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Glossary of NYRE 3rd Edition Glossary

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“As is”
Words in a contract of sale indicating that a property is sold without warranty as to condition.
Abandonment
The surrender or release of a right, claim, or interest in real property.
Absorption field
A system of narrow trenches through which the discharge from a septic tank infiltrates into the surrounding soil.
Abstract of title
A history of a title and the current status of a title based on a title examination.
Abutting land
Parcels of land next to each other that share a common border.
Acceleration clause
A provision in a mortgage or deed of trust that permits the lender to declare the entire principal balance of the debt immediately due and payable if the borrower is in default.
Acceptance
Voluntary expression by the person receiving the offer to be bound by the exact terms of the offer; must be unequivocal and unconditional.
Access
The right to go onto and leave a property.
Accession
Property owners’ rights to all the land produces or all that is added to the land, either intentionally or by mistake.
Accessory apartment
For example, an in-law apartment in a residential home.
Accessory uses
Uses that are incidental or subordinate to the main use of a building such as a laundromat.
Accretion
The gradual building up of land in a watercourse over time by deposits of silt, sand, and gravel.
Accrued expenses
Expenses seller owes on the day of closing but for which the buyer will take responsibility (such as property taxes).
Acknowledgment
A fonnal statement before an authorized official (e.g., notary public) by a person who executed a deed, contract, or other document, that it was a free act.
Acquisition
The act of acquiring a property.
Acquisition cost
The basis used by the FT-IA to calculate the loan amount.
Acre
A land area containing 43,560 square feet.
Act of waste
Abuse or misuse of property by a life tenant.
Action to quiet title
A lawsuit to clear a title to real property.
Actual age
Chronological age.
Actual eviction
The removal of a tenant by the landlord because the tenant breached a condition of a lease or other rental contract.
Actual notice
The knowledge a person has of a fact. adjoining lands Lands sharing a common boundary line.
Ad valorem
Latin meaning “according to value”; real property is taxed on an ad valorem basis.
Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
One in which the interest rate changes according to changes in a predetermined index.
Adjusted sales price
The amount realized minus fix- up expenses.
Administrative law judge (AU)
A judge who hears complaints and makes decisions regarding statutory violations of law.
Administrator
A person appointed by a court to administer the estate of a one who has died intestate.
Administrator’s deed
One executed by an administrator to convey title to estate property.
Administratrix
A woman appointed by a court to administer the estate of a person who has died intestate.
Adverse possession
A method of acquiring title to real property by conforming to statutory requirement; a form of involuntary alienation of title.
Affirmative action
Policy expressed in some form of legislative act with respect to the handling of certain public or private acts or conduct.
Affirmative easement
A legal requirement that a servient owner permit a right of use in the servient land by the dominant owner.
Agency
The fiduciary relationship between a principal and an agent.
Agency disclosure form
See disclosure regarding agency relationships form.
Agent
A person authorized to act on behalf of another person.
Agreement
A contract requiring mutual assent between two or more parties.
Agricultural districts
Created and protected by New York statute; these areas are used for animal grazing and crop production.
Air rights
Rights in the airspace above the surface of land.
Alienage
The citizenship or immigration status of any person who is not a citizen or national of the U.S.
Alienation
Transfer of title to real property.
Alienation clause
A statement in a mortgage or deed of trust entitling the lender to declare the entire principal balance of the debt immediately due and payable if the borrower sells the property during the mortgage term. Also known as due-on-sale clause.
Allodial system
The type of land ownership existing in the United States whereby individuals may hold title to real property absolutely.
Alluvion
Increased soil, gravel, or sand on a stream bank resulting from flow or current of the water.
Americans with Disabilities Act
A federal law protecting the rights of individuals with physical or mental impairments.
Amortization
Applying periodic payments first toward the interest and then toward the principal to eventually pay off a debt.
Amortization schedule
Designation of periodic payments of principal and interest over a specific term to satisfy a mortgage loan.
Amortized mortgage
One in which uniform installment payments include payment of both principal and interest.
Amperage
The amount of current or electricity flowing through the wire.
Annexation
Addition of an area into a city.
Annual percentage rate (APR)
The actual effective rate of interest charged on a loan expressed on a yearly basis; not the same as simple interest rate.
Anticipation
The principle that property value is based on expectations or hopes of the future benefits of ownership.
Antitrust violations
Any business activity where there is a monopoly, a contract, a conspiracy, or a combination that negatively impacts an individual’s or a company’s ability to do business.
Apartment information vendor
A licensed individual who is paid to provide information concerning the location and availability of residential real property.
Apartment sharing agent
A licensed individual who is paid to arrange and coordinate meetings between current owners of real property who wish to share their housing with others.
Apportionment
The division of expenses between buyer and seller.
Appraisal
An estimate of value of particular property, at a particular time for a specified purpose.
Appraisal report
Documentation containing an estimate of property value and the data on which the estimate is based.
Appraiser
One who estimates the value of real property.
Appreciation
An increase in property value.
Appurtenances
All rights or privileges that result from ownership of a specific property and move with the title.
Appurtenant easement
See easement appurtenant.
Area variance
Permission to use land in a manner that is not normally allowed by the dimensional or physical requirements of a zoning ordinance.
Arrears
Delinquency in meeting an obligation; or, paid at the end of a period (e.g., at the end of the month) for the previous period. Payments in arrears include interest for using the money during the previous period.
Article 12-A
The section of the New York Real Property Law pertaining to real estate salespersons and brokers.
Article 78 proceeding
An appeal brought forth because of a ruling by a government agency.
Article 9-A
A section of the New York Real Property Law addressing the purchase or lease of vacant subdivided lands sold through an installment contract within or without New York.
Asbestos
A fibrous mineral found in many building materials and when improperly disturbed can cause serious lung illnesses.
Assessed value
The dollar amount of worth to which a local tax rate is applied to calculate the amount of real property tax.
Assessment
A levy against property.
Assessor
An official of local government who has the responsibility for establishing the value of property for tax purposes.
Assignee
One to whom contractual rights are transferred.
Assignment
Transfer of legal rights and obligations by one party to another.
Assignment of lease
Transfer by a lessee of the entire remaining term of a lease without any reversion of interest to the lessee.
Assignor
The person transferring contractual rights to another.
Associate real estate broker
A licensed real estate broker who chooses to work under the name and supervision of another licensed broker.
Assumable mortgage
One that does not contain an alienation clause and can be transferred from one party to another.
Attorney-in-fact
A person appointed to perform legal acts for another under a power of attorney.
Auction
A form of property sale in which people bid against one another.
Availability
An economic characteristic of land denoting that land is a commodity with a fixed supply base.
Avulsion
Sudden loss or gain of land as a result of water or shift in a bed of a river that has been used as a boundary.
Balloon framing
Method of construction that uses a single system of wall studs that run from the foundation through the first and second floors to the ceiling support.
Balloon mortgage
One in which the scheduled payment will not amortize the loan over the mortgage term; therefore, to fully satisfy the debt, it requires a final payment called a balloon payment, larger than the uniform payments.
Bargain and sale deed
A form of deed with or without covenants of title.
Base rent
The fixed or minimum rent portion in a percentage lease.
Bearing walls
Walls that support the ceiling and/or roof.
Beneficial title
Equitable title to real property retained by a mortgagor or trustor conveying legal title to secure a mortgage debt.
Beneficiary
(a) Recipient of a gift of personal property by will. (b) Lender in a deed of trust.
Bequest
A gift of personal property by will.
Bilateral contract
An agreement based on mutual promises that provide the consideration.
Bill of sale
An instrument transferring ownership of personal property.
Binder
A written document for the purchase and sale of real property that does not generally contain all of the essential elements of a valid contract.
Blanket mortgage
One in which two or more parcels of real property are pledged to secure payment of the note.
Blind ad
An ad for real property placed by a real estate broker that does not indicate that the advertiser is a broker and does not include the name of the broker and telephone number.
Blockbusting
[The illegal practice of] for profit, inducing or attempting to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Blueprint
A building plan that is a detailed architectural rendering of the structure.
Board of directors
Governing and decision-making board of a cooperative.
Bona fide
In good faith.
Book value
Dollar worth as it appears on the owner’s books, usually for tax purposes; also known as historic value.
Breach of contract
Failure, without legal excuse, to perform any promise that forms the whole or part of a contract.
Bridge loan
A loan for a short duration of time.
Broker’s agent
One who is hired through a broker to work for the principal.
Brokerage
The business of bringing buyers and sellers together and assisting in negotiations for the terms of sale of real estate.
BTU
Abbreviation for British thermal unit. The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
Building codes
Public controls regulating construction.
Building envelope
The materials of a building that enclose the interior.
Building permit
Permission from the appropriate local government authority to construct or renovate any type of property.
Building specifications
Written narratives that explain the building plan.
Bundle of rights
The rights of an owner of a freehold estate to possession, enjoyment, control, and disposition of real property.
Buydown
The voluntary paying of discount points by a borrower to reduce mortgage interest rate at the time the loan is made.
Buyer agent
A real estate agent who works in the best interests of a buyer.
Buyer brokerage
An agency relationship between a buyer and a broker.
Capital gain
The profit realized from the sale of a real estate investment.
Capital improvement
An item that adds value to the property, adapts the property to new uses, or prolongs the life of property. Maintenance is not a capital improvement.
Capitalization rate
The percentage of the investment the investor will receive back each year from the net income from the property.
Cash flow
Income produced by an investment property after deducting operating expenses and debt service.
Caveat
A warning or caution that may be addended to a contract of sale such as a disclosure that a property lies in an Agricultural District.
Caveat emptor
Latin, meaning “let the buyer beware”. Does not apply when there is a fiduciary relationship.
Cease and desist list
A list of homeowners compiled by DOS in a cease and desist zone who do not wish to be solicited by real estate agents.
Cease and desist zone
A designation given by DOS to a certain geographic area that has been subject to intense and repeated solicitation by real estate agents. See cease and desist list.
Census tract
Small geographical areas established through cooperation between the local community and the Bureau of Census.
Certificate of occupancy
A document issued by a local government agency, after a satisfactory inspection of a structure, authorizing that the structure can be occupied.
Certificate of title opinion
A report, based on a title examination, setting forth the examiner’s opinion of the quality of a title to real property.
Cession deed
A deed used to relinquish real property to a municipality for a road or something of that nature.
Chain
In land measurement, a distance of 66 feet.
Chain of title
Successive conveyances of title to a specific parcel of land.
Change
The principle stating that change is continually affecting land use and therefore continually altering value.
Chattel
Personal property.
Chlordane
Chemical insecticide and termiticide that was banned in the early 1980s.
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
Man-made chemical substances that were used in hundreds of applications, including refrigerators and air conditioners.
Chronological age
Actual age of an item.
Circuit breaker
Devices that switch off the electrical power for a given circuit if the current is above the capacity of the system.
Civil action
A lawsuit between private parties.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
A federal law that prohibits all discrimination on the basis of race.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Law that prohibited discrimination in any housing program receiving federal money.
Civil Rights Act of 1968
See Fair Housing Act of 1988.
Clayton Antitrust Act
Federal legislation including the imposition of civil and punitive damages for antitrust activities.
Client
The principal of the agent.
Closed mortgage
One that imposes a prepayment penalty.
Closing costs
Expenses incurred in the purchase and sale of real property paid at the time of settlement or closing.
Closing statement
An accounting of the funds received and disbursed in a real estate transaction.
Cloud on a title
A claim against a title to real property.
Cluster zoning
A form of zoning providing for several different types of land use within a zoned area.
Coastal Zone Management Program
A program coordinated by DOS to preserve and protect New York’s coastline.
Code of Ethics
A standard of conduct required by license laws and by the National Association of REALTORS.
Codicil
A supplement or an appendix to a will either adding or changing a bequest.
Coinsurance clause
A requirement of hazard insurance policies that property be insured for a certain percent of value to obtain the full amount of loss.
Collateral
Property pledged as security for payment of a debt.
Color of title
The deceptive appearance of claim to a title.
Commercial property
Property producing rental income or used in business.
Commercial zones
Uses that allow retail stores, restaurants, hotels, and service businesses.
Commingling
Mixing money or property of others with personal or business funds or other property.
Commission
A fee paid for the performance of services, such as a broker commission.
Commissioner’s deed
A form of judicial deed executed by a commissioner.
Commitment
A promise, such as that by a lending institution to make a certain mortgage loan.
Common areas
Property to which co-owners hold title as a result of ownership of a condominium unit.
Common elements
See common areas.
Common law
Law by judicial precedent or tradition, as contrasted with a written statute.
Common law dedication
An act by an owner allowing the public use of the property.
Community planning
A master plan for the orderly growth of a city or county to result in the greatest social and economic benefits to the people.
Community property
A form of co-ownership limited to husband and wife; does not exist in New York.
Community-based planning
A form of land use control originating in the grassroots of a community.
Comparative market analysis
An analysis of the competition in the marketplace that a property will face upon sale attempts.
Compensatory damages
The amount of money actually lost, which will be awarded by a court in case of a breached contract.
Competent parties
Persons and organizations legally qualified to manage their own affairs, including entering into contracts.
Competition
The principle stating that when the net profit a property generates is excessive, very strong competition will result.
Complete performance
Execution of a contract by virtue of all parties having fully performed all terms.
Condemnation
Exercise of the power of eminent domain; taking private property for public use.
Condemnation value
Market value of condemned property.
Condition
Any fact or event which, if it occurs or fails to occur, automatically creates or extinguishes a legal obligation.
Condominium
A form of ownership of real property, recognized in all states, consisting of individual ownership of some aspects and co-ownership in other aspects of the property.
Condominium declaration
The document that, when recorded, creates a condominium; also called a master deed.
Conforming loans
Those processed on uniform loan forms and according to FNMA / FHLMC guidelines.
Conformity
Homogeneous uses of land within a given area, which results in maximizing land value.
Consent decree
A compromise in civil lawsuits where the accused party agrees to stop the alleged illegal activity without admitting guilt or wrongdoing (called nolo contendere in criminal cases).
Consideration
Anything of value, as recognized by law, offered as an inducement to contract.
Construction loan
A short-term loan, secured by a mortgage, to obtain funds to construct an improvement on land.
Construction mortgage
A temporary mortgage used to borrow money to construct an improvement on land.
Constructive eviction
Results from some action or inaction by the landlord that renders the premises unsuitable for the use agreed to in a lease or other rental contract.
Constructive notice
One in which all affected parties are bound by the knowledge of a fact even though they have not been actually notified of such fact.
Consumer price index (CPI)
An index of the change in prices of various commodities and services, providing a measure of the rate of inflation.
Contingency
A condition in a contract relieving a party of liability if a specified event occurs or fails to occur.
Contract
An agreement between competent parties upon legal consideration to do, or abstain from doing, some legal act.
Contract buyer’s policy
Title insurance that protects contract buyer against defects in contract seller’s title.
Contract for deed
A contract of sale and a financing instrument wherein the seller agrees to convey title when the buyer completes the purchase price installment payments; also called installment land contract and installment plan.
Contract rent
The amount of rent agreed to in a lease.
Conventional life estate
One created by intentional act of the parties.
Conventional mortgage loan
One in which the federal government does not insure or guarantee payment to the lender.
Conversion
Change in a form of ownership, such as changing rental apartments to condominium ownership.
Convey
To pass to another (as in title).
Conveyance
Transfer of title to real property.
Cooling-off period
A three-day right of rescission for certain loan transactions.
Cooperating broker or agent
One who participates in the sale of a property.
Cooperative
A form of ownership in which stockholders in a corporation occupy property owned by the corporation under a lease.
Co-ownership
Title to real property held by two or more persons at the same time; also called concurrent ownership.
Corporation
A form of organization existing as an entity.
Corporation franchise tax
A tax calculated on the net profit of the corporation.
Cost
The total dollar expenditure for labor, materials, and other items related to construction.
Cost approach
Appraisal method for estimating the value of properties that have few, if any, comparables and are not income-producing.
Counteroffer
A new offer made by an offeror rejecting an offer.
Covenant
A promise in writing.
Covenant against encumbrances
A promise in a deed that the title causes no encumbrances except those set forth in the deed.
Covenant for further assurances
A promise in a deed that the grantor will execute further assurances that may be reasonable or necessary to perfect the title in the grantee.
Covenant of quiet enjoyment
A promise in a deed (or lease) that the grantee (or lessee) will not be disturbed in the use of the property because of a defect in the grantor’s (or lessor’s) title.
Covenant of right to convey
A promise in a deed that the grantor has the legal capacity to convey the title.
Covenant of seisin
A promise in a deed ensuring the grantee that the grantor has the title being conveyed.
Covenant of warranty
A promise in a deed that the grantor will guarantee and defend the title against lawful claimants.
Credit
In a closing statement, money to be received or credit given for money or an obligation given.
Creditor
One to whom a debt is owed.
Cubic-foot method
A means of estimating reproduction or replacement cost, using the volume of the structure.
Cul-de-sac
A dead-end street with a circular turnaround at the dead end.
Cumulative-use zoning
A type of zoning permitting a higher-priority use even though it is different from the type of use designated for the area.
Curtesy
A husband’s interest in the real property of his wife. [See also “Dower”].
Customer
The party the agent brings to the principal as seller or buyer of the property.
Damages
The amount of financial loss incurred as a result of another’s action.
Debit
In a closing statement, an expense or money received against a credit.
Debt service
Principal and interest payments on a debt.
Decedent
A dead person.
Declaration
Master deed containing legal description of the condominium facility, a plat of the property, plans and specifications for the building and units, a description of the common areas, and the degree of ownership in the common areas available to each owner.
Declaration of restrictions
The instrument used to record restrictive covenants on the public record.
Decree
A court order.
Dedication
An appropriation of land or an easement therein by the owner to the public.
Dedication by deed
The deeding of a parcel of land to a municipality.
Deductible expenses
Costs of operating property held for use in business or as an investment. These expenses are subtracted from gross income to arrive at net income.
Deed
A written instrument transferring an interest in real property when delivered to the grantee.
Deed in lieu of foreclosure
Conveyance of title to the mortgagee by a mortgagor in default to avoid a record of foreclosure. Also called friendly foreclosure.
Deed restriction
Limitation on land use appearing in deeds.
Default
Failure to perform an obligation.
Defeasance clause
A statement in a mortgage or deed of trust giving the borrower the right to redeem the title and have the mortgage lien released at any time prior to default by paying the debt in full.
Defeasible
Subject to being defeated by the occurrence of a certain event.
Defeasible fee
A title subject to being lost if certain conditions occur.
Deficiency judgment
A court judgment obtained by a mortgagee for the amount of money a foreclosure sale proceeds were deficient in fully satisfying the mortgage debt.
DELETED: QUITCLAIM (unnecessary)
Delivery and acceptance
The transfer of a title by deed requiring the grantor to deliver and the grantee to accept a given deed.
Demise
To convey an estate for years; synonymous with lease or let.
Demography
The study of the social and economic statistics of a community.
Density
Number of persons or structures per acre.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
See U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Depreciation
(a) Loss in value from any cause. (b) Deductible allowance from net income of property when arriving at taxable income.
Descent
The distribution of property to legally qualified heirs of one who has died intestate.
Description by monument
A legal description sometimes used when describing multiple-acre tracts of land and may refer to permanent objects such as a stone wall, large trees, or boulders.
Description by reference
A valid legal description that may be found on a deed that references a plat of subdivision or other legal document.
Devise
A gift of real property by will.
Devisee
The recipient of a gift of real property by will.
Direct cost
The cost of labor and materials.
Disability
The impairment of any life function.
Disclosure and informed consent
Explanation by a real estate agent of his position in the agency relationship and the verbal and written consent of the relationship by the client or customer.
Disclosure of information
The prompt and total communication to the principal by the agent of any information that is material to the transaction for which the agency is created.
Disclosure regarding real estate agency relationships form
Pursuant to Section 443 of the New York Real Property Law, this document must be presented by a licensee and signed by all parties at the first substantive meeting with prospective purchasers or sellers.
Disclosure statement
An accounting of all financial aspects of a mortgage loan required of lenders to borrowers in residential mortgage loans by Regulation Z of the Federal Reserve Board.
Discount points
A percentage of the loan amount the lender requires for making a mortgage loan.

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