirship portion). Donations inter vivos or mortis cause cannot exceed 3/4 of the property of the disposer, if he leaves, at his decea
DOCUMENTARY STAMP TAX A state tax on the transfer of real property.
DOMINANT ESTATE An estate attached to and benefitting from the servient estate, e.g., an easement runs over the servient estate and serves the dominant estate; also called dominant tenement.
DONATION INTER VIVOS Civil Law Term: A gift between living persons. A donation inter vivos is an act by which the owner (donor) divests himself of presently and irrevocably of a thing in favor of another (donee) who accepts it.
DONATION MORTIS CAUSA Civil Law Term: A gift made in contemplation of death. A donation mortis causa is an act to take effect when the donor has died and by which he disposes of all or part of his property. The act is revocable.
DONEE A person to whom a gift is made.
DONOR A person who makes a gift.
DOWER The legal rights that a widow possesses to her husband's estate.
DUAL AGENCY Designates a broker's unethical acting for both buyer and seller in the same transaction without the consent or knowledge of both parties.
DUE ON SALE CLAUSE The clause which allows the mortgagee the option of calling the mortgage's unpaid balance immediately due if the mortgagor sells or otherwise alienates the mortgage property. Also called the alienation clause.
DURESS Unlawful constraint or action against a person forcing him to perform some act against his will.
EARNEST MONEY Initial payment made by purchaser of real estate as evidence of good faith.
EASEMENT A right, privilege or interest which one party has in the land of another.
EASEMENT APPURTENANT An easement that is attached to and runs with the land; it cannot exist apart from the particular land to which it is attached.
EASEMENT BY PRESCRIPTION A method of acquiring a right to a portion of property by lapse of time, in the manner of adverse possession.
EASEMENT IN GROSS An easement which does not attach to the land, and is usually given to a quasi
ECONOMIC LIFE The period of time over which a property may be profitably used.
ECONOMIC OBSOLESCENCE A loss in value caused by factors apart from the subject property itself but nonetheless affecting the subject property.
EFFECTIVE AGE The apparent rather than the chronological age of a property.
EFFECTIVE DEMAND Consumer desire for an item coupled with the consumers' financial ability to purchase that item.
EGRESS Means of leaving property without trespassing the property rights of other surroundingowners.
EMBLEMENTS Trees or crops that are cultivated annually; the rights of a tenant to harvest the annual crop even after his tenancy has ended.
EMINENT DOMAIN The right of a government to take private property for public use upon the payment of just compensation.
ENCROACHMENT A building or fixture which intrudes partly or wholly upon the property of another.
ENCUMBRANCE A claim, line, charge, or liability attached to and binding upon real property which affects or limits the title thereof.
ENDORSEMENT The placing of one's signature on a document, to make it negotiable or transferable.
EQUALIZATION FACTOR A value used to adjust the market values of properties which have been assessed using differing assessment ratios.
EQUITABLE RIGHTS OF REDEMPTION The period of time between the point when the borrower goes into default and the actual foreclosure sale within which the borrower or another interested party can pay the current (or entire) indebtedness and redeem the property.
EQUITABLE TITLE The right that exists in equity to obtain absolute ownership to property when title is held in another's name; an interest in title to land that may not amount to a fee simple estate but is nonetheless a right of which a court will take notice and serious
EQUITY The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the liens against it; branch or remedial justice by and through which relief is afforded to parties in courts of equity.
EROSION The gradual wearing away of land due to natural causes of wind and water.
ESCALATION CLAUSE The clause in a mortgage which permits the holder to increase or decrease the interest rate during the term of the mortgage.
ESCHEAT The reverting of property to the state when heirs capable of inheriting are lacking, or the property is abandoned.
ESCROW The deposit of instruments and funds with instructions to a third neutral party to carry out the provisions of an agreement or contract.
ESTATE The degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest a person has in real property.
ESTATE FOR YEARS A lease; an interest in land by virtue of a contract for the possession for a definite and limited period of time.
ESTOPPEL A doctrine which bars one from asserting rights which are inconsistent with a previous position or representation.
ESTOPPEL CERTIFICATE An instrument executed by the mortgagor to the assignee upon the sale of the mortgage, setting forth the present status of the mortgage and attesting to its validity.
ET AL Latin for "and others".
ET UX Latin for "and wife".
EVICTION A legal proceeding by a landlord to recover possession of leased premises from a tenant due to some breach of the lease contract.
EXCHANGE A method of conveying real property by trading with another property.
EXCLUSIVE AGENCY A written instrument giving one agent the right to sell property for a specified time, but reserving the right of the owner to sell the property himself without the payment of a commission.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL A written agreement between owner and agent giving the agent the right to collect a commission if the property is sold by anyone during the term of his agreement.
EXECUTE To complete, to perform, to make, to do, to follow out; to execute a deed, to make a deed, including especially signing; to execute a contract, to perform the contract, to follow out to the end, to complete.
EXECUTED CONTRACT A contract that is fully signed or performed.
EXECUTOR A person named in a will to carry out its provisions as to the disposition of the estate of a deceased person.
EXECUTORY CONTRACT A contract not yet fully performed.
EXECUTORY PROCESS Described as the fastest way to foreclose on a mortgage for nonpayment of debt; this method must be expressed in the mortgage contract and signed and agreed to by all parties.
EXECUTRIX Feminine of executor.
EXPRESS AUTHORITY Clearly stated duties of an agent set forth by his principal.
EXPROPRIATION Civil Law Term: A taking, as under eminent domain. Equivalent to the Common Law term condemnation.
FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING ACT Federal legislation forbidding discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of real estate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status.
FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FHLMC) A federal agency which buys mortgages in the secondary money market from commercial banks and federally insured savings and loan associations; "Freddy Mac".
FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) An agency of the federal government which insures certain real estate loans.
FEDERAL NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (FNMA) A part public, part private corporation that buys and sells mortgages in the secondary money market. "Fannie Mae".
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM The national controller of the money supply, the Federal Reserve System regulates the printing of money, buys and sells bonds, and controls the reserve requirements of its member banks.
FEE CONDITIONAL An estate granted absolutely but only so long as a specified event occurs or does not occur.
FEE DETERMINABLE A fee estate which exists only until a specified event does or does not occur. Upon the happening of such event, the fee automatically ends and reverts back to the original grantor, or to his estate.
FEE SIMPLE An estate in real property, by which the owner has the greatest power over the title which it is possible to have, being an absolute estate; an estate of inheritance belonging to the owner, that he may dispose of, trade, or will, as he chooses.
FEE TAIL An estate which was inheritable by particular lineal heirs. Upon lack of such heirs the estate reverted back to the grantor or his heirs. No longer recognized.
FEE TITLE POLICY The title insurance policy covering the property owner.
FEUDAL SYSTEM Medieval legal and social system in which ownership of the land was vested in the monarch.
FIDUCIARY A person in a position of great trust and confidence, as the relationship between principal and agent.
FINDER'S FEE A fee paid to a person for the services of putting together the two parties in a real estate transaction.
FISCAL YEAR A year, used for tax, corporate, and accounting purposes which begins on a date other than January 1.
FIXTURE An article of personal property which has been installed in or attached to land or a building thereon, in such a manner, that it is now considered to be a part of the real estate.
FORCED HEIR Civil Law Term: A child of a deceased person who has not attained the age of twenty
FORCED PORTION Civil Law Term: The portion of the property of a deceased person that his descendants must receive upon his death.
FORECLOSURE Procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the debt in event of default in payments or terms.
FRAUD The intentional and successful employment of deception in order to cheat or deceive another person and to thereby gain some dishonest advantage.
FREEHOLD An estate in real property for an indefinite and uncertain time.
FRONT FOOT Property measurement by the front foot on its street line or waterfront line with each front foot extending the depth of the lot.
FRUCTUS Civil Law Term: The ownership right regarding the fruits or incomes from Louisiana real estate.
FULL, COMPLETE AND PERFECT OWNERSHIP Civil Law Term: Refers to the owner’s unrestricted power to dispose of the property. Similar to fee simple ownership in Common Law.
FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE Lack of desirability in terms of layout, style and design as compared with that of a new property serving the same function.
GENERAL AGENT An agent authorized to handle specified matters for his principal
GENERAL LIEN A lien attaching claim to all property of a person, both real and personal.
GENERAL PARTNER Civil Law Term: All partners are general partners, having the powers, rights, and obligations of partners, unless specified otherwise in the articles of partnership; a partner "in commendam" cannot be a general partner but may become liable as one under c
GENERAL WARRANTY DEED A deed in which the grantor certifies that the title conveyed is free of defects which may have arisen before or during the time he owned the property.
GENUINE ASSENT The principal that all parties entering into a contract must do so of their own free will and choice.
GOVERNMENT NATIONAL MORTGAGE ASSOCIATION (GNMA) A federal agency which provides special assistance for federally aided housing programs; active in the secondary money market for government subsidized housing programs; "Ginnie Mae".
GOOD CONSIDERATION Promises of intangibles (such as love and affection made to fulfill one requirement of a binding contract.
GRADUATED LEASE A lease with fixed increases at stated intervals, or increases based upon periodic appraisals at stated times; also called a step
GRADUATED LOAN A loan featuring an unlevel, amortized repayment schedule in which payments start small and become larger as the loan is repaid; graduated payment mortgage.
GRANTEE The purchaser; the person to whom an interest in realty is conveyed.
GRANTING CLAUSE The part of a deed expressing the grantor's intention to transfer his interest in his property to the grantor.
GRANTOR The seller; the person who conveys an interest in realty by deed.
GRATUITOUS Civil Law Term: A donation or contract made without consideration.
GROSS INCOME Total income derived from a business or income property before expenses are deducted.
GROSS LEASE A lease of property in which the lessor meets all property charges incurred through ownership.
GROSS MULTIPLIER A number which is used to determine the approximate selling price for income property by multiplying the gross income times this number. (Income X Multiplier = Selling Price).
GROUND LEASE A lease for the use of the land, usually providing for improvements to be placed on the land by the user.
GROUND RENT The net rent paid for a parcel of unimproved land; that portion of the total rental is considered to represent a return upon the land only.
HABENDUM CLAUSE The portion of a deed beginning "to have and to hold", which usually follows the granting clause, and explains or limits the estate granted.
HABITATION Civil Law Term: The nontransferable real right of a natural person to dwell in the house of another. One of the three types of personal servitude, (others are usufruct and right of use).
HEIR One, generally in direct line of descendancy, who receives any property by action of law in intestate successions.
HEIRSHIP, FORCED Civil Law Term: Louisiana descendants are required to inherit certain portions of their deceased parents' property.
HIGHEST AND BEST USE That legal use, which at the time of an appraisal is most likely to produce the greatest net return over a given period of time.
HOLDOVER TENANT A tenant who remains in possession of a property after expiration of the lease term.
HOLOGRAPHIC WILL Unwitnessed will hand
HOMOGENEOUS The same or similar kind of structure; similar; as used in appraising, homogeneity tends to stabilize values in an area.
HOMESTEAD – The house and adjoining land of a family. In Louisiana, statutory exemptions against the right of general creditors is set at a exemptions is $7,500 of assessed value.maximum of $15,000. Property tax
HYPOTHECATE To pledge property as security; to mortgage.
IMMOVABLE Civil Law Term: Land and/or buildings situated on the land; other improvements to the land (landscaping, fruit trees, or vegetable garden) belong as part of the immovable.
IMPLIED AUTHORITY The authority an agent is assumed to have because of a course of conduct, or which is inferred from the fact that he has been authorized to perform certain acts.
IMPROVEMENT Civil Law Term: An addition made to property. Generally refers to buildings, but may include any permanent structure such as streets, sidewalks, utilities, etc.
IN REM – Pertaining to property. Used to designate legal proceedings against the property.
INCAPACITY The lack of legal qualifications making a person incapable of performing some act. Mental deficients, minors, etc. lack capacity to perform certain acts.
INCHOATE Incomplete; not perfected.
INCORPOREAL Intangible; without physical existence.
INDEFEASIBLE Not capable of being annulled or voided.
INGRESS An entrance to property which does not trespass over the property rights of others.
INJUNCTION A writ or order issued under the seal of a court to restrain one or more parties from performing an act which is deemed to be inequitable or unjust in regard to the rights of some other party.
INSTALLMENT CONTRACT A contract which provides for payment of a purchase price in installments.
INSTRUMENT A written legal document.
INTENTIONAL MISREPRESENTATION The act of making willfully inaccurate statements about a property or withholding essential information concerning it.
INTEREST The charge for the use of money over a period of time. Can be understood as the "rent" paid for the use of borrowed money.
INTEREST ESCALATION CLAUSE The clause in a promissory note which pushes the note's interest rate to the maximum amount allowed by law in the event of the borrower's default.
INTEREST RATE The percentage charged to use a sum of money.
INTER VIVOS During one's life; from one living person to another.
INTESTATE A person who dies without a will, or with one which is defective in form.
INVOLUNTARY LIEN A lien imposed against property without consent of an owner; e.g., taxes, special assessments, federal income tax liens, etc.
IRREVOCABLE Incapable of being recalled or revoked; unchangeable.
JOINT TENANCY Ownership by two or more persons with rights of survivorship; all joint tenants own equal interest and have equal rights in the property; each owner is possessed of an undivided part of the whole.
JOINT VENTURE A joining of two or more people in a specific business enterprise.
JUDGMENT The final determination of the rights and liabilities of the parties by a court in an action before it.
JUNIOR MORTGAGE A mortgage which is subordinate to a prior existing mortgage on the same real estate.
JUST COMPENSATION – Compensation that is fair to both the owner and the public in condemnation proceedings. The theory is that to be ‘just’, the property owner should be no richer or poorer than before the taking. In Louisiana, ‘just’ means the entire loss of property to the
LACHES Delay or negligence in asserting one's legal rights.
LANDMARK A monument or object used to establish the boundary line of a property.
LEASE A contract whereby the lawful owner of the property transfers his rights of use and possession to another for a specified term.
LEASEHOLD An estate or right in real property held under a lease.
LEGACY A gift of personal property, usually money, by will.
LEGAL CAPACITY A requirement of parties entering into a valid contract is that they be legally competent and duly authorized.
LEGAL DESCRIPTION A description, recognized by law, that will definitely locate and identify the property.
LEGATEE Civil Law Term: One, generally in direct line of descendancy, who receives any property through the will of a deceased person.
LESION BEYOND MOIETY Civil Law Term: A situation that exists when a sale of immovable property has been made for less than half of its market value.
LESSEE One who rents property under a lease contract.
LESSOR An owner who enters into a lease with a tenant.
LEVERAGE The use of borrowed funds in financing, with the anticipation that the property acquired will increase in return so that the investor will realize a profit, not only on his own investment, but on the borrowed funds as well.
LICENSE A personal privilege to perform some act on the land of another.
LIEN A right, given by law, whereby a creditor may satisfy a debt out of the proceeds of the sale of real or personal property belonging to the debtor; an encumbrance, usually naming property as security for payment of a debt or for the discharge of an obligat
LIEN THEORY The theory of collateral property which gives the lender a lien against the borrower's property until the debt is repaid. Title is said to be hypothecated to the lender, i.e., if the borrower defaults, the lender can foreclose.
LIFE ESTATE An estate or interest in real property held for the duration of the life of a certain person. Upon the expiration of that life, the estate will automatically be vested in a remainderman or reversioner.
LIMITED PARTNERSHIP A partnership composed of general and limited partners whose contribution and liability are limited and specifically defined.
LIS PENDENS A legal document giving constructive notice that an action at law is pending; a notice of pendency.
LISTING A written employment agreement between a property owner and a broker authorizing the broker to sell, lease or exchange the realty.
LITTORAL Property which borders a large body of water, such as a lake, ocean, or sea.
LOAN ORIGINATION FEE The charge made by a lender to make a loan.
LOT, BLOCK, AND SUBDIVISION In subdividing land, the tract is first assigned a name and each block and lot within that subdivision is numbered or lettered. A map of the subdivision is then recorded with the proper governmental authority.
LTVR Loan to value ratio; the relationship in size between the amount of the borrower's loan and the value of the property. Found by dividing the loan amount by the property's appraised value or selling price, whichever is less; the percent of value which the
MANDATE Civil Law Term: A mandate, procuration, or letter of attorney is an act by which one person gives power to another to transact for him and in his name, one or several affairs.
MARKETABLE TITLE Title free and clear of objectionable encumbrances; title which is free from reasonable doubts or defects, which can be readily sold or mortgaged.
MARKET PRICE The price a property brings in a given market.
MARKET VALUE The highest price a ready, willing and able buyer, not forced to buy, will pay to a ready, willing and able seller, not forced to sell, allowing a reasonable time for exposure in the open market.
MECHANIC'S LIEN A lien which exists against real property in favor of persons who have performed work or furnished materials for the improvement of real estate.
MERGER OF TITLE The absorption of one estate into another.
METES AND BOUNDS A method of describing or locating real property; metes are measures of length and bounds are boundaries; a description starting with a well
MILE A linear measurement of distance equal to 1,760 yards, or 5,280 feet, or 1,608 meters.
MINERAL RIGHTS Civil Law Term: The rights of ownership of all minerals appearing in solid state beneath the surface of land to which one has title and the exclusive right to explore and develop the property for the production of fugitive or liquid state minerals and to
MINOR A person who is under the legal age of competence; under 18 years of age.
M.I.P. The mortgage insurance premium collected by the FHA for insuring the mortgage.
MISDEMEANOR A crime of lesser consequences than a felony which is subject to minor jail terms, fines, or both.
MISREPRESENTATION A false statement made with the intent to induce some action by another party.
MISTAKES OF FACT Errors regarding the facts of a contract.
MISTAKES OF LAW Errors regarding the legal implications of the facts of a contract.
MONUMENT A fixed object and point established by surveyors to establish land locations; includes not only artificial objects such as posts and fences, but natural objects such as trees, mountains and water courses.
MORTGAGE An instrument in writing which, when recorded, creates a lien upon property pledged as security for the repayment of a debt or obligation.
MORTGAGE BANKER A corporation or firm which makes, delivers, and services mortgage loans.
MORTGAGE BROKER A person or firm which acts as an intermediary between borrower and lender.
MORTGAGEE The party who lends money and accepts a mortgage to secure the payment of the debt.
MORTGAGOR The party who borrows money and gives a mortgage on the property as security for his obligation to repay the debt.
MORTGAGE GUARANTEE MORTGAGEE CORPORATION A private corporation specializing in buying and selling mortgages; "Maggie Mae".
MORTIS CAUSE Civil Law Term: Donations mortis causa refer to donations of disposable property by a legal will in any form. Must not impinge upon the legitime of forced heirs.
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (M.L.S.) An arrangement among brokers whereby they share their listings.
NAKED OWNER – The person who owns the right of abusus of the property.
NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENT A written instrument signed by its maker or drawer, containing an unconditional promise to pay a certain sum of money; can be passed freely from one person to another.
NET INCOME With reference to income producing property, the sum derived after a vacancy allowance and expenses have been deducted from the gross income; generally described as net income before depreciation, and usually defining the income a property will earn in a
NET LEASE A lease in which the tenant pays rent for occupancy, plus maintenance and operation expenses, and usually including taxes and insurance.
NET LISTING A listing which provides that the agent may retain all sums received over and above a net price to the owner as compensation for his services.
NET OPERATING INCOME A property's gross income minus vacancy and unpaid rent losses and all other operating expenses except those due to interest and depreciation.
NONCONFORMING USE A use which is contrary to zoning laws, but which is permitted because the use was allowed before the zoning law came into effect; a grandfather clause.
NON CONSUMABLE – A thing that can be enjoyed without altering its substance.
NOTARIAL WILL – Civil Law Term: A testament which is similar to a statutory testament whichis usually typed and signed by the testator in the presence of a notary and witnesses.
NOTE A written instrument acknowledging a debt and promising payment.
NOVATION The substituting of a new obligation for an old one.
NULLITY Civil Law Term: An act that has no legal force or effect.
OFFER A promise by one party to act in a certain manner provided the other party will act in the manner requested. In a real estate sales contract, the offer to purchase realty according to certain stipulated terms and conditions.
OLOGRAPHIC Civil Law Term: A will which is entirely in writing of the testator.
OPEN END MORTGAGE A mortgage containing a clause which permits the mortgagor to borrow additional money up to the original amount of the loan after the loan has been reduced, without rewriting the mortgage.
OPEN LISTING A listing given to any number of agents without liability to compensate any except the one who first secures a buyer ready, willing and able to meet the terms of the listing.
OPTION A right given for consideration to purchase or lease a property upon specified terms within a specified time.
OPTIONEE The one obtaining the option right.
OPTIONOR The one granting the option to another.
ORDINANCE A legislative enactment of a city or county, such as zoning.
ORDINARY PROCESS Civil Law Term: The normal (as opposed to the executory) process of court action, with delays, appeals, and requests for more evidence.
OWNERSHIP The condition of having the right to possess, use and dispose of property.
OWNERSHIP, IN INDIVISION Civil Law Term: A Louisiana term for a fractional owner. The fractions need not be proportionate. Each owner retains the right to a partition of the property and his or her interests are freely transferable.
OWNERSHIP, SOLE Civil Law Term: A Louisiana term similar to ownership in severalty.
PACKAGE MORTGAGE A mortgage commonly used in subdivision developments whereby chattels such as appliances are "packaged" into the mortgage along with the real property.
PARTITION Court proceedings by which co
PARTITION BY LICITATION Civil Law Term: A judicial order to sell property at a cash sale to the highest bidder and divide the proceeds fractionally among co
PARTITION IN KIND Civil Law Term: A judicial order to divide the property physically and place each undivided owner in sole ownership of 100 percent of a portion of said property.
PARTNERSHIP A contract between two or more persons to carry on as co
PARTNERSHIP IN COMMENDAM Civil Law Term: A Louisiana term for the limited partnership as known in Common Law.
PARTY WALL A wall erected on the line between adjoining properties which are under separate ownership, for the use of both owners.
PATENT A conveyance for the transfer of title to land owned by the government; land patent.
PERCENTAGE LEASE A lease of property in which the rental is based upon the volume of gross sales made on the leased premises.
PERIODIC TENANCY Tenancy of property for an indefinite period which can be terminated by either party with proper notice.
PERSONAL PROPERTY Any property not real property; movables.
PERSONAL SERVITUDE Civil Law Term: A charge on a thing for the benefit of a person. The Code identifies three classes: usufruct, habitation, and the rights of use.
PHYSICAL DEPRECIATION Any loss to property values caused by normal wear and tear or usage. Also includes such things as termite damage, dry rot, and the like.
PHYSICAL LIFE The period of time over which a building is able to function without falling down.
PITI MORTGAGE Abbreviation of principal, interest, taxes and insurance; used when stating a mortgage's total monthly payment amount.
PLAT A plan or map of a certain piece or pieces of land.
PLOTTAGE The land increment produced by combining smaller individually owned plots into a larger tract under a single ownership; see assemblage.
POLICE POWER The inherent right of a government to enact such legislation as may be deemed necessary to protect and promote the health, safety and general welfare of the public.
POWER OF ATTORNEY A written instrument authorizing a person to act as the agent on behalf of another to the extent indicated in the instrument.
PREDIAL SERVITUDE Civil Law Term: A charge on a subservient estate for the benefit of the dominant estate. The two estates must belong to different owners. A ? is a real right burdening immovables. There are three classes: natural, legal, and voluntary (conventional)
PREPAYMENT CLAUSE The clause in mortgage or note stating the penalty, if any, for payment before it actually becomes due.
PRESCRIPTION Title obtained by possession for a prescribed period; prescriptive rights.
PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE Evidence which is good and sufficient on its face ("at first view") to establish a given fact or case, unless rebutted or contradicted.
PRIMARY MONEY MARKET The source of loan funds available directly to borrowers, whether for first or second mortgages.
PRINCIPAL The employer of an agent or broker; a sum of money owed as a debt upon which interest is calculated.
PRINCIPLE OF HIGHEST AND BEST USE The appraisal principle which holds that the best use of a property is that which will produce the highest and most durable return on an owner's investment.
PRINCIPLE OF CONTRIBUTION The economic principle which holds that if a single improvement on a property does not result in a greater net return from the whole property, the cost of the improvement cannot be justified.
PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN A meridian which serves as a reference for other meridians; a part of the rectangular method of survey.
PRIVATE GRANT Conveyance of property from one private person to another.
PRIVATE THINGS Civil Law Term: In the Code, "things" are divided into common, public, and private; corporeals and incorporeals; and movables and immovables. ? things are owned by individuals, other private (juridical) persons, and by the state or its political sub
PRIVILEGE Civil Law Term: A right that the nature of a debt gives to a creditor and entitles him to preference above other creditors.
PROBATE An action of the court to determine the validity and legality of a last will and testament.
PROCURING CAUSE The cause of a series of events which leads to the consummation of a sale.
PROMISSORY NOTE A written promise to pay a certain sum of money at a definite date in the future.
PROPRIETORSHIP A business held by a person who has legal title or exclusive right thereto.
PRORATE To divide or distribute proportionately; to divide monies, usually at the time of closing, proportionately between seller and buyer.
PROTECTIVE ZONING Zoning regulation the size and placement of buildings and other improvements on their land and the overall use of space within an area, having the end of putting land to its highest and best use.
PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE A mortgage on property given by a buyer, either to the seller or to a third party in order to secure a portion of the purchase price.
QUANTITY SURVEY METHOD A method of finding an improvement;s replacement or reproduction cost new by tabulating the cost of all building materials plus costs for design, labor, and management.
QUIET ENJOYMENT The right of an owner or tenant legally in possession of the use of property without interference from the landlord, or grantor, or anyone claiming through him.
QUIET TITLE A court action brought to establish title or to remove a cloud on the title; an action clearing tax titles or titles based upon adverse possession.
QUITCLAIM DEED A deed containing no warranties or covenants, which relinquishes any interest, title or claim in property the grantor may have, if any.
RANGE A strip of land six miles wide, determined by government survey, running north and south.
RECEIVER A court appointed custodian who holds property for the court, pending final disposition of the matter before the court.
REAL PROPERTY Land itself, the improvements thereon, and the rights, title and interest one has in it.
RECISSION The revocation or repealing of a contract by the mutual consent of the parties to vthe contract or for cause by either party to the contract.
RECORDING The act of writing or entering an instrument into a book of public records, which constitutes notice to all persons of the rights or claims contained in the instrument; often called constructive notice or legal notice.
RECTANGULAR SURVEY The government system of land survey noted for accuracy, adapted to the measurement of extensive territory.
REDEMPTION Buying back one's property after default or a judicial sale.
REDHIBITION The right to have a sale rescinded or the price reduced due to a hidden defect which, had the buyer known of it, would have caused him or her to offer a lesser price or not act at all.
REDLINING The unethical, sometimes illegal, practice of systematically refusing to make loans in certain neighborhoods.
REGULATION Z Passed to enforce the Truth in Lending Law, This establishes guidelines for disclosure of loan costs, the borrower's right of recission, and fair advertising practice regarding personal, agricultural and family loans.
RELATION BACK A provision in escrow agreements allowing, in the event of thee seller's death, the closing date of the sale to "relate back" to the date the escrow agreement was made.
RELEASE CLAUSE A clause in a blanket mortgage which gives the property owner the right to pay off a portion of the indebtedness, thereby freeing a portion of his property from the mortgage.
RELEASE OF MORTGAGE The instrument given by the mortgagee to the mortgagor indicating discharge of the mortgage, stating that the obligation has been fulfilled and the debt paid off.
RELICTION Gradual recession of water from the usual watermark.
REMAINDER ESTATE An estate created by single grant simultaneously with another which vests with a third party after termination of the prior estate; such as a life estate.
REMAINDERMAN The one in whom an estate vests after termination of a prior estate.
REPLACEMENT COST NEW The cost to replace the subject improvement with one having equivalent utility, but constructed with modern materials and according to current standards in workmanship, design and layout.
REPRODUCTION COST NEW The cost, at today's prices, of constructing an exact replica of the subject improvement using the same or very similar materials.
RESCIND To annul; cancel.
RECISSION The annulling, revocation, or repealing of a contract by mutual consent of the parties, or for cause by either party to the contract, and returning the parties to their original position (the "status quo").
RECISSION CLAUSE A clause occasionally found in an agreement of sale which requires the seller to return all of the buyer's payments less costs and a fair rental value in the event the buyer defaults.
RESPA Acronym of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, federal legislation passed to regulate disclosure of the buyer's settlement costs.
RESTRICTION A clause in a deed or other written instrument limiting the use to which the property may be put.
REVERSION The residue of an estate left to the grantor or his heirs after termination of all prior estates and interests; the right of a lessor to recover possession of leased property upon the termination of the lease, with all subsequent rights to use and enjoy t
REVERSIONARY INTEREST A present right to future possession of an estate.
RIDER An addition, amendment or endorsement to a contract or other document.
RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP The right to acquire the interest of a deceased joint owner; distinguishing feature of a joint tenancy.
RIGHT OF WAY An easement or right of passage over another's land.
RIPARIAN RIGHTS The right of a landowner to the use of water on or adjacent to his land.
RUNNING WITH THE LAND A covenant which extends beyond the original parties to an agreement and binds all subsequent parties.
SAFETY CLAUSE A clause in a sales contract entitling the broker to a commission for the sale of the property by the owner himself for an extended period of time after the contract has expired.
SALE AND LEASEBACK The sale and subsequent leasing back by the seller
SALE WITH WARRANTY Civil Law Term: Similar to General Warranty Deed. Gives best guarantee of title.
SALE WITHOUT WARRANTY Civil Law Term: Similar to Quitclaim Deed. Gives no guarantee of title.
SANDWICH LEASE A leasehold interest of a sublessor which lies between the primary lease (owner) and the operating lease (user).
SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE An instrument used when a lien is paid off and satisfied on the records; also called satisfaction piece.
SECONDARY MONEY MARKET The marketplace for the sale and purchase of existing mortgages.
SECTION A section of land established by government survey containing 640 acres, or 1 square mile.
SECURITY DEPOSIT A deposit made to assure performance of an obligation, usually by a lessee.
SEIZIN Possession of real property by one entitled thereto; a warranty that at the time of delivery of a deed, the grantor actually has the right and capacity to convey good legal title.
SEPARATE PROPERTY Property owned by a husband or wife which is not community property; property acquired by either spouse prior to marriage or by gift or devise after marriage.
SERVIENT ESTATE An estate of land over which an easement exists in favor of the dominant estate; servient tenement.
SERVITUDE Civil Law Term: A servitude is the alienation of one of the elements of ownership of one estate in favor of another. An easement under the common law is not necessarily the same legal right as a servitude under Louisiana law. Servitudes may be lost throug
SETBACK An ordinance prohibiting the erection of a building or structure between the curb or other established line and the setback line; the distance a house must be set back from the street in accordance with local zoning rules.
SEVERALTY Sole or independent ownership.
SEVERANCE DAMAGES Damages paid to an owner when his property has been partially taken by condemnation, thus reducing the highest and best use of the remaining property.
SIMPLE INTEREST Interest computed upon the declining balance of a particular amount; as principal declines so does the interest payment.
SITUS The site, place, location or position occupied by real property.
SPECIAL AGENT A person who is authorized to perform only certain specified functions on behalf of his principal.
SPECIAL ASSESSMENT An assessment generally made against only those specific parcels of realty directly benefiting therefrom.
SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED A deed in which the grantor warrants or guarantees title against defects arising during his ownership of the property only and not against defects existing before the time he owned it.
SPECIFIC LIEN A lien which is applicable to one property in particular versus a general lien which applies to all property of the individual involved.
SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE A remedy which the court will grant in certain cases, compelling the defendant to perform or carry out the terms of a valid, existing agreement or contract.
SPOT ZONING A zoning practice allowing certain portions of an area to be sued for purposes not generally permitted within that area.
STATUTE A law established by an act of the legislature.
STATUTE OF FRAUDS State law requires among other things that certain contracts relating to real estate must be in writing to be enforceable at law.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS laws setting forth the period of time in which suit can be brought for a particular act.
STATUTORY RIGHTS OF REDEMPTION The rights which prescribe the period of time after a foreclosure sale within which the borrower allowed to redeem his property by paying the debt in full.
STEERING Directing prospective buyers or tenants into or away from certain areas on illegal discrimination grounds.
STEP-UP LEASE A lease with fixed increases at stated intervals, or increases based upon periodic appraisals at stated times; graduated lease; graded lease.
STRAIGHT LEASE The type of rental arrangement requiring rent payments of fixed amounts made at specific intervals through the lease's duration.
STRAIGHT LOAN A note on which interest only is paid during the term of the loan. When the loan expires, the entire sum of principal is due.
STRAIGHT LINE DEPRECIATION Setting aside or allowing a fixed sum of money each year to offset replacement or improvements when needed.
STRAW MAN One who purchases property for another to conceal the identity of the real purchaser; a dummy purchaser.
SUBDIVIDING The process of apportioning a parcel of land into individual lots.
SUBDIVISION REGULATIONS The governmental regulation of the ways in which subdivided property must be planned and completed.
SUBLEASE A lease given by a lessee for a portion of the unexpired balance of his term, or one given for a portion of the leased premises.
SUBORDINATION CLAUSE A clause in a mortgage or lease stating that the rights of the holder shall be secondary or subordinate to a subsequent encumbrance.
SUBROGATION The substitution of one person in place of another with reverence to a lawful claim, demand or right, so that he succeeds to such rights of the other.
SUMMARY POSSESSION A process whereby the landlord may terminate a lease for good reason and the tenant must appear and show cause why he would not be evicted. Also called Dispossess Proceeding or Unlawful Detainer.
SURETY One who becomes a guarantor for another.
SURRENDER The cancellation of a lease by an act of mutual consent of lessor and lessee.
SURVEY The process by which a parcel of land is measured and its area ascertained.
SYNDICATION Multiple ownership of an investment, usually in the form of a limited partnership.
TAKE-OUT FINANCING Permanent or long-term financing of individual condominium units for their respective buyers.
TAX, TAXATION A charge or burden to support government, levied upon persons or property by legislative authority.
TAX DEED A deed for property sold by a government unit for non-payment of assessed taxes.
TAX LIEN A claim against real property going into effect when taxes are assessed against that property.
TAX SALE A sale of property, usually at auction, for non-payment of assessed taxes.
TENANCY A state of ownership.
TENANCY AT SUFFERANCE A tenancy arising when the tenant wrongfully holds over after the expiration of his term. The landlord has the choice of evicting the tenant or accepting him for a similar term and under the conditions of the previous holding.
TENANCY AT WILL Possession and occupancy of land terminable at the will of either party.
TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY A tenancy held by husband and wife giving each the equal right to possession and enjoyment during their joint lives, along with the right to sole ownership upon the death of either partner.
TENANCY FOR YEARS Leasing of a property for a fixed period of time.
TENANCY IN COMMON ownership by two or more persons who hold undivided interest, without right of survivorship. Upon the death of one tenant, his interest goes to his heirs. Interest need not be equal, and each owner is possessed of the whole of an undivided part.
TENDER To offer; to present.
TENEMENT All rights in land which pass with conveyance of the land.
TESTAMENT The written declaration of one's last will.
TESTATE Leaving a will upon death.
TESTATOR One who leaves a will in force at his death.
TIME OF THE ESSENCE In a contract, a requirement of punctual performance.
TITLE Evidence that an owner of land is in lawful possession thereof; an instrument evidencing such ownership.
TITLE DEFECT A legal right or claim against a property registered on the title.
TITLE INSURANCE A policy of insurance which indemnifies the holder for loss sustained by reason of a defect in the title, provided the loss does not result from a defect excluded by the policy provisions.
TOPOGRAPHY The nature of the surface of land.
TORRENS SYSTEM System of title recordation and protection provided by the laws of some states.
TORT A negligent or intentional wrong; a wrongful act; violation of a legal right.
TOWNHOUSE A structure whose common elements may be shared by two or more unit occupants.
TOWNSHIP A section of land established by government survey that is six miles long, six miles wide and containing 36 sections, each one mile square.
TRADE FIXTURE Articles of personal property annexed to real property, but which are necessary to the carrying on of a trade and are removable by the owner or tenant when he leaves.
TRANSACT To conduct business affairs; to carry out, perform or manage.
TRANSFER TAX The tax required by a governmental agency when real property is transferred from one party to another.
TRESPASS Wrongful invasion of land by one having no lawful right to enter.
TRUST DEED A deed given by borrower to trustee to be held pending fulfillment of an obligation.
TRUSTEE One who holds property in trust for another to secure the performance of an obligation.
TRUTH-IN-LENDING A federal law designed to let borrowers know the exact cost of obtaining credit; a disclosure device.
TRUSTOR The borrower in a trust agreement.
UNDIVIDED INTEREST Title to property owned by two or more persons, none of whom are entitled to claim or possess any specific part.
UNDUE INFLUENCE Taking any advantage of another by playing on his weaknesses or distress.
UNIFORM DECLARATION OF RESTRICTIONS A document recorded by a subdivider to place restrictive covenants on all property within the subdivision.
UNILATERAL CONTRACT A contract whereby only one party is obligated to perform his obligation to another.
UNITIES OF TITLE Necessities usually required in the formation of a joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety; time, title interest and possession.
UNIT-IN-PLACE METHOD The method of finding an improvement's replacement or reproduction cost new by itemizing the cost of each component part of the improvement, i.e., the cost of flooring, plastering, the electrical system, etc.
UNIVERSAL AGENT An agent authorized to handle all types of matters for his principal.
UNMARKETABLE TITLE A title containing substantial defects which might cause a prospective purchaser to suffer title litigation and possible loss.
USUFRUCT Civil Law Term: The right to the use and the fruits of a Louisiana ownership. It is a combination of two of the three bundles of rights in Louisiana, namely usus and fructus; the right of enjoying the use of property, and the income produced by the proper
USURY Charging a rate of interest on a loan greater than that permitted by law.
USUS – Civil Law Term: The ownership right in Louisiana which is the extended use of a property. It entitles its owner to absolute possession of the property for the duration of the right of interruption.
UTILITY The usefulness of an item; its ability to satisfactorily function for the purpose for which it was intended.
VA GUARANTEE The loan amount which the Veteran's Administration will guarantee on loans to eligible veterans or their surviving spouses.
VALID Having binding force; legally sufficient and authorized by law.
VALUABLE CONSIDERATION Materially valuable items pledged to fulfill one requirement of a valid contract.
VALUE The worth of one thing in comparison with another; the market value; something desirable and therefore having worth.
VALUATION The estimated worth of property.
VARIABLE RATE LOAN A loan in which the interest rate rises or falls according to an indicator of market interest such as the Prime Lending Rate.
VARIANCE Permission obtained from zoning authorities permitting the construction of a building or structure that is forbidden by present zoning ordinances; a departure from the general rule.
VENDEE The buyer.
VENDOR The seller.
VESTED INTEREST A present right of title to realty, but with possession delayed to some uncertain time in the future.
VOID To have no force or effect; that which is unenforceable.
VOIDABLE That which is capable of being adjudged void, but is not void unless action is taken to make it so.
VOLUNTARY LIEN Any lien placed on property with the consent of, or as a result of, the voluntary act of the owner, e.g., a mortgage.
WARRANTY DEED A deed in which the grantor fully warrants a good clear title to the property; a deed that contains covenants of title.
WASTE Willful destruction of any part of the land which would injure or prejudice the landlord's reversionary right.
WILL A legal declaration of a person's wishes as to the disposition of his property after his death.
WRAP AROUND MORTGAGE The ? mortgage assumes the existing or prior mortgage, includes it with any additional financing being provided, creates a new mortgage for the total amount and therefore, advances to a primary position.
WRIT OF EXECUTION A writ or court order authorizing and directing an officer of the court to carry out the judgment or decree of the court.
YIELD The return on an investment; the amount of profit made as a percentage of the amount invested.
ZONING An act of the city or county authorities by exercise of police power in regulating, controlling or specifying the type of use to which property may be put in specific areas.
ZONING ORDINANCE The acts of an authorized governmental body which regulate land use.
ZONING EXCEPTION A permit allowing the non-conforming use of a property if this use benefits the general public.
Created by: bvennen



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