RE Terminology

GLOSSARY OF REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TERMINOLOGY

AAbstract
of Title
… A condensed
history or summary of all transactions affecting a particular tract of
land.Access
… The right to enter and leave a tract of land from a public way.
Oftentimes the right to enter and leave over the lands of another.

Acknowledgment
… The act by which a party executing a legal document goes before an
authorized officer or notary public and declares the same to be his
voluntary act and deed. Oftentimes the act of the officer or notary
public.

Acre
… A tract of land 208.71 feet square and containing 43,560 square
feet of land.

Administrator
… A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an
individual dying without a will. The term is administratrix if person
is a woman.

Adverse possession
… A claim made against the lands of another by virtue of open and
notorious possession of said lands by the claimant.

Affidavit
… A sworn statement in writing.

Air Rights
… The right to ownership of everything above the physical surface of
the land.

Appurtenance
… Anything so annexed to land or used with it that it will pass with
the conveyance of the land.

Assessment
… The imposition of a tax, charge or levy, usually according to
established rates.

Assessor
… A public official who evaluated property for the purpose of
taxation.

Assignee
… One to whom a transfer of interest is made for example, the
assignee of a mortgage or contract.

Assigner
… One who makes an assignment for example the assigner of a mortgage
or contract.

Attachment
… Legal seizure of property to force payment of a debt.

Attorney in Fact
… One who holds a power of attorney from another showing him to
execute legal documents such as deeds, mortgages, etc. on behalf of the
grantor of the power

B

Bankrupt
… A person who, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the
payment of all his debts after surrender of all the assets to a court
appointed trustee.

Bench Mark
… A mark on a permanent object indicating elevation and serving as a
reference in land surveys.

C

Chain
… A term of land measurement being 66 feet in length.

Chain of Title
… A term applied to the past series of transactions and documents
affecting the title to a particular parcel of land.

Clear Title
… One which is not encumbered or burdened with defects.

Clouded Title
… An encumbered title

Condemnation
… Taking private property for public use through court proceedings.

Condition or
Conditions
… A provision
in a deed or a will that upon the happening of failure to happen of a
certain event, the title of the purchaser or devisee will be limited,
enlarged, changed or terminated.

Condominium
… A system of individual fee ownership of units in a multi-unit
structure, combined with joint ownership of areas of the structure and
land.

Conservator
… A person appointed by the court to protect and preserve the lands
and property of an individual physically incapacitated or otherwise not
able to handle his own affairs.

Contract
… An agreement to sell and purchase under which title is withheld
from purchaser until such time as the required payments to the seller
have been completed.

Convey … The act of deeding or transferring title to another.

Conveyance
… An instrument by which title to property is transferred; a deed.

Cooperative
… A residential multi-unit building owned by and operated for the
benefit of persons living within.

Covenant
… An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising
performance or non-performance of certain acts, or stipulating certain
used or non-uses of the property. (See Restriction)

Courtesy …
An interest in the lands of a wife allowed to a husband by force of law.

D

Deed
… A written document by which the ownership of land is transferred
from one person to another.

Delivery
… The final and absolute transfer of a deed from seller to buyer in
such a manner that it cannot be recalled by the seller. A necessary
requisite to the transfer of title.

Devise
… The disposition of land by will. A term used for land alone and
never for personal property.

Dower
… An interest in the lands of a husband allowed to a wife by force of
law.

E

Earnest
Money
… Advance payment
of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for property.

Easement
… An interest inland owned by another that entitles its holder to a
specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power
lines, or crossing the property.

Egress
… The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with
access. (See Access)

Eminent Domain
… The power of the state to take private property for public use upon
payment of just compensation.

Encroachment
… A figure, such as a house, wall or fence, which illegally intrudes
upon another’s property.

Encumber
To burden a parcel of land with a lien or charge such as a mortgage.

Encumbrance
… A lien, liability or charge upon a parcel of land.

Escheat
… A reversion of property to the state in those cases where in
individual dies without heirs or devisees and without a will.

Escrow
… A procedure whereby a disinterested Third party handles legal
documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer.

Estate
… A person’s possessions.

Examination of Title
… The interpretation of the record title to real property based on
the title search or abstract.

Examiner
… A title company employee charged with the duty of interpreting and
passing upon the validity of documents dealing with real property.
Sometimes designated a Title Officer.

Exception
… In legal descriptions that portion of lands to be deleted or
excluded. The term is often used in different sense to mean an
objection to title or encumbrance on title.

Executor
… A person appointed by the probate court to carry out the terms of a
will. The term is executrix if such a person is a woman.

F

Fee
Simple Estate
… The
greatest interest in a parcel of land that is possible to own.
Sometimes designated as “Fee.”

Financing Statement
… A document prepared for filing with the Register of Deeds or
Secretary of State indicating that personal property (or fixtures) is
encumbered with a debt.

Fixtures
… Any item of personal property so attached to real property that it
becomes a part of the real property.

G

Grantee
… A person who acquires an interest in land by deed, grant, or other
written instrument.

Grantor
… A person who, by a written instrument, transfers to another an
interest in land.

Guardian
… One appointed by the court to administer the affairs of an
individual not capable of administering his own affairs.

H

Heir
… One who might inherit or succeed to an interest in lands under the
rules of law applicable where an individual dies without leaving a will.

Heirs and Assigns
… Terminology used in deeds and wills to provide that the recipient
received a fee simple estate” in lands rather than a lesser interest.

Hiatus
… A gap or space unintentionally left between, when attempting to
describe adjacent parcels of land.

Homestead
… An estate in land, in Wisconsin valued at $10,000, which a
household has in the property that he and his family occupy as their
residence. Their estate is exempt from forced sale to satisfy
householders debts.

I

Improvements
… Those additions to raw lands tending to increase value such as
buildings, streets, sewer, etc.

Inchoate Courtesy
… The imperfected interest which the law gives a husband in the lands
of his wife. This is an interest which upon the death of the wife may
ripen into possession and use.

Inchoate Dower
… The imperfected interest which the law gives a wife in the lands of
her husband. This is an interest which upon the death of the husband
may ripen into possession and use.

Indemnity
… To make payment for a loss.

Ingress
… The right to enter a tract of land. Often use interchangeably with
access, (See Access)

I
(cont.)
Insurance
… A contract of indemnity against specified perils.Insurance of Title
… Insurance as to who owns a specified interest in designated real
estate, and showing as exceptions to the insured interest the defects,
liens and encumbrances which exist as against that insured interest.Intestate
Designates the estate or condition of failing to leave a will at death.
“To die intestate.”

J

Joint
Tenancy
… Where two or
more persons hold real estate jointly for life, the survivors to take
the interest of the one who dies.

Judgment
… A decree of a court. In practice this is the lien or charge upon
the lands of a debtor resulting from the Court’s award of money to a
creditor. (See Judgment Lien)

Judgment Docket
… The record book of a County Clerk where a judgment is entered in
order that it may become a lien upon the property of the debtor.

Judgment Lien
… The charge upon the lands of a debtor resulting from the decree of
a court properly entered in the judgment docket.

L

Landmark
… Any conspicuous object that helps establish land boundaries.

Lease
… A grant of the use of lands for a term of years in consideration of
a payment of a monthly or annual rental.

Lessee
… One who grants lands under a lease.

Lien
… A hold, a claim or a charge allowed a creditor upon the lands of a
debtor. Some examples are mortgage liens, judgment liens, mechanic’s
liens.

Life Estate
… A grant or reservation of the right of use, occupancy and ownership
for the life of an individual.

Link
… A term of land measurement being 1/100th of a chain or 66/100th of
a foot.

Lis Pendens
… A notice recorded in the official records of a county to indicate
that a suit is pending affecting the lands where the notice is recorded.

Lot
… A measured parcel of land having fixed boundaries.

M

Majority
… The age at which a person is entitled to handle his own affairs.

Marketable Title
… A good title about which there is no fair or reasonable doubt.

Mechanic’s Lien
… A lien allowed by statutes to contractors, laborers and
material-men on buildings, or other structures upon which work has been
performed or materials supplied.

Metes and Bounds
… the lengths and directions of the boundaries of a tract of land.

Monument of survey
… Visible marks or indications left on natural or other objects
indicating the lines and boundaries of a survey. May be posts, pillars,
stones, cairns, and other such objects but may also be fixed natural
objects, blazed trees, roads and even a water course.

Mortgage
… An instrument used to encumber land as security for a debt.

Mortgages
… A designation for the mortgage lender on lands.

Mortgagor
… A designation for the mortgage borrower on lands.

N

Notary
Public
… An official
authorized by law to attest and certify certain documents by his hand
and official seal.

O

Ownership
… The right to possess and use property to the exclusion of others.

P

Patent
… A document issued for the purpose of granting public lands to an
individual.

Plat or Plot
… A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots with
streets shown thereon.

Policy
… A written contract of title insurance

Policy owner
… One who owns a title insurance policy.

Power of Attorney
… An instrument authorizing another to act on one’s behalf as his
agent or attorney.

Power of Sale
… A clause inserted in a will, deed or trust or trust agreement
authorizing the sale or transfer of land in accordance with the terms
of the clause.

Pro-Rate
… To allocate between seller and buyer their proportionate share of
an obligation paid or due. For example, a pro-rate of real property
taxes or fire insurance.

Q

Quiet
title
… To remove record
defects that cloud a title.

R

Range
… A part of the government survey, being a strip of land 6 miles in
width, and numbered east or west of the principal meridian.

Real Property
… Land and that which is affixed to it.

Realty
… A brief term for real property.

Redeem
… Literally ‘~o buy back.” This act of buying back lands after a
mortgage foreclosure, tax foreclosure, or other execution sale.

Reinsurance
… To insure again by transferring to another insurance company all or
part of al assumed liability, thus spreading the loss that any one
company has to carry.

Restriction
… A common term used to designate the uses to which land may not be
put and providing penalties for failure to comply. Commonly used by
land subdividers on newly platted areas. (See Covenants)

Right-of-Way
… The right which one has to pass across the lands of another. An
easement.

Riparian
… Literally “river bank.” That body of the law which has to do with
those owners who live adjacent to rivers and other bodies of water.

S

Section
or Section of Land
… A
parcel of land comprising one square mile or 640 acres.

Set Back Lines
… Those lines which delineate the required distances for the location
of structure in relation to the perimeter of the property.

Sub-Surface Right
… the right to ownership of everything beneath the physical surface
of the property.

Survey
… the process of measuring land to determine its size, location and
physical description.

T

Tenancy
In Common
… an estate or
interest in land help by two or more persons each having equal rights
of possession and enjoyment but without any right of survivorship
between the owners.

Tenant
… Any person in possession of real property with the owner’s
permission.

Testament
… Another term for a will commonly referred to as “last will and
testament.”

Testate
… The estate or condition of leaving a will at death. “To die
testate.”

Testator
… One who makes or has made a testament or will. The term is
testatrix if such person is a woman.

Thence
… In surveying and in metes and bounds descriptions, the term
designates that the course and distance given thereafter is a
continuation of the course and distance given before.

Title
… The evidence or right which a person has to the ownership and
possession of land. Commonly considered as a bundle or history of
rights.

Title Defect
Any legal right held by others to claim property or to make demands
upon the owner.

Title Insurance
… Insurance against loss or damage resulting from defects or failure
of title to a particular parcel of real property.

Title Plant
… The total facilities-records, equipment, fixtures and
personnel-required to function as a title insurance operation.
Technically the organization of official records affecting real
property into a system which allows quick and efficient recovery of
title information.

Title Search
… An examination of public records, laws and court decisions to
disclose the current facts regarding ownership of real estate.

Township
… A division of territory 6 miles square, containing 36 sections or
36 square miles.

Tract
… An area of land.

Trust
… A right of property held by one for the benefit of another.

Trustee
… a person holding property in trust.

V

Vendee
… A purchaser of real property.

Vendor
… A seller of real property.

Vest
… To own or indicate ownership of lands. Title may be said to “vest”
in John Brown.

Vestee
… A non-legal term coined by title insurers and used by them to
indicate the owner of real property.

W

Warranty
… An agreement and assurance by the grantor of real property for
himself and his heirs, to the effect that he is the owner and will
defend the title given.

Will
… A written document properly witnessed, providing for the
distribution of property owned by the deceased.

 

 

 

Member of OREIA

Member of NationalREIA

The Akron Canton Real Estate Investors Association does not collect personal information about it’s website users. As a non-profit organization we do not engage in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. We do not endorse products or services nor take a political position on any issue. Please see our complete disclaimer of liability for more information. 1/1/2010

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>