Title Insurance and Closing Services Since 1954
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.
A contract entered into between a buyer and seller, setting forth the terms, provisions and conditions of a sale of real estate.
A financial device which an owner of land may employ to raise money and still have the use of the land by selling the land to the financier and immediately leasing it back for the period the owner wishes to use it.
A document signed by a lender acknowledging that a mortgage has been fully paid and releasing the mortgage lien on a property. It must be recorded with the County Recorder to clear the title to the real property.
In title industry parlance, a careful exploration and examination of the public records in an effort to find all recorded instruments relating to a particular chain of title. Also referred to as title search or title examination.
A mortgage ranking in priority immediately below a first mortgage.
A parcel of land comprising one square mile or 640 acres.
A term used in property law to refer to real property which is subject to a use that benefits another property, such as an easement, right of way or use for access to an adjoining property or utility lines. The property giving usage is the servient estate, and the property which imposes the use on the servient estate is called the dominant estate
Those lines which delineate the required distances for the location of structures in relation to the perimeter of the property.
A loan having a fixed interest rate set below the market rate for the term of the loan which provides for contingent interest based upon a percentage of the appreciation in the value of the security at the sale or transfer of the property, or the payment of the loan.
Simultaneous issuance of an owner’s policy and a mortgagee policy, or an owner’s policy and a leasehold policy, or owner’s policy to different insureds. A reduced premium rate is applicable in such cases.
A special tax imposed on property, individual lots or all property in the immediate area, for road construction, sidewalks, sewers, street lights, etc.
A deed containing a covenant whereby the seller agrees to protect the buyer against being dispossessed because of any adverse claims to the land by the seller, or anyone claiming through the seller.
An area of land laid out and divided into lots, blocks, and building sites, and in which public facilities are laid out, such as streets, alleys, parks, and easements for public utilities.
The act of a creditor acknowledging in writing that the lien of the debt due from a debtor shall be inferior to the lien of the debt due another creditor from the same debtor.
An agreement by which one encumbrance (for example, a mortgage) is made subject (junior) to another encumbrance. To “subordinate” is to “make subject to,” or to make of lower priority.
The substitution of one person in the place of another with reference to a claim, demand, or right, so that the individual who is substituted succeeds to the rights of the other in relation to the debt or claim and its rights, remedies, or securities.
The rights of ownership to things lying beneath the physical surface of the property.
(1) A person who agrees to be responsible for a debt or obligation of another. (2) The pledge or agreement by which one undertakes responsibility for the debt or obligation of another.
ALTA Land Title Surveys: ALTA Land Title Surveys show all principle improvements to the property, such as the home itself or a garage, and their relationship to the exact boundary lines. Please note that the boundaries are not staked as in a Stake/Boundary Survey – see below. Usually done on commercial transactions.
Land Surveys: Land surveys are made to establish boundaries of land areas by setting corner markers or monuments and/or to obtain boundary information required for both record/deed descriptions and for plotting parcels of real property.
Mortgage Location Surveys: Mortgage location surveys verify that the improvements (home, garage, etc.) on which they are placing a mortgage are located on the correct property. This is the most common type of survey ordered on a property transfer. It allows the Title Company to provided additional coverage to the lender and owner, for such things as driveway easements and potential mechanic's liens for new structures.
Stake/Boundary Surveys: The purpose of this survey is to allow the intended user of the property to learn the exact location of all property corners and boundary lines. This type of survey is highly recommended if the homeowner wants to construct additional improvements on the property such as a garage, pools, fences, sheds, etc. A Boundary survey is typically performed for Buyers only and does not show improvements to the property and their relationship to property lines.
Persons who are co-owners of interests in the same land. At common law and in some states today, upon the death of a joint tenant, interest passes to the surviving joint tenant(s) without a probate proceedings. This survivorship feature, when it exists, is the principal distinction between a joint tenancy and a tenancy in common.