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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"s" Terms

A transaction in which the buyer leases back the property to the seller for a specified period of time.
A contract signed by the buyer and seller that details the terms of a home purchase.
Renderings of floor plans and the exterior of a house.
Another loan placed upon a piece of property.
A market of packaged home loans that are resold as securities to investors. Major players are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Any loan backed by collateral.
A piece of property designated as collateral.
A seller broker represents the interest of the seller.
An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
A hot real estate market in which sellers have the advantage and multiple offers are common.
The buyer of a semi-custom home is free to make some design changes but not to the home's structural plan.
A firm that collects mortgage payments and manages borrowers' escrow accounts.
A document that details who has paid what to whom.
A loan that allows a lender or other party to share in the borrower's profits when the home is sold.
A transaction in which two buyers purchase a property, one as a resident co-owner and the other as an investor co-owner.
A shed ceiling pitches upward at one end.
A shed roof pitches up longer on one side than the other.
An alternative style of Victorian homes that evolved in the late 19th century to simplify the complexity of the traditional Victorian house.
Thin, wedge-shaped pieces of wood or flat rectangular pieces of slate, mineral fiber, glass fiber or composition asphalt installed on a roof to prevent water seepage.
When the lender agrees to allow a property to be sold for less than the remaining balance due on the loan, typically to prevent foreclosure.
A foundation built directly on soil with no basement or crawl space.
A design that is derived from the original missions established by the Spanish in the Southwest.
When a homeowners' association needs or wants extra funds, it levies a special assessment upon the owners.
Rehabilitation mortgages require a special deposit account from which restoration and remodeling funds included in the loan are disbursed to the appropriate contractors as work is completed.
The written requirements for materials, equipment, construction systems and standards.
A home that has been built without a buyer.
A home that is a ranch-style house stacked to fit on a smaller lot and perhaps to accommodate a garage.
The number of square feet of livable space in a home or building.
A calculation that is used to determine the monthly payment necessary to repay the balance of a home loan in equal installments.
Homes that fall within the lower price range of a typical first-time buyer.
A construction method used by commercial and residential builders.
A loan that allows a gradual increase in the interest rate during the first few years of the loan.
A transaction in which the buyer gives a new-home builder a deposit to begin building and the balance when the sale of the house closes.
A mixture of sand and cement used to cover the exterior surface or interior walls of a home or building.
The sheathing, usually made of plywood, placed on top of floor joists and covered by flooring.
When an agent brings a buyer to a property, they in effect act as a subagent to the listing agent.
Specialty construction companies hired by the general contractor to perform certain tasks.
The process in which the owner of a large piece of property divides it into smaller parcels.
A second or third mortgage.
A precise measurement of a piece of property by a licensed surveyor.
The non-cash value put into a piece of property by the owner, such as do-it-yourself home improvements.
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