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Real Estate Dictionary

GLOSSARY & DEFINITIONS
A B C (Real Estate Definitions)
All definitions are REINTERPRETED from three different sources.
We take no responsibility for any errors or omissions.
Please check your local district or check with a real estate professional for exact definitions.

absentee landlord
The owner or lessor of property who does not occupy the property.

abutments
The walls or columns which bear a cross member load or pressure, such as an arch or pier.

acceleration clause
A clause in your mortgage gives the lender the right to demand payment of the entire principal balance for various reasons. The most common reason is when the borrower defaults on the loan or transfers title without informing the lender.

acceptance
The action of consenting to receive or enter into a contract and be bound by the terms.

additional principal payment
A extra payment by a borrower for more than the scheduled principal. This is done to accelerate the reduction of the balance on the loan.

adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage or loan that permits the lender to adjust its interest rate. This interest rate changes periodically, according to fluctuations in a specified index.

adjustment date
The specific date the interest rate changes on (ARM) adjustable-rate mortgage. A date to assess (loss or damages) when settling an insurance claim.

administrator
Law - A person legally appointed to manage and dispose of the estate of an intestate, deceased person, debtor, or other individual, or of an insolvent company.

accessory buildings
Structures, other than a main building, used for the benefit o the main building. Example shed, garage, guesthouse.

accounts payable
Generally this is a business term used for money owing.

accounts receivable
Money owned to a business for goods or services.

accretion
The gradual addition of a shore, beachfront or bank of a waterway. The land becomes the property of the owner, except where statutes restrict otherwise.

accrue
to mature or grow.

acid soil
a soil with an acid base suitable for farming.

acoustical materials
Sound absorbing material installed in walls or ceilings.

acre
A land measurement equal to 43,560 square feet in any shape.

act of god
damage caused by wind, water, nature that is not responsible by man.

actual age
A structures chronological age.

addendum
Something added, or an ammendment to a letter, document, or contract.

adjudication
a decision, or judgement by a court of law.

adjusted gross income
A building gross income when fully rented, with an allowance for estimated vacancies.

adobe construction
Adobe mud mixed with straw like substance and baked to create a very good, although expensive structure material.

adverse land use
A land use which reduces the value of the surrounding properties. This may occur along boundaries for industrial and residential areas.

advertising
In real estate this may include 'for sale' signage, newspaper, website, and other electronic forms.

aeolian soil
Material that has been deposited on a property by wind.

aesthetic value
The beauty of the improvements or surroundings which contribute to the value of the property.

affordability analysis
Analysis of your ability to afford the purchase of a house. The result details your income, liabilities, and available funds, and mortgage type. It also considers where you want to purchase a home, plus closing costs that you should expect to pay.

afforestation
The growth of a forest, where a forest did not previously exist.

a-frame
A building shaped like the letter A, typically found in snowy, or resort areas.

agency
A relationship where an agent acts for a principal or party with listing authority for real property.

agent
One who is authorized to represent another in business matters.

agricultural property
Land which is zoned agricultural and used for farming or livestock.

alkaline soil
Concentrations of alkaline salts in the ground not suitable for crops.

alley
A narrow right of way used for access.

amenity
A desirable or useful feature of property that enhances its pleasantness and increases the occupant’s satisfaction. The feature is not essential to the property’s use. Some amenities may include a desirable location near water, convenience of being near work, scenic views, local parks or schools. Man-made amenities include heating, swimming pools, tennis courts, fencing, extended buildings, and other recreational facilities.

amortization
The gradual repayment of a mortgage tyo reduce or extinguish a debt by money regularly put aside. Each payment has a portion applied to pay the accruing interest plus the remainder is applied to the principal. A loan is amortized, or paid off in the specified time period.

alterations
Changes inside or outside a building which do not change the exterior dimensions.

anchor tenant
A large reliable tenant in a shopping mall.

annual percentage rate (APR)
The cost of a mortgage expressed as a percentage for a yearly rate. This is intended to reflect the true annual cost of borrowing including such items as interest rate, mortgage insurance, and closing costs.

annuity
A fixed sum of money paid to someone each year, typically for the rest of their life. a form of insurance or investment entitling the investor to a series of annual sums.

annum
One year.

apartment
Typically a building with multiple living areas, with multiple tenants that pay rent on a monthly basis.

application
A formal request to an authority for for a mortgage loan. It contains important information about a prospective mortgagor and the proposed security with savings, assets, debts, borrower's income, and personal info.

appraisal
A written analysis of a property's estimated value. This report offers a quotation along with a survey of pricing prepared by a qualified appraiser. Derived through in depth comparison of similar homes in the community.

appraised value
An fair market opinion of a property's value.

appraiser
An educated person qualified through training and experience to estimate or verify the value of personal property and real property.

appreciation
A positive increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or inflation. A decrease is called depreciation.

aqueduct
A trench, pipe or conduit to collect or drain water.

arable
Land which can suit farming.

architecture
Construction plans which design the structure.

assessed value
The valuation by a public tax assessor for purposes of property taxation.

assessment
The process of placing a value on property for taxation purposes.

assessment rolls
The public records of a taxable property.

assessor
A public official who establishes the value of a property for the purpose of taxation.

asset
Any item of monetary value that is owned by an individual. Assets include real property, personal property, bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and debt claims against others.

assignment
The transfer of a mortgage from one person or company to another.

assumable mortgage
A buyer that is qualified to take over an existing mortgage when the home is sold.

assumption
A term for the transfer of the seller’s existing mortgage which is assumed by the new buyer.

assumption clause
A provision in an assumable mortgage which allows a buyer to take over responsibility for the mortgage. The existing loan does not need to be paid in full by the original borrower upon sale.

assumption fee
The fee resulting from assuming an existing mortgage.

arterial highway
a local thoroughfare or highway.

asbestos
Heat and fire resistant insulation material.

attachment
The act of seizing property by judicial order, to bring persons within court custody.

attest
To certify, affirm or witness.

attic
The air space below the roof area.

avenue
A street or road.

average daily traffic
The number of vehicles that pass a certain point each day.

awning
A cover or portrusion over a window or doorway.

backfill
Removing and replacing ground soil during construction.

backup offer
A second offer to purchase property, in case the first offer fails.

bankruptcy
An individual, firm, or corporation that, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the debts and liabilities it has incurred, after the surrender of all assets to a court-appointed trustee.

baseboard
A molding or board at the base of a wall inside a house.

basement
the area below ground in a building.

bathroom
A room with a toilet sink and bath area.

beach
The shore area between low and high tide water marks.

bequeath
Transfer, leave or pass something on to someone else through a will. Example is an estate or personal property.

bequest
Personal property left through a will.

biannual
Twice per year.

bid
A competitive offer for the right to do a construction contract.

bill of sale
A document or certificate of transfer of personal property.

biweekly mortgage
A mortgage in which you produce payments once a week instead of once a month. The extra payment helps reduce the principal and reduces the time it takes to pay off a mortgage.

blacktop
A black paved area or asphalt parking surface.

block
A rectangular or square area enclosed by roads.

blueprint
A buildings construction detail plans.

botel
A hotel or motel with a marina that caters to boat travelers.

boulevard
A tree lined street with a wide surface, plus median and promenade.

breach of contract
Failure to complete a contract without legal excuse. An act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct. A violation of any legal obligation may create a situation where you are sued for breach of contract.

broker, real estate
a person licensed in British Columbia by the Real Estate Board, who buys and sells goods or assets for others.
This person acts as an agent, bringing two parties together for a transaction and earns a fee for doing so.

budget
An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time
with a detailed plan of income and expenses expected over a certain period of time. A budget can provide answers to the amount of money needed or available for a purpose.

builder
A person who constructs structures or buildings for an occupation.

building code
A systematic collection of local laws or regulations that control design, construction, and materials used in construction. Building codes are a set of rules and standards adhered to by a society based on health and construction standards.

building permit
A local government permit giving permission to construct or make improvements to a building.

build to suit
A method of leasing where the owner builds according to a tenants specifications. A long term lease includes the construction cost which is built into the rental lease.

butte
A steep hill.

butt log
The log above the stump of the tree.

buyers market
When more real estate homes are available than there are interested buyers. This condition can favor the buyer.

buy-sell offer
When a partner or shareholder offers to buy the interest from another owner of the same business or real estate.

by-pass
A road which avoids a high density area.

call option
An option to buy assets at an agreed price on or before a particular date.

carpenter
A person who's occupation is to work or construct wood. This can be framing, cabinet making, roofing or finishing.

canal
A waterway created by man to connect bodies of water or irrigate.

capital
Wealth in the form of money or other assets used to create income through business investment or income property. The excess of a company's assets over its liabilities.

capital expenditure
The action of spending funds to renovate,upgrade or prolong the useful life of a property or to increase its value.

capital gains
The difference between the original cost and the selling price. Used for income tax purposes with deductions for certain expenses.

cashiers cheque
A cheque which a bank draws from itself rather than a depositors account. This is generally an acceptable way to close a sale.

cash sale
A sale with full payment in cash.

cash-out refinance
A transaction in which a borrower finances something again, with the new amount of money exceeding the total of the money needed to repay the existing mortgage. With this transaction the borrower receives additional cash that can be used for any purpose.

caveat emptor
Let the buyer beware. The buyer takes all risks due to quality or condition of the purchase.

cellar
A storage room under a building.

cement block
A building block, usually hollow which could be reinforced with rebar.

central business district
A major area of a city where most downtown businesses are located.

certificate of deposit
A certificate issued by a bank to a person depositing money for a specified length of time.

certificate of deposit index
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable rate mortgage plans.

certificate of eligibility
A document issued by the Veterans Affairs (Canadian Government) that certifies a veteran's eligibility for a Veterans mortgage.

certified cheque
A personal cheque from an individual where the bank has guaranteed to hold the funds specifically to honor the cheque.

cesspool
A pool of raw sewage or waste.

chain of title
The cronological archive of the past property owners and title transfers up to the present day.

chattel
Personal property.

check valve
A pipe valve that prevents backup material.

chimney
A brick passage where smoke from a fireplace passes.

cinder block
A building block of cement and ash, typically used for decoration.

circuit breaker
An electrical device protecting homes from an overload.

cistern
A rain water storing tank.

clapboard
Siding for homes with one overlapping edge thicker than the other.

class action
A legal action on behalf of a group of people with a similar claim.

clean room
The legal process of taking possession of a mortgaged property as a result of the mortgagor's failure to keep up mortgage payments.

clear title
An ownership of property title that is free of liens or legal questions.

closing
This is when a settlement is brought to a satisfactory conclusion when the sale of a property is finalized where all of the documents are signed and closing costs are paid.

closing costs
Incidental expenses or fees other than the sale of real estate.

cluster housing
High density homes with small yard space, but large common area.

column
A pillar support for a structure.

collateral
Something pledged as security for repayment of a loan, to be forfeited in the event of a default.
In a house loan, the property is the collateral. The borrower risks forfeiting the property if the mortgage is not fully repaid.

collection
A warning that scheduled payments are delinquent. A notice that documents have been recorded and may proceed with foreclosure as a necessary consequence.

combination sewer
A sewer which serves as a storm and sanitary sewer.

commercial property
Property with businesses such as stores, restaurants, shops or services.

commission
A fee, typically a set percentage of the value involved, paid to an agent in a commercial transaction The amount of money charged by a broker or agent for negotiating a real estate or loan transaction.

common law
Denoting a partner in a marriage by common law including unions created by mutual agreement. Typically this is a partner in a long-term relationship of cohabitation.

comparable property sales
These are similar properties recognized as reasonably equivalent to another. They would have a near property size, location, and amenities. Recent sales of almost identical properties in nearby areas are used to assist determine the property market value.

compound interest
Interest paid on principal plus interest.

compound slope
Two or more different slopes or grades within a select area.

condominium
A building or complex of buildings containing a number of individually owned apartments or houses. Also known as each of the individual apartments or houses in such a building or complex. Within this system of ownership, owners have full title to the individual apartment or house and an undivided interest in the shared parts or common areas of the property.

conservation
Preservation of natural resources.

consolidation
A merger of two or more companies.

construction loan
A short-term, interim loan for financing the cost of the building of something, typically a large structure. The lender makes payments to the builder over periodic stages as the work progresses.

contingency
A detailed contract that attempts to provide for all possible contingencies. A stated event must occur before a contract is binding. Since some unknown circumstances may exist, these conditions make a provision for a future event or circumstance that is possible but cannot be predicted with certainty.

contour map
A map displaying curved lines to display surface elevation.

contract
A written or spoken agreement concerning sales, or tenancy, that is intended to be enforceable by law. An offer and acceptance between two or more entities which creates or modifies a legal relationship.

credit
The ability of a customer to obtain goods or services before payment, based on the trust that payment will be made in the future.

credit rating
An estimate of the ability of a person or organization to fulfill their financial commitments, based on previous dealings.

creditor
A person or company to whom money is owed.

credit bureau
A company that collects information relating to the credit ratings of individuals and makes it available to credit card companies, financial institutions, etc.

coop
A shelter for chickens.

corner boards
Trim boards covering the outside corners of a building.

corner lot
A lot that has access to two intersecting streets.

cost
The amount paid or invested, including expenses to calculate the total amount paid for anything.

cost plus contract
A builders profit margin which is preset as a percentage of the actual cost of labor and materials.

cottage
A small house with little, or no surrounding land.

counter flashing
A tar substance used to prevent moisture and moisture entry, used near chimneys and on metal sheet flashing.

counter offer
A new offer in response to, a previous offer which was not accepted.

crawl space
The shallow space between the ground and the first floor of a house.

creek
A stream that empties into a river or bay.

crown moulding
A large fancy shaped molding to cover a wall corner or gap.

cubic foot
Equals 1 foot long, 1 foot high, 1 foot wide. Twenty seven cubic feet in one cubic yard.

cubic foot per second
A measurement to determine the flow of a river or stream.

cul de sac
A subdivision or street with a round, large closed end suitable for vehicle U turns.

culvert
A drainage ditch or waterway which crosses under a street, or highway.

custodian
A janitor, or person entrusted to care for a building.

dale
A valley between two hills.

dam
A barrier used to prevent or restrict water from flowing.

damper
A plate in the flue of a fireplace which can be adjusted to control the flames draft.

dead end street
A narrow street or road which ends.

dealer
One who sells and buys real estate for business purposes.

debit
A payment or money owing.

debt
The state of owing something, typically money, that is owed or due.

decibel
Sound or noise level measurement.

deciduous trees
Trees which seasonally lose their fruit or leaves.

deck
A flat area on a roof, porch or ship.

decree
A court judgement.

deed
A legal document that is signed and delivered, especially one regarding the ownership of property or legal rights.

default
Failure to fulfill an obligation, such as payment of a mortgage in a specified period.

default judgement
A judgement against a person or party that fails to appear in court.

deferred payments
Payments or installments at a future time.

deflation
When the supply of credit or money decreases, this will increase what the current money will buy.

demand
In a given market, the quantity of product or goods which can be sold during a certain time period.

density
The number of people or buildings in a given area.

deposit
Money given in good faith from a buyer with an offer to purchase.

deposition
In law, the process of giving sworn evidence under oath.

depot
A railroad , bus station or a place used to store and protect goods.

depreciation
A reduction or decline in the value of an asset, property or home, with the passage of time, due in particular to wear and tear.

depression
A long and severe recession in an economy or market.

design
A plan or drawing produced to show the appearance and function or workings of a structure or other object before it is built or made.

deterioration
A gradual wearing down of a building which become progressively worse.

developer
A person or thing that develops something, with construction or building.

devise
Real estate left in a will.

dike
A channel or ditch with a barrier or levee to restrain water.

diluvium
A deposit of land caused by a flood.

direct steam system
A steam boiler which feeds a radiator system.

disbursements
Pay out money from a fund or an escrow.

dissolution
The closing down or dismissal of an contract, partnership, or corporation.

distraint
The seizure of someone's property in order to obtain payment of money owed or rent.

distress sale
The quick sale of property, when the seller offers it at less than market value to sell it due to pressure.

distributed load
The amount of weight distributed over a floor or other support.

distribution box
A fuse box, or an underground septic tank waste distribution box.

ditch
A man made or natural trench for drainage.

divest
Deprive someone of power, rights, or possessions.

dividend
A sum of money paid regularly by a company to its shareholders out of its profits or reserves. Dividing into shares a fund of money or property for distribution.
In a house loan, the property is the collateral. The borrower risks forfeiting the property if the mortgage is not fully repaid.

division fence
A fence that separates two pastures.

earnest money deposit
A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

easement
A right to cross or otherwise use someone else's land for a specified purpose.

effective age
An appraiser’s estimate of the physical condition of a building. The actual age of a building may be shorter or longer than its effective age.

effective gross income
Normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.

eminent domain
The right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with payment of compensation. Used for condemnation proceedings.

encroachment
An improvement that trespasses on, or an invasion into another's property illegally.

equity
The value of a property after deduction of charges against it.
Deductions may include mortgage, liens and any other amount still owed on it.

encroachment
An improvement that trespasses on, or an invasion into another's property illegally.

encumbrance
Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.

endorser
A person who signs ownership interest over to another party. Contrast with co-maker.

equity
The value of a property after deduction of charges against it.
Deductions may include mortgage, liens and any other amount still owed on it.

escrow
A bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party, taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled. When money is being kept in custody or trust
to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale.

escrow account
The account in which a mortgage servicer holds the borrower’s escrow payments prior to paying property expenses.

escrow analysis
The periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance, and other bills when due.

escrow collections
Funds collected by the servicer and set aside in an escrow account to pay the borrower’s property taxes, mortgage insurance, and hazard insurance.
escrow disbursements
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.

escrow payment
The portion of a mortgagor’s monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due. Known as "impounds" or "reserves" in some states.

estate
An area or amount of land or property.
1- An extensive area of land in the country, usually with a large house, owned by one person or organization.
2- All the money and property owned by a particular person, significant amount tallied at death.


escrow
A bond, deed, or other document kept in the custody of a third party, taking effect only when a specified condition has been fulfilled. When money is being kept in custody or trust to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale.

estate
An area or amount of land or property.
1- An extensive area of land in the country, usually with a large house, owned by one person or organization.
2- All the money and property owned by a particular person, significant amount tallied at death.

eviction
Expel someone from a property, typically with the support of the law.

exclusive listing
A legal contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the restricted or limited right to sell a property for a specified time.

executor
In law, a person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will.

eviction
Expel someone from a property, typically with the support of the law.

exclusive listing
A legal contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the restricted or limited right to sell a property for a specified time.

executor
In law, a person or institution appointed by a testator to carry out the terms of their will.

facade
The front of a building.

face value
The stated amount without any discount.

fair market value
The amount for which something can be sold on a given market. The highest price that a buyer would pay, and the lowest a seller would accept. Often contrasted with comparable listings.

fallow
Farmland plowed and left unsown for a period of a crop rotation, to restore its fertility.

false advertising
When a real estate property is misrepresented or diliberately fraudulent.

family room
A recreational room near the kitchen.

farm
A property devoted to raising animals or crops.

fascia
A finishing board that covers the ends of rafters.

fathom
A six foot depth at sea.

feasibility survey
A study to assess the possible financial success of a construction project.

fee
A payment exchange for advice or services made to a professional person or to a professional or public body.

fee simple
A permanent and absolute tenure or ownership of an estate in land with freedom to dispose of it at will.

fence
A railing, barrier, or other upright structure of wood, concrete, iron or wire, enclosing an area of ground to mark a boundary or control access.

fiberglass
A reinforced woollike mass of glass filaments used in insulation.

fill
Material, loose or compacted such as dirt or gravel that fills a space in building or engineering work.

financial statement
A statement of accounting for a person or company which shows assets and liabilities. Used for tax or loan purposes.

financing costs
The amount of interest and related charges involved in borrowing money to purchase or build real estate.

finders fee
A fee paid by a business to a person or organization for bringing to its attention financial buyers or sellers whose relationship with the business will materially benefit it. This is typically a commission paid to a licensed realtor through referrals.

finish floor
The solid subfloor material you walk on, such as plywood or hardwood.

firebrick
A brick capable of withstanding intense heat, used to line furnaces, fireplaces and chimneys.

fire insurance
Insurance against damages caused by fire.

fireplace
A decorative place for a domestic fire which is usually at the base of the chimney.

fire stop
The process of filling concealed air spaces with materials which prevent fire or smoke from spreading through a structure.

fire wall
A wall or partition designed to inhibit or prevent the spread of fire with fireproof doors.

firm commitment
A lender's act of pledging or setting aside a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.

first bottom
Where a river or stream meets a flood plain.

first mortgage
This mortgage has payment priority and the dominant claim of the property as security.

first right of refusal
A right within a lease option, to give the lessee the ability to match an offer to buy the property, if the owner wishes to sell the property with a legitimate offer in place.

first homeowner
The first person to occupy the home as a full time resident.

fiscal year
A calendar year or year period as reckoned for taxing or accounting purposes.

fixed assets
Assets that are purchased for permanent long-term use and are not likely to be converted quickly into cash, such as equipment, land, and buildings.

fixed rate mortgage
A mortgage where the interest rate remains the same for the term of the mortgage.

fixed window
A window that cannot be adjusted or opened.

fixture
Articles attached to a house or land and considered legally part of it so that they normally remain in place when an owner moves.

flagstone
A flat stone slab, typically rectangular or square with slate like appearance, used for paving.

flank
The side of a structure or hill.

flashing
Sheet metal used to prevent water seepage, around gutters, chimneys or vents.

flat cost
The base cost of material and labor for a construction.

flat roof
A building with a square or level roof.

flight pattern
The path used by airplanes for approaching airports.

flood insurance
Insurance that compensates for property damage resulting from an overflowing of a large amount of water beyond its normal confines.

floodplane
A low laying area of land where a flood would occur if a nearby river overflowed its banks.

floor
The lower surface of a room, on which one may walk. Also called a specific story of a building example main floor, second floor.

floor load
The weight rating which the floor can hold safely, expressed in pounds per square foot, or maximum occupant capacity.

floor plan
A blueprint or a layout of a building with details and a scale diagram of the arrangement of rooms in one story of a building.

flow tide
High tide in relation to the moon.

flue
A passageway that eliminates gas, fumes or smoke from a building.

fluorescent lighting
Tubular glass that radiates light when phosphor on its inside surface is made to fluoresce by ultraviolet radiation from mercury vapor.

forced air furnace
A furnace that circulates warm air through ducts with a fan or a blower.

forced sale
An involuntary act to sell a property at less than market value to settle a debt.

foreclosure
The legal process of taking possession of a mortgaged property as a result of the mortgagor's failure to keep up mortgage payments.

forfeiture
The government taking an individuals property due to crime, or failure to pay taxes.

foundation
The lowest load-bearing part of a building or sperstructure, typically below ground level.

foyer
An entrance hall or other open area in a hotel, theater, house or apartment used by the public.

frame construction
Structure depends on wooden frame for support.

free and clear
Property which has no mortgages or liens.

frostline
The depth where the soil freezes.

full disclosure
The action of revealing defects or factual information about the condition and location of a home to affect the decision of a buyer.

furnace
An enclosed building heating device.

fuse box
A box housing the fuses for electrical circuits in a building.

gabel roof
A roof with two sloping sides and a gable at each end.

garage
A shed or building for housing a motor vehicle or vehicles.

garden
A small parcel ground, often near a house, used for growing fruit, flowers, or vegetables.

garnishment
A court order directing that money, property, or wages of a third party be seized to satisfy a debt owed.

gas station
A place where gasoline and auto products are sold.

gazebo
A roofed structure that offers an open view of the surrounding garden like area, This belvedere is typically used for relaxation or entertainment.

general contractor
A person or company that undertakes a contract to provide materials or labor to do an entire construction project, including management of all subcontractors.

gift
A transfer given willingly to someone without payment, or value consideration.

gingerbread work
Decorative or architectural features which uses ornamental design for emotional appeal.

girder
Heavy wood beams or a steel beam used for structural support of joists or buildings.

glass block
Hollow glass blocks used for decorative purposes.

glass-wool insulation
Sheets of glass fibers for insulation.

glazed brick
A brick with a glossy surface.

good faith
Done with good intentions and without knowledge of fraudulent activities.

grace period
A period of time beyond the due date, where a payment can be made and not be considered delinquent.

gradient
The slope of the land in degrees.

graduated payment mortgage
A mortgage, deed or trust where the buyer makes low beginning payments which increase over time.

grandfather clause
A clause in law which allows established businesses to continue to operate under a prior law which was previously permissable.

grantee
Generally this is the buyer to whom the grant is made.

grantor
The one who grants property rights or property.

gravel pit
An excavation area where gravel is removed and used as a roadbed or non-paved surfaces.

graveyard
A cemetery.

green lumber
Unseasoned lumber with higher moisture content than dried lumber.

gross acre
43,560 square feet.

gross income
The actual or estimated total income from a business or property.

gross lease
The lessor is obligated to pay all expenses of the property such as utilities, taxes, maintenance and so on.

gross profit
The total profit before deductions which can vary.

ground beam
A heavy and strong horizontal beam, installed at ground level to distribute and support the weight of the area above the foundation.

ground lease
A lease for use of vacant land.

ground level
The ground floor or area upon the soil level of surrounding land.

grounds
A large substantial yard area surrounding a building.

ground water
Water from a creek, shallow well or upon the ground.

grout
A variety of mortar or plaster used in masonry work to fill joints.

guarantor
One who makes a guarantee.

gutter
Where rainwater from a roof collects under the eaves.

gypsum
Hydrated calcium sulphate which is an ingredient of plaster or cement.

gypsum wallboard
Plaster covered by paper, commonly known as drywall.

habendum
The clause of a deed or conveyance that states the extent of the estate or quantity of interest to be granted, Exaple, the term of a lease.

habitantcy
A legal term referring to where a person lives.

hacienda
The main house on a large estate or plantation with a dwelling house. Spanish term.

hack stand
A location where a taxi or limo may solicit fares.

half section
One half of an area divided north/south or east/west.

half timbered
A building made wholly or partly of timber or wooden panels.

hall
A town or community hall is a regional meeting place, and a home hall is a narrow passageway between rooms.

hamlet
A small town or village.

hand
A four inch lineal measurement close to the width of a mans hand.

harbor
A sheltered area for boats to anchor. It may have docks or facilities, and be natural cove or man made sheltered area.

hard finish
A smooth outer coating of plaster, varnish or hard finishing material.

hardpan
A compact soil layer typically of clay, where it is hard to excavate, dig or drain.

hardware
Metal accessories such as drawer hinges and doorknobs and deadbolts.

hardwood
Interior finishing wood from a broad-leaved tree (such as oak, ash, or beech) as distinguished from that of conifers.

harmonious
Buildings, neighborhood or subdivision which forms a compatible, blending or pleasing or consistent whole.

hatchway
A door in the ceiling or floor with access to cellar or attic.

hazard insurance
Real estate insurance protecting against natural causes, vandalism, fire or other selected policy terms.

head
The upper framing member of a window or door.

head of household
Used to designate the person in charge of supporting a family.

hearth
The floor area in front of a fireplace.

heater
A heater which is used to indpendantly heat a small space.

heating system
A boiler or furnace designed to heat a structure in its entirety.

heat pump
A cooling or heating pump.

heavy steel frame
A steel structured building which can carry heavy floor loads.

hectare
10,000 square meters or 2.471 acres.

heel
The part of a verticle frame closest to the floor.

height density
The zoning regulation which sets the maximum building heights in given areas.

heir
The person who by law receives the estate of a deceased person.

hereditaments
Any item of property such as land or a building. Any item of inheritance.

heterogeneous
An area which has a variety of buildings, styles and uses.

highest and best use
The use of land with the greatest potential economic return.

high-rise apartment
An apartment building considered high, in relation to the area.

highway
Commonly a paved road with high vehicle capacity and speeds.

hip roof
A pyramid like four sided roof.

historical cost
The original building construction cost.

holdback
A sum of money withheld under certain conditions. Portion of a loan held back by the lender until a contingency is met.

hold over tenant
A tenant who retains possession after a lease expires.

home warranty insurance
Private insurance for a home which protects against defects in a variety of utilities.

homogeneous
An area or community which has similar use properties which are more desireable than heterogeneous.

hood
A canopy which projects over a door window or vent.

hopper
A draft protection device used on the sides of windows.

horizon
A distant viewed panorama area where the sky an ground appear to meet.

hospital
Health institution.

hotel
A travellers location where a person can pay to stay on a nightly basis.

hot water heater
A heated water tank typically in the furnace area of a building.

house
A family dwelling residence.

housing starts
The current number of houses under construction.

humidifier
A device for keeping the atmosphere moist with water vapor emissions in a room.

humus
Organic soil with decomposed animal and vegetable matter.

husband
A man legally married.

hutch
A hut used for shelter or rabbits.

hydraulic cement
Moisture resistant cement.

hydroelectric plant
A power station which generates electrical energy from flowing water.

hydrograph
A device which records the depth of water.

i-beam
An 'I' shaped steel or iron framing member.

igneous rock
Cooled magma or volcanic rock.

immovable
Real estate things which cannot be moved.

jacob's ladder
A hanging rope ladder with wooden steps.

jalousies
a blind or shutter made of a row of angled slats.

jamb
A side post or surface of a doorway, window, or fireplace.

janitor
A hired custodian who maintains a building, including cleaning, repair and closing.

jerry built
A poorly constructed structure with low quality materials.

jetty
A pier built to protect a harbor from currents.
A portion of a building that extends past the outside wall area.

joinder
The action of bringing parties together into a union.

joint adventure
Two or more people who join their skills or efforts for a business purpose.

joint and several
A liability which allows the creditor to sue any debtor or sue them all together.

joint appraisal
An appraisal by more than one appraiser, with similar conclusions.

joint note
A surety or promise to pay by two or more persons with equal liability.

joint protection policy
A title insurance policy which insures both the owner and the lender.

joint tenancy
The holding of a property jointly by two or more parties, the share of each passing to the other upon death.

jointure
An estate settled on a wife for the period during which she survives her husband, in lien of in lien of a dower.

joist
A length of wood or steel supporting part of the structure of a building, typically arranged in parallel series to support a ceiling or floor.

judgement
A court of law judgement which can record a lien on real property.

judicial sale
An involuntary sale of property under court order.

junior lien
A subordinate lien to a prior lien.

junior mortgage
A lower priority mortgage to a first mortgage.

junk value
The salvage value of a building.

jurat
A statement on an affidavit of where, when, and before whom it was sworn to.

jurisdiction
The official power to make legal decisions and judgments and the territory or sphere of activity over which the legal authority of a court extends.

kame
A small hill or mound of stratified glacial deposit.

keene's cement
A durable gypsum plaster used mainly in commercial structures.

keeper
A grounds custodian.

kelp shore
The shore area between the high and low tide.

kerf
The width of a saw blade cut.

kick plate
A metal strip added to the base of a door to prevent marks or damage from people who kick to push open a door.

kiln
An oven for baking bricks, ceramics or drying lumber.

kilo
One thousand.

kilogram
One thousand grams.

kilometer
One thousand meters.

kilowatt hours
One thousand watt hours.

kin
People related by blood.

kite winder
Triangular shaped steps on a winding staircase.

knock down
Any building area that can easily be dismantled.

knoll
A round small hill.

labor
Work value not including material costs.

laissez faire
French theory that free trade improves business more than government controls.

lally columns
Steel columns filled with concrete to bear a load.

laminate
A laminated structure or material made of layers fixed together to form a hard, flat, or flexible laminae material.

land
The area of the earth's surface that is not covered by water, as opposed to the sea or the air. The expanse of land or ground in terms of its ownership or use.

landowner
A person who owns land, or a large amount of land.

landing
The unloading area for a train or boat cargo. Also a large flat surface between staircases, or large area at top or bottom of a staircase.

landlocked
A parcel of land surrounded by private land, with no public access.

landlord
A person who rents land, a building, apartment or boardinghouse to a tenant.

landmark
A monument, object or feature of a landscape or town that is easily seen and recognized from a distance to help establish the location.

land poor
Having little money due to owning an excess of property which does not produce income.

land reclamation
Giving land a greater use through physical improvements.

landscape
1- The visible features of an area of countryside or land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic visual appeal.
2- Improve the aesthetic appearance of property by changing its features, adding ornamental contours, or planting trees and shrubs.

land, tenements and hereditaments
The technical all inclusive description of real estate.

natural finish
A finish which retains the appearance of the covered surface. Example would be varnish rather than stain or paint.

natural resources
Resources of an area like timber, water, minerals, people or industry.

negative amortization
When a loan payment made is less than the interest accrued. This may occur when a payment is made on time, with the effect of having the amount owing increase.

negative cash low
When the income from an investment property does not equal the average expenses. The owner must pay these expenses from his own cash.

net sales area
The area in square feet where products are sold or displayed in a retail store.

net worth
Total assets minus liabilities of an individual or corporation.

nonbearing wall
A wall which does not support any structural weight. used to separate areas.

nonconforming use
A property which does not conform to local zoning laws. This can happen when zoning in an area changes.

nonexclusive listing
A listing where the real estate agent or broker has exclusive ability to sell the liting for a specified period. The owner retains the rights to sell the property without using the agent or paying the listing commission.

notary public
One who is authorized by the Canadian government to attest to the authenticity of signatures, and administer oaths, or notarize certain documents.

notice of action
A recorded notice that a property title is defective or subject to a lien due to a pending lawsuit.

notice of default
A notice filed to represent that a borrower is behind or default on payments for a mortgage or deed.

oath
A legal verification which binds the truth to something, such as an affidavit, signature or promise.

occupancy
Possession in relation to land

offer
A proposal in the form of a contract with a price and terms of acceptance.

offeror
Person making the offer.

offer to purchase
See: Purchase Agreement.

office
A zoned area or designated area for paperwork services.

offset
A ledge where the wall depth changes, or a counter claim to balance a law suit.

off-site improvements
Development of bordering land to make it suitable for construction.. Usually city structures such as curb, street, sewer, drainage, streetlights.

ohm
An electrical resistance measurement.

oil and gas lease
The rights to extract oil, gas, or minerals from land with a business lease.

omnibus clause
A claus in a will covering all property not specifically mentioned or detailed.

one hour door
A fire-rating which guarantees a door will hold back a fire for a minimum of one hour.

one hour wall
A fire-rating which guarantees a wall will hold back a fire for a minimum of one hour.

on rail
Property which has access to a rail line.

on-site improvements
Permanent structures added to a property such as buildings, garage, barn, shed, or fence.

open beam construction
Heavy exposed beams which finish the open inner structure.

open-end mortgage
A mortgage which allows the borrower to request additional money under the same mortgage.

open house
WA house which is open for inspection to the public to display it is for sale.

open listing
Authorization to a real estate agent for a commission upon presentation of an accepted offer.

open mortgage
A mortgage that can be prepaid without penalties or lender fees.

panel heating
Heating created by hot air, hot water,steam or electric coils. This is a form of radiant heating built into the walls ceilings or floor panels.

parapet
A short wall along the edge of a roof or flashing to divert water.

parcel
Any portion of land.

partnership
An association of two or more people who carry on as co-owners in a business for profit.

par value mortgage
The value of a mortgage based on the balance owing without any discounts.

patio
An area for relaxation adjoining a house. Typically a paved, wooden or courtyard for outdoor cooking.

penthouse
A condominium or apartment on the roof of a building.

per annum
Yearly, annually.

percolation test
A test to determine the capability of soil to absorb liquid for construction or septic areas.

perimeter
The boundary area or line for a parcel of land.

physical life
The normal life of an improvement with proper maintenance.

picture window
A large window for sunlight or a scenic view.

pier
A structure extending into a body of water for water vessels.

pile
A verticle support driven into the ground.

planned development
A subdivision of five or more lots with some common or shared land.

pledge
A deposit of goods with a creditor as security for the debt.

plumbing
The pipes and fixtures necessary for the flow of water to a building, or from a building.

plywood
A wood sheet made of thin sheets glued to a center sheet of thicker wood.

policy
A general term for insurance contracts.

porch
An extension from a building usually with its own roof or entrance.

possession
Having physical control of land or personal property.

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