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Real Estate Agent Dictionary

Bookmark this page as a resource for real estate terms. 

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CADASTRAL Public record of the extent, value and ownership of land; land surveying and mapping.


CAPITALIZATION In appraising, determining value of property by considering net income and percentage of reasonable return on the investment.


CAPITALIZATION RATE The percentage ratio between net income from investment and the value of the investment. Commonly expressed as "return on and return of" capital.


CARTOGRAPHY The science or act of making maps.


CASH VALUE The actual money that an Asset will bring on the open market without any lengthy delay.


CAVEAT EMPTOR "Let the buyer beware" is Latin. Summarizes the rule that the buyer must examine, judge and test merchandise/property for himself.


CERTIFICATE OF NO DEFENSE A legal instrument executed by a mortgagor setting forth the exact unpaid balance of a mortgage, the current rate of interest, and the date to which interest has been paid.


CERTIFICATE OF TITLE A document stating that title to a particular property is clear. It is prepared by an attorney or qualified person who has examined the abstract of title, but is not to be confused with title insurance. It is only an opinion that title is good.


CHAIN A surveyor's unit of linear measure: 66 feet. Also, any length steel tape used to measure distance.


CHATTEL Personal property which is tangible and movable. (The word "chattel" evolved from the word "cattle", one of man's early important possessions.)


CIVIL ACTION Legal action brought to enforce, redress or protect private rights. All proceedings except criminal proceedings.


CIVIL RIGHTS ASSURANCE Assurance that no person will be discriminated against or excluded from operations, programs or activities on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, handicap or national origin.


CLEAR TITLE A title free and clear of all encumbrances.


CLOSING STATEMENT An accounting by a broker of funds in a real estate sale, made to the seller and to the buyer.


CLOUD ON TITLE An outstanding claim or encumbrance which would affect or impair the owner's title, if valid. A judgment or dower interest.


COINSURANCE A relative division of risk between the insurer and insured, depending on relative amount of the policy and the actual value of the property insured.


COLLOCATE Sharing of one property by more than one user; especially armed forces recruiting facilities.


COLLATERAL HEIR one who is not in the direct line of the deceased, but from a collateral line, as a brother/ sister, aunt/uncle, nephew/niece or cousin of the deceased.


COLLATERAL SECURITY A separate obligation attached to a contract to guarantee its performance; the transfer of property or of other contracts or valuables, to ensure the performance of a principal agreement.


COLOR OF TITLE The appearance of title (also called "apparent title"). Any fact, extraneous to the act or will of the claimant, which appears, on its face, to support his claim of title but, because of defect, falls short of establishing title.


COMMAND OPERATING BUDGET The Command Operating Budget (COB) estimates costs of resource decisions and justifies command requirements.


COMMERCIAL CONCESSION A special business arrangement usually made at a civil works project by leasing Army controlled real property to a private party who provides recreational services and facilities to the public at fair market value while seeking to make a profit.


COMMITMENT OF FUNDS of funds prior to obligation for a specific purpose, based on an estimate.


COMMON ELEMENT In a condominium, land and parts of buildings used by all owners for mutual convenience and safety. See CONDOMINIUM


COMMON EXPENSE In a condominium, expenses of operation and sums declared by the bylaws to be common expense.


COMMUNITY PROPERTY Property accumulated through joint efforts of husband and wife, or by either one, during their marriage and owned in common.


COMPARABLE Properties listed in an appraisal report which are substantially equivalent to the subject property, comparable in selling price, rental, income or similar measure.


COMPENSABLE INTEREST Interest of parties that is to be compensated.


COMPLIANCE INSPECTION Inspection of outgrants, military and civil, for compliance with terms of the outgrant and to review management/development of the property, particularly of outgrants which provide services to the general public.


COMPOUND INTEREST Interest paid both on the original principal and on interest accrued from the time it fell due.


CONCESSION privilege granted to an individual by the Government, to sell food, etc., on Government land.


CONCURRENT LEGISLATIVE JURISDICTION Legislative jurisdiction held by the United States concurrently with a state; the state grants to the U.S., and reserves to itself, the right to exercise the same legislative authority.


CONDEMNATION In real property law, the process by which property of a private owner is taken for public use, with just compensation to the owner. Condemnation occurs under the right of eminent domain.


CONDITION SUBSEQUENT A condition which, if it occurs, will defeat an existing estate in real estate or terminate an existing obligation.


CONDITIONAL COMMITMENT A commitment for a loan subject to one or more conditions.


CONDITIONAL SALE CONTRACT contract whereby the owner retains title to the property until the purchaser has met all of the terms and conditions of the contract.


CONDOMINIUM Fee ownership of a unit in multi-unit building with joint ownership of common areas.


CONSIDERATION An act or forbearance, or the promise thereof, which is offered by one party to induce another to enter into a contract; that which is given in exchange for something from another.


CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION Breach of a covenant of warranty or quiet enjoyment; for example, the inability of a purchaser or lessee to obtain possession by reason of a paramount outstanding title.


CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE Often called legal notice, the conclusive presumption that all persons have knowledge of the contents of a recorded instrument.


CONTAMINATION Presence of unexploded conventional ordnance, or of biological, radioactive, toxic chemical, or hazardous substances.


CONTINUING RESOLUTION Congressional legislation providing budget authority for Federal agencies and/or activities to continue operating until regular appropriations are enacted.


CONTOUR LINE A line connecting all points of the same elevation on a part of the earth's surface, represented by a continuous line on a topographic map.


CONTRACT An agreement, either oral or written to do or not to do certain things. In real estate, there are many different types of contracts.


CONTRACT RENT Payment for use of property, as specified in a lease.


CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE A mortgage on real estate securing a loan made by a private investor, not guaranteed by a Government agency such as FHA or VA.


CONVEYANCE The transfer of title to real property by means of a written instrument, such as a deed.


COOPERATIVE Multi-unit building owned by a corporation, each owner holding stock equal to the value of his apartment. Title is proprietary lease.


COST OF REPRODUCTION The normal cost of exact duplication of a property with the same or closely similar materials as of a certain date or period.


COURSES AND DISTANCES A method of describing or locating real property; this description gives a starting point and the direction and lengths of lines to be run; practically indistinguishable from a metes and bounds description.


COVENANT A written agreement in a deed which pledges that either party will perform or abstain from specified acts on a certain property, or which specifies or forbids certain uses of the property.


CURTESY The common law life estate of a husband to land his wife possessed in fee at her death. This interest has been abrogated as modified by statute in many states.

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