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Real Estate Lexicon



Income property
Property that is not occupied by the owner but is used to generate income.

Inspection report
An examination of a home's exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, roofing and interior.

Insurable title
Title to property that a company agrees to insure against defects and disputes.

Interest rate
The sum, expressed as a percentage, charged for a loan. Interest payments on most home loans are tax- deductible.

Joint tenancy
Ownership by two or more people that gives equal shares of a piece of property. Rights pass to the surviving owner or owners.

Junior mortgage
A loan that subordinate to the primary loan.


An unearned fee paid to a licensee for non-real estate services rendered by others

Kit home
A structure that contains prefabricated components and is put together by a contractor.


Latent defect
An invisible problem in a piece of property such as bad wiring, termite damage or lead paint.

A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time

Leasehold estate
A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but rather has a recorded long-term lease on it.

Legal description
A property description, recognized by law that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.

Letter of intent
A formal statement that the buyer intends to purchase the property for a certain price on a certain date.

A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt, as well as any other amounts that are owed to others.

License (Real Estate)
A privilege granted by the State to operate as real estate broker or sales associate,
and to represent a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for commission.

A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.

Life Estate
An ownership estate in real property that is limited on duration to the lifetime of a named individual

Liquid asset
A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.

A piece of property placed on the market by a listing agent.

A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.


Maintenance fee  
The monthly assessment members of a homeowners' association pay for the repair and maintenance of common areas.

Market value  
The price that a piece of property sells for at a particular point in time.

Pledge or security of an interest in property for the payment of a debt or performance of an obligation.

The lender in a mortgage agreement.

The borrower in a mortgage agreement

Mortgage Loan Originator
A mortgage loan originator (MLO) is an individual who for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain takes a residential mortgage loan application or
offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS) 
The MLS combines the listings for all Properties listed by Realtors in one NAR Database. The MLS has information on all Active, Pending, Closed, Cancelled & Expired listings.