Real Estate Terminology

Real Estate jargon, demystified!

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  • a

  • Ad Valorem
    Ad Valorem is Latin for “according to value”.  An Ad Valorem Tax is a tax based on any assessed value of real estate as determined by your local property appraiser. Related Pages: Resources
  • Agency
    Agency is an agreed upon relationship wherein one party authorizes another party to represent them in dealing with a third party during real estate negotiations.Related Pages: Resources
  • Amortized Loan
    An Amortized Loan is a loan in which the principle or original loan amount is paid off in full over the life of the loan, usually in equal term paymrents.  A loan can be completely amortized or(...)
  • Annual Percentage Rate
    The Annual Percentage Rate or APR refers to the cost of credit, or the interest rate for a whole year, on a loan.Related Pages: Resources
  • Appraisal
    An Appraisal is an opinion or estimate of a home’s market value by a qualified licensed appraiser.  The value is based on the recent sale of “like” properties in the area.Related Pages: Resources
  • Appreciation
    Appreciation is the increase in value of your home over time.  This appreciation is usually directly affected by the conditions of your local real estate market.Related Pages: Resources
  • APR
    The Annual Percentage Rate or APR refers to the cost of credit, or the interest rate for a whole year, on a loan.Related Pages: Resources
  • Artisan 420
    Coming Soon!  Artisan 420 will be a mixed use, 9 story building containing approximately 299 units.  It will be located in the heart of Downtown Orlando’s South Eola neighborhood, and is being(...)
  • As-Is
    As-is is a term which means that the property will be accepted by a buyer in the condition it exists, without repairs or credits from the seller. Usually with an as-is contract for purchase, the(...)
  • Auction
    An Auction is a public forum in which property is being sold to the highest bidder.  This usually occurs in lieu of a foreclosure sale.Related Pages: Resources
  • b

  • Backup Offer
    A Backup Offer is when a seller has already accepted and signed the terms of a contract, but is still accepting offers from other buyers.  This is usually done as a precautionary method in the(...)
  • Broker
    A Broker is a state licensed individual that helps others buy and sell property, but also has training and serves in a managerial role at a real estate brokerage firm.Related Pages: Resources
  • Buyer's Agent
    A Buyer’s Agent is a licensed individual that represents buyers in the purchasing of a new home.  The Buyer’s Agent negotiates the price and all the terms of the contract to purchase a(...)
  • c

  • Closing Costs
    Closing Costs are fees incurred in addition to the purchase price of a home and paid for at the time of the close of any real estate transaction. In Florida, closing costs are usually paid as(...)
  • Commitment Letter
    A commitment letter is a letter from the lender promising to provide the buyer of a home with a loan at an agreed upon interest rate and terms over a specific period of time.  The main purpose(...)
  • Condominium
    A condominium or Condo is a unit that can be privately owned, in a multi-unit complex or apartment building.  While the units are privately owned, the common areas are shared by all unit owners(...)
  • Contingencies
    Contingencies are terms or conditions that must be met in a timely order before the transaction can be completed.  If a buyer or seller is unable to perform or complete these conditions or(...)
  • Conventional Loan
    A Conventional Loan is a mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Government.  Also known as a conforming loan, a conventional loan must adhere to the guidelines set forth by(...)
  • Custom Home
    A custom home is a one-of-a-kind home that is built with the design and features of a particular buyer. A buyer can choose a particular lot location, builder, floor plan, upgrades, and more to(...)
  • d

  • DBPR
    The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency in charge of licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida, such as cosmetologists,(...)
  • Deed
    A Deed is a document filed with the county that transfers home ownership.  The deed will contain the names of the previous owners, as well as the new owners, and a legal description of the(...)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
    The Department of Housing and Urban Development is a federal agency that provides tons of resources for buyers and sellers, from general information to the complex. There is information on(...)
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures are forms that inform parties in a real estate transaction of information that may not be readily visible or known.  It’s an opportunity for the purchaser to learn about the property(...)
  • Division of Business & Professional Regulations
    The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency in charge of licensing and regulating businesses and professionals in the State of Florida, such as cosmetologists,(...)
  • Documentary Stamp Taxes
    Documentary stamp tax is a tax levied at the rate of $.70 per $100 (or portion thereof) on documents that transfer interest in Florida real property.  These documents include warranty deeds and(...)
  • e

  • Easement
    An easement is a right to cross or use another’s land for a specific purpose.  They are generally granted to utility companies to run power lines or cable lines, and to maintain those lines.(...)
  • Encroachment
    An Encroachment is when a property owner violates the property rights of his neighbor by building something on or by allowing something to hang over onto the neighbor’s property or property(...)
  • Escrow
    Escrow is a deposit of funds held by a third party on behalf of other two parties in a real estate transaction. The funds are held by the escrow service until it receives the appropriate written(...)
  • f

  • Fannie Mae
    Fannie Mae or the Federal National Mortgage Association is a government-sponsored enterprise that buys loans from mortgage lenders or banks, then packages them together, and finally sells them(...)
  • Federal Housing Administration Loan
    This is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency.  This loan allows buyers to purchase a home with low down payments, generally 3.5 – 5%.  The buyer(...)
  • FHA
    This is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency.  This loan allows buyers to purchase a home with low down payments, generally 3.5 – 5%.  The buyer(...)
  • Financing
    Financing refers to a loan or mortgage from a lender that a buyer gets in order to buy a home.  There are several types of loans depending on your needs and amount of down payment a buyer may(...)
  • Florida Energy-Efficiency Rating Information Brochure
    The Florida Building Energy-Efficiency Rating Act allows Buyers to receive an information brochure notifying the purchaser of the option for an energy-efficiency rating on the building.   The(...)
  • Freddie Mac
    Freddie Mac or the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was created by Congress in 1970 to provide liquidity, stability and affordability to the nation’s housing market.  Just like Fannie Mae,(...)
  • h

  • HOA Disclosure
    The HOA Disclosure is a form the seller of a property in a neighborhood with a Home Owner’s Association must provide a purchaser with at the time of purchase.  This form contains the name of the(...)
  • HOA/Condominium Association Estoppel Fees
    HOA/Condominium Association Estoppel Fees are monies due to the Association before the purchase or transfer of title for a Condominium.  There must first be a request made to the Association by(...)
  • Home Warranty
    A Home Warranty, also known as a home service contract, is a contract between a homeowner and a home warranty company that provides needed repairs and replacement services on major home(...)
  • i

  • Inspection
    An Inspection is a thorough investigation by a licensed inspector that will reveal any issues or repairs needed to a home before purchase.  Once all terms of a purchase contract have been(...)
  • l

  • Lead Based Paint
    About Lead Lead is a metal that was used for many years in the past for a variety of uses. Since that time, it has been deemed to be dangerous to humans. Lead was used in paint until outlawed in(...)
  • Liens
    A lien is a legal notice or claim of ownership attached to your property, usually due to monies owed.  Your mortgage lender has the most significant lien on your home, but liens can be placed on(...)
  • m

  • Mold
    Mold is a fuzzy growth of minute fungus occurring typically in moist warm conditions, especially on food or other organic matter. Mold spore can become airborn which can have a negative effect(...)
  • Mortgage Loan
    A mortgage is/are funds borrowed from a bank, mortgage lender or mortgage broker to finance the purchase of a home.  They are usually paid off in therms of 5, 15 or 30 years, with monthly(...)
  • n

  • New Homes
    There's Nothing Like a Brand New Home Explore new construction homes for sale, or learn about one of our featured builders(...)
  • o

  • Owner’s Policy and Charges
    Owner’s Policy and Charges refers to Title Insurance Policies.  An Owner’s Policy is usually issued in the amount of the real estate purchase.  It is purchased for a one-time fee at closing and(...)
  • p

  • PMI
    Private Mortgage Insurance, also known as PMI, is an insurance that protects the mortgage lender from loss if the buyer defaults on their loan.  The borrower pays the premium monthly or with one(...)
  • Private Mortgage Insurance
    Private Mortgage Insurance, also known as PMI, is an insurance that protects the mortgage lender from loss if the buyer defaults on their loan.  The borrower pays the premium monthly or with one(...)
  • q

  • Quitclaim Deed
    A Quitclaim Deed is a document that transfers whatever interest a person has in a property to another person, usually a spouse or family member.  But this type of deed makes no guarantee that(...)
  • r

  • Radon Gas
    Radon Gas is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that is harmful and can only be detected by administering a test that will tell you how much Radon is present.  Radon is a naturally(...)
  • Real Estate Owned
    An REO or Real Estate Owned property is a home that is owned by the lender, usually a bank or government agency, and is currently on the market as a result of a failed auction sale.  This(...)
  • REO
    An REO or Real Estate Owned property is a home that is owned by the lender, usually a bank or government agency, and is currently on the market as a result of a failed auction sale.  This(...)
  • s

  • Seller's Disclosure
    A Seller’s Disclosure is a form completed by the owner of a home currently for sale that lists any known physical defects or issues that may affect the value of the property.  Related Pages: Resources
  • Spec Home
    Spec homes are homes the builder constructs based on speculation of what a buyer would look for.  These spec homes, also known as inventory homes, have already been constructed with a number of(...)
  • Special Assessments
    There are two types of Special Assessments.  One is a charge issued to homeowners living in neighborhoods with Home Owners Associations by the association.  This assessment is usually issued to(...)
  • Survey
    A Survey is an analysis of where property lines lie in order to establish how much land a homeowner owns.  The survey will also show any easements or encroachments listed on the title of the(...)
  • t

  • Title
    Title is the right to a specific real estate property, or ownership of a specific real estate property. When purchasing a home, buyers get a preliminary title report from an escrow agent after(...)
  • v

  • VA
    The Veterans Affair loan is a loan backed by the government but only available to eligible Veterans, spouses and beneficiaries.  This is very similar to the FHA loan with more benefits such as(...)
  • Veterans Affair Loan
    The Veterans Affair loan is a loan backed by the government but only available to eligible Veterans, spouses and beneficiaries.  This is very similar to the FHA loan with more benefits such as(...)
  • w

  • Walkthrough
    Walkthrough refers to the final inspection of the home by the buyer before the closing.  The buyer will walk through the home to male sure the home is in the same condition as when the initial(...)
  • Warranty Deed
    A Warranty Deed is a document that transfers ownership of a property and promises that the property is free and clear of liens or any other claims of ownership.  It also promises to make(...)