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Real Estate Glossary

This glossary was created by a team of real estate professionals. It contains terms regarding real estate buying and selling, home finance, home improvement, as well as legal terms. For your convenience, the glossary is searchable alphabetically.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

taking
See eminent domain

tenancy in common
A type of ownership in which two or more people have an undivided interest in property, without the right of survivorship. Upon death of one of the owners, his/her interest passes to his/her heirs or devises. Contrast with joint tenancy

tenant
Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be called the "lessee."

tenants in common

See tenancy in common

tenement
Everything that may be occupied under a lease by a tenant.

term
The actual life of a mortgage, at the end of which the mortgage becomes due and payable unless the lender renews the mortgage

time is of the essence
A clause, which if included in a contract, makes failure to perform by a specified date a material breach or violation of the contract.

timeshare
An arrangement under which a purchaser receives an interest in real property and the right to use an accommodation or amenities, or both, for a specified period and on a recurring basis. Used primarily for selling vacation properties

title
The right of ownership of a property

title company

A company that provides title insurance policies.

title insurance
Protection for lenders or homeowners against financial loss resulting from legal defects in the title

title search
Checks all the records relating to the property to determine whether the seller can sell the property, and can do so free of liens.

title theory state
The system in which the lender has legal title to the mortgaged property and the borrower has equitable title. Contrast with lien theory state.

torrens system

A system of land registration (not used in all states) in which clear title is established with a governmental authority, which issues title certificates to owners.

townhouse
dwelling unit usually with two,three or four floors, and shared structural walls. It can be individually owned, a condominium, a cooperative, a planned unit development or a rental property

transaction fee
A fee which may be charged each time you draw on a home equity credit line

triple net lease
See net lease

trust deed

The most common method of financing real estate purchases in California (most other states use mortgages). The trust deed transfers the title to the property to a trustee--often a title company--who holds it as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, the title is transferred to the borrower. The trustee will not become involved in the arrangement unless the borrower defaults on the loan. At that point, the trustee can sell the property and pay the lender from the proceeds.

trustee
One who as agent for others handles money or holds title to their land.