We're sure you don't like jargon - and neither do we. But it's a fact of real estate life. This glossary is here to help you make sense of it. And we've put a special emphasis on terms that reflect today's housing market.

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"p" Terms

A section or division of a wall, ceiling or a flat piece of building material that forms the part of the surface of a wall, door or cabinet.
Strips of wood or wood material applied as a finish to a wall.
An officially described piece of land.
The strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of a house.
There are several partnership options for unmarried individuals to buy a piece of property, such as live-in partnerships (in which both buyers share the residence) or a shared-equity partnership (in which one buyer lives in the home and the other is an investor in the property).
A tax term that refers to any loss from a passive activity, such as the ownership but not the operation of a piece of rental real estate.
A visible deficiency in a piece of property, such as a cracked basement slab or a sagging porch.
An interior courtyard or a paved backyard area.
A legal limit on the amount a monthly payment can increase on an adjustable-rate mortgage.
Interest charged or accrued daily.
A test used to determine the ability of soil to accommodate a septic system.
An arbor with an open roof of rafters supported by posts or columns.
Any moveable property in a house such as furniture or appliances.
A common pest-control inspection is a termite inspection, which is required in some states, such as California.
When a buyer applies for a loan, the lender will calculate the principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The figure is designed to represent the borrower's actual monthly mortgage-related expenses.
The concept began in the 19th century and describes any town or neighborhood built with certain guidelines and goals.
Residents own the home and the land, and share the use and financial responsibility for common areas.
Fees charged by lenders at the time a loan is originated. A point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.
The structure can be a simple covered entrance to a home or a fully enclosed room on the outside of a residence.
A lender who makes loans with its own funds and keeps the loans on the company's books--in other words, inside the institution's portfolio"--rather than selling the loan on the secondary market."
When a buyer signs the papers and receives the keys to the house, the buyer officially takes possession.
A document that authorizes an individual to act on behalf of someone else.
A letter from a lender that informs a seller about the amount of money that a potential buyer can obtain.
Homes that are sold before they are built.
The costs for taxes, insurance and assessments paid before the due date.
Interest paid before it is due. For example, at the close of a real estate transaction borrowers usually pay for the interest on their loan that falls between the closing period and the first monthly payment.
Lenders can impose a penalty on a borrower who pays a loan off before its expected end date.
Many lenders will prequalify a borrower who is shopping for a loan by completing a preliminary assessment of the buyer's ability to pay for a home.
The range of how much a buyer is willing to pay for a home.
The amount of money that the borrower owes on a mortgage.
The idea that a house will more likely appreciate in value if its size, age, condition and style are similar to, or conform to, other houses in the neighborhood.
An appraisal term which states that real estate of lower value is enhanced by the proximity of higher-end properties.
An appraisal term which states that the value of higher-end real estate can be brought down by the proximity of too many lower-end properties.
A structure erected between two pieces of property.
A special type of loan insurance that many lenders require borrowers to purchase if the borrower's down payment is less than 20 percent of the home's purchase price.
A real estate sale triggered by the death of the owner, with proceeds to be divided among heirs or creditors.
Homes that are mass-produced by one builder in a project.
A written summation by an architect of a project's design objectives, constraints and criteria.
A fiscal outline that includes the construction budget and all costs for land, furniture, equipment, financing, professional services, contingencies and owner-furnished goods and services.
The official dividing line between properties.
A disclosure issued by the state when a time-share project is located or sold.
Property taxes are calculated at about 1.5 percent of the current market value.
The U.S. tax code allows homeowners to deduct the amount they have paid in property taxes.
The value of a piece of property is based on the price a buyer will pay at a certain time.
Agreed-upon percentages of certain expenses associated with a piece of property that must be paid by the buyer or the seller at the time of closing.
Buyers compile a punch list during the final walk-through detailing items to be fixed before closing.
A document which details the purchase price and conditions of the transaction.
A mortgage that a borrower obtains to acquire a property.
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