Glossary of Terms
When buying or selling a home, you will encounter many terms that may be unfamiliar. To assist, we have provided this glossary of Real Estate terms.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Z
Glossary of Terms - T
TACKING: Adding an extra period of time to the term of a contract.
TAKING: 1. Government acquisition of land through condemnation. 2. Restrictions on the use of land that are so harsh as to block any reasonable use of the property.
TANDEM PLAN: A joint program of the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) and the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) to provide low-interest home loans.
TANGIBLE PROPERTY: Assets that can be touched, that have a physical existence. TAX: 1. To strain or push to the point of exhaustion. 2. To levy an assessment against, usually by government powers. Unpaid taxes usually form a special lien on property owned by the taxpayer, ahead of registered mortgages. 3. The money charged as an assessment.
TAX AND INSURANCE ESCROW: See "escrow account".
TAX BASE: The pool of property, value or income from which a government may draw assessments.
TAX DEED: The instrument of conveyance when a property is sold by a government body to pay for arrears of taxes.
TAX FORECLOSURE: The process leading up to the sale of a property to pay for arrears in taxes.
TAX LIEN: A claim registered against a property by a government authority for non-payment of assessed taxes.
TAX MAP: A pictorial representation of the properties in a municipality, showing dimensions and other information about each property for tax purposes.
TAX ROLL: Also known as "assessment roll", the listing of all properties in a jurisdiction that are subject to taxation, including owners' names, assessed value of each property, municipal addresses, legal descriptions and assessment roll number.
TAX SALE: Sale of property by a governmental body for non-payment of taxes, ether by tender or auction.
TAX-EXEMPT PROPERTY: A property that is not subject to realty taxes.
TEASER RATE: A lower interest rate charged on an adjustable or variable rate mortgage for a brief, introductory period as an inducement to the borrower to accept the loan from the lender.
TENANCY: The right to use and occupy all or part of a property under a rental agreement.
TENANCY AT SUFFERANCE: Form of tenancy created when a tenant remains in occupation of the premises after the end of the lease. The landlord is at liberty to evict the tenant at any time, subject only to the local tenancy laws.
TENANCY AT WILL: Form of tenancy created by written agreement in which the landlord may evict the tenant at any time.
TENANCY BY ENTIRETY: See "joint tenants". TENANCY FOR LIFE: See "life estate".
TENANCY FOR YEARS: Form of tenancy created by a written agreement in which the tenant has the right to occupy the premises for a stated period of time.
TENANCY FROM YEAR TO YEAR (MONTH TO MONTH): A form of tenancy in which the tenant's right to occupy the premises lasts for a stated period of time but may be extended by mutual consent for another period.
TENANCY IN COMMON: Ownership of property in which several owners each own a stated portion of the property (a percentage). Each owner may deal with her portion of the property as she wishes (giving it away, mortgaging it, selling it, bequeathing it, etc.) and, upon her death, her share becomes part of her estate.
TENANCY IN SEVERALTY: Ownership of property by a single person.
TENANT FIXTURES: Items added to a leased premises by a tenant that might normally be considered fixtures (and, therefore, part of the premises) but that, by contract or law, the tenant is entitled to remove at the end of the lease period.
TENANT IN COMMON: A person who owns property with one or more others, where each owns a stated portion of the property and is free to deal with his portion as he wishes.
TENDER: 1. To deliver payment or an item one is obliged to deliver. 2. To produce evidence of one's ability to meet one's obligations under a contract for the purposes of preserving one's right to sue another party to the contract who is not able to carry out the contract.
TENEMENTS: 1. A legal word for a property or fixed asset (see dominant or servient tenement regarding easements). 2. Term for units in an aging apartment complex or building.
TENURE IN LAND: The fashion in which an owner holds title to land. TERM LOAN: A loan that comes due on a given date, often before the periodic payments would pay the loan out.
TERM, AMORTIZATION: Term: The period of time during which the loan contract is active, during which the borrower makes periodic payments to the lender and at the end of which the balance of the loan becomes due and payable. Amortization: The period of time after which, if all periodic payments are made on time and in full, the loan will be paid out. Term may not be the same as amortization: a normal mortgage may be amortized over 25 years with just a five year term at which time the borrower has to re-finance.
TERMITE CLAUSE: A term in an Agreement for sale which allows the Purchaser to inspect for termites. If any are found, the Vendor may be required to treat the problem or the Purchaser may rescind. Many clauses now refer more generally to "wood-damaging or destroying insects".
TERMITE INSPECTION: The examination of a building for wood destroying insects.
TERMS: The various clauses that make up a contract. Sometimes used to described the financial portions of the contract only.
TESTAMENT: Another word for a will.
TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITION: The transfer of ownership of an asset by way of a will.
TESTATE: To die leaving a valid Will. Opposite of "intestate".
TESTATOR (TESTATRIX): The person who makes a will.
TESTIMONIUM: The clause in a legal instrument that sets out the date and other information regarding the signing of the instrument.
THIRD PARTY: A person who is not a party to a contract but may become involved in an indirect way or be affected by it.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE: A standard statement in a contract which ensures that all dates and times of day noted in the contract are important and cannot be ignored by any of the parties without the consent of the others except in breach of the contract.
TIME-SHARING: A form of joint ownership of property where numerous owners share title and enjoy use or occupation of the property according to a specific schedule.
TITLE: The legal term for one's ownership interest in land.
TITLE COMPANY: Also known as "title insurance company" or "title insurer". A corporation which is in the business of selling policies of insurance guaranteeing the ownership and quality of title to land.
TITLE COVENANTS: Clauses and promises inserted into instruments of conveyance which are designed to give the Purchaser assurances that she is receiving good title.
TITLE DEFECT: A claim against or competing interest in a property which affects the title of the registered owner.
TITLE INSURANCE POLICY: A form of insurance contract which guarantees to indemnify an owner or mortgagee of property for damages suffered as a result of undiscovered title defects which arise later.
TITLE PLANT: Also known as "abstract plant". An assemblage, available to the public, of information and documents relating to title to a particular property.
TITLE REPORT: A document which sets out the current state of title to a property.
TITLE SEARCH OR EXAMINATION: The act of examining in detail the public records relating to ownership of a parcel of land to ensure that the current owner has clear title, free of any liens, claims, mortgages or competing and adverse interests. Usually performed by a lawyer, qualified title searcher, or title insurance company on behalf of a proposed purchaser or mortgagee.
TITLE THEORY STATES: Jurisdictions in which ownership of land is divided into two interests: legal title and equitable title. When an owner registers a mortgage in favor of a lender, legal title is transferred to the lender while the owner retains equitable (or beneficial) title. Once the mortgage is paid out, legal title is transferred back to the owner.
TOPOGRAPHY: The form and structure of the surface of land (i.e. hilly, flat, etc.)
TORRENS SYSTEM: Developed in Australia, a system of the registration of interests in land in which documents are closely regulated, monitored and examined by the recording authority to ensure that they are correct and that title is transferred without flaw. Property may not be transferred if uncorrected title defects exist.
TOTAL DEBT RATIO: Comparison of the total costs of living for a person (including debt, food, utilities) over a given period with the gross income of that person.
TOTAL INTEREST PAYMENTS: A calculation of all interest paid on a loan over its life.
TOWN HOUSE: A type of dwelling which shares at least one common wall with neighboring dwellings.
TRANSACTION FEE: A charge for making a withdrawal on a line of credit or other bank account.
TRANSFER TAX: See "land transfer tax".
TRESPASS: Entry onto or possession of the property owned by another without the owner's consent.
TRIPLE-NET LEASE: A rental agreement which requires the tenant to pay all operating costs of the building.
TRUST ACCOUNT: A bank account held by a professional for the purposes of keeping money held on behalf of clients separate from the funds of the professional or her business.
TRUST DEED: An instrument of conveyance of title to property wherein the transferee will be holding the title to the property on behalf of another person.
TRUSTEE: A person who holds title to property on behalf of another (a "beneficiary of the trust").
TRUSTEE'S SALE: Sale conducted by a trustee (often the lender) under the terms of the deed of trust.
TRUTH-IN-LENDING ACT: A federal law which requires lenders to disclose all terms of a loan arrangement to the borrower in a specified form.
TUDOR: A heavy looking, fortress like style of home in the English style. Stone and brick construction, may also feature stucco and exposed timbers. Windows feature stone trim.
TWO-STEP MORTGAGE: A mortgage contract in which the interest rate changes after a given period of time, such that the rate charged is lower for the first part of the term of the mortgage and then market rate or higher later in the term.