Terms Defined

The Real Estate Industry has its own unique language and, without some knowledge of this language, you may find yourself a bit confused if you become involved in a real estate transaction. Wayne County Title Agency, Inc. has compiled the following Definition of Terms commonly used in the real estate industry. Whether you are entering the real estate market for the first time or have invested in it before, this handy reference will provide an understanding of basic real estate words and phrases.

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A part of the government survey, being a strip of land six miles in width, and numbered east or west of the principal meridian.

Real Estate

Also called “real property.” (1) Land and anything permanently affixed to the land, such as building, fences and those things attached to the buildings, such as light fixtures, plumbing and heating fixtures, or other such items that would be personal property if not attached. (2) May refer to rights in real property as well as the property itself.


A federally registered collective membership mark which identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.


A brief term for real estate.


Filing documents affecting real property as a matter of public record, giving constructive notice to future purchasers, creditors, or other interested parties. Recording is controlled by statute and usually requires the witnessing and notarizing of an instrument to be recorded.


The right of the owner in some states to reclaim title to property if the owner pays the debt to the mortgagee within a stipulated time after foreclosure.


The process of the same mortgagor paying off one loan with the proceeds from another loan.


The act of an insurer transferring a portion of the risk to other insurers. The original insurer is sole insurer for a portion of the risk and shares the risk in the excess amount with the reinsurers. The first portion of the loss risk retained by the ceding company as its sole liability is called the “primary liability:’

Reissue Rate

A reduced rate of title insurance premium applicable in cases where the owner of the land has been previously insured in an owner’s policy by the insurer within a certain time.


Real Estate Investment Trust, a business trust which deals principally with interest in land. REITs generally are strictly organized to conform to the requirements of provisions of the Internal Revenue Code which give tax advantages to conforming REITs.


(1) To relieve from debt or security or abandon a right, such as the release of a mortgage lien from a part or all of the land mortgaged. (2) The instrument effecting a release.


An interest or estate in land in a person other than the grantor in which the right of possession  and enjoyment  of the land is postponed  until the termination  of some other interest or estate in that land.

Renegotiable Rate Mortgage

A loan secured by a long-term mortgage of up to
30 years, which provides for renegotiation at equal stated intervals of the interest rate for a maximum variation of 5 percent over the life of the mortgage.

Residential Property Disclosure – State of Ohio Form

State law requires that the seller disclose their knowledge of the condition of the property to their buyers.  This is a description of the property as it is known to the seller at the time of the sale.  Subject to some limitations,  if the seller does not provide this document to the buyer, the buyer may have a right to cancel the purchase agreement.


The Real Estate Settlement  Procedures  Act (12 U.S.C. 2601) which, together with Regulation X promulgated pursuant to the Act, regulate real estate transfers involving a ‘federally related mortgage loan” by requiring, among other things, certain disclosures to borrowers.


Provision in deed or will or in a “Declaration of Condition, Reservations and Restrictions” which limits in some way the right to use land or convey its title. Examples are building setback lines and limitations to residential uses.

Reverse Annuity Mortgage

A mortgage given by a homeowner  who desires to convert the equity in his or her house to an income-producing  asset. The proceeds of the loan are paid out in periodic installments  to the homeowner,  thus giving the homeowner income until the proceeds paid out equal the face amount of the mortgage.


Provision in conveyance by which, upon the happening of an event or contingency,   title to the land will return to the grantor or the successor in interest in the land.

Right of Way

(1) The right to pass over property owned by another, usually based upon an easement. (2) A path or thoroughfare over which passage is made. (3) A strip of land over which facilities such as highways, railroads or power lines are built. Also referred to as an Easement.


Pertaining to the banks of a watercourse. The owner of land adjacent to a watercourse is called a riparian owner and the rights of the riparian owner related to that watercourse are called riparian rights.