Real Estate Dictionary



T-BILLS
See: Treasury Bills.
TACKING
(1) Annexing a lien to one superior to it in order to gain the priority of the superior lien and defeat an intermediate lien. Generally not allowed. (2) Annexing periods of possession to add up to enough time for successful adverse possession. For example: A begins adverse possession. A dies and A's son takes up possession, adding A's time to his own. Not always allowed.
TAH (TARGETED AFFORDABLE HOUSING)
See: Multifamily Affordable Housing.
TAKE OUT COMMITMENT
Agreement by a lender to place a long term (take out) loan on real property after completion of construction.
TAKE OUT LOAN
The "permanent" (long term) financing of real estate after completion of construction.
TAKING
As a legal term, it is used to describe acquisition such as taking by will; it is most commonly used as a real estate term to mean acquisition by eminent domain.
TALUS
Rocks at the foot of a hill or other slope, which accumulate by sliding or rolling down the slope from the action of wind, rain, and gravity.
TANDEM PLAN
A method of keeping home financing active by the purchase of mortgages by GNMA (Government National Mortgage Association) at face value (par), for resale to FNMA (Federal National Mortgage Association), a private corporation, at a discount.
TANGIBLE PROPERTY
See: Corporeal Property.
TANGIBLE VALUE
Value in appraisal of the physical value (land, buildings, etc.), as opposed to the value of an intangible, such as a favorable lease.
TARGETED AFFORDABLE HOUSING
See: Multifamily Affordable Housing
TAX AND INSURANCE ESCROW
See: Impound Account.
TAX BASE
The assessed valuation of real property, which is multiplied by the tax rate to determine the amount of tax due.
TAX BOOK
See: Tax Roll.
TAX BRACKET
The percentage of income tax which one pays, based on graduated tax tables.
TAX DEED
(1) Deed from tax collector to governmental body after a period of non-payment of taxes according to statute. (2) Deed to a purchaser at a public sale of land taken for delinquent taxes. The purchaser receives only such title as the former owners had, and strict procedures must be followed to prevent attachment of prior liens.
TAX DISTRICT
An area over which a governmental body has authority to levy property taxes; may contain one or more assessment districts.
TAX ESCROWS
See: Impound Account.
TAX EXEMPTION
Freedom from payment of property or other taxes, granted to religious, educational, and similar organizations. Partial property tax exemptions are granted in some states to individuals, such as veterans and senior citizens.
TAX FREE EXCHANGE
The trading of one property for another rather than a sale of property and purchase of another. The actual transaction may involve a sale and repurchase but if done according to the requirements of IRS Section1031, it is treated as a trade. The taxpayer pays no tax on the transaction if no profit (boot) is made.
TAX LIEN
(1) A lien for nonpayment of property taxes. Attaches only to the property upon which the taxes are unpaid. (2) A federal income tax lien. May attach to all property of the one owing the taxes.
TAX LIEN CERTIFICATE
A certificate obtained by the purchase of a property tax lien. It entitles the purchaser to the tax owing, including interest and penalties. A method used by governments to improve cash flow by having private sector investors buy the certificates.
TAX RATE
Traditionally the ratio of dollars of tax per hundred or per thousand dollars of valuation. Modernly, has become to be expressed as a percentage of valuation.
TAX ROLL
A list, usually published by a county, containing the descriptions of all parcels in said county, the names of the owners (or those receiving the tax bill), the assessed value, and tax amount.
TAX SALE
Public sale of property at auction by governmental authority, after a period of nonpayment of property tax.
TAX SEARCH
A part of a title search which determines if there are any unpaid taxes or assessments which may be a lien against the property being searched.
TAX SERVICE
The checking of property taxes for a lender to be sure that they are not delinquent during the life of the loan. The borrower pays a one time fee for this service.
TAX SHELTER
A general term used to include any property which gives the owner certain income tax advantages, such as deductions for property taxes, maintenance, mortgage interest, insurance, and especially depreciation.
TAX STAMPS
See: Documentary Tax Stamps.
TAX TITLE
See: Tax Deed (2).
TAX-FREE EXCHANGE
See: Exchange
TAXES
A mandatory contribution of money to meet the expenses of a government, whether federal, state, or local.
TEASER RATE
See: Start Rate.
TEMPERA
A process of painting, using a base of albuminous or colloidal materials, instead of oil.
TEMPLE
A place of worship, usually thought of as being large and ornate.
TEN DAY ESCROW LAW
See: Bulk Sales Act.
TENANCY
An estate in fee, such as "joint tenancy" or a non freehold estate, such as a tenancy under a lease.
TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETY
A form of ownership by husband and wife whereby each owns the entire property. In the event of the death of one, the survivor owns the property without probate.
TENANCY FOR YEARS
See: Estate For Years.
TENANCY FROM PERIOD TO PERIOD
See: Periodic Tenancy.
TENANCY IN COMMON
An undivided ownership in real estate by two or more persons. The interest need not be equal, and, in the event of the death of one of the owners, no right of survivorship in the other owners exist.
TENANT
(1) A holder of property under a lease or other rental agreement. (2) Originally, one who had the right to possession, irrespective of the title interest.
TENANT AT SUFFERANCE
One who comes into possession lawfully, but holds over after the termination of his interest.
TENANT AT WILL
One who holds possession of premises by permission of the owner or landlord, but without agreement for a fixed term of possession.
TENANT CHANGES
See: Tenant Improvements.
TENANT FARMER
One who operates a farm but is a tenant rather than the owner. Rent may be in cash, a share of the crops, or both.
TENANT FOR LIFE
See: Life Estate, Life Tenant.
TENANT IMPROVEMENTS
Improvements to land or buildings to meet the needs of tenants. May be new improvements or remodeling, and be paid for by the landlord, tenant, or part by each.
TENANT IN SEVERALTY
One who owns property alone, without any other person being joined in said ownership.
TENANT IN TAIL
See: Fee Tail.
TENDER
The offer of money or performance in connection with a contract. If unjustifiably refused, places the party who refuses in default and gives rise to an action for breach of contract.
TENDON
The materials used to reinforce concrete, such as cable and wire, which resemble human tendons.
TENEMENT HOUSE
A term now seldom used. A run-down apartment house, such as those which were common after World War II; overcrowded, cold water, etc.
TENEMENTS
Commonly used to refer to certain types of property such as multiple dwellings. Legally, any property, or property rights, which are of a permanent nature.
TENTATIVE MAP
A map submitted by a subdivider to a planning commission for approval; approval is usually conditioned upon changes. The final map, embodying the changes, is recorded.
TENURE
Manner of holding title subordinate to a superior interest. Derived from feudalism; the superior title was seisin.
TENURE MONTHLY ADVANCE REVERSE MORTGAGE
Monthly payments to the borrower under this reverse mortgage continue so long as the borrower occupies the property, even if the payments exceed the market value of the property. See also: Reverse Mortgage.
TERM
A period of time, such as the term of a lease.
TERM MONTHLY ADVANCE REVERSE MORTGAGE
Under this reverse mortgage, the lender makes periodic payments to the borrower for a fixed time period rather than for the borrower's lifetime or the time the borrower occupies the property. The borrower who uses this loan usually does not expect to outlive the term of the loan. An advantage of the loan is that the borrower may be able to receive larger monthly advances, since the lender knows exactly how much will be the maximum borrowed. See also: Reverse Mortgage.
TERM MORTGAGE
See: Straight-Term Mortgage.
TERMINABLE INTERESTS
Property interests which are not perpetual but liable to terminate, such as a leasehold. Also called "terminable property".
TERMINATE
To end. To cause to stop or end.
TERMITE INSPECTION
An inspection required in certain types of sales of property, to determine if termites are present within a building.
TERMITE SHIELD
Metal shields at the foundation of a structure or around pipes to prevent the entrance of termites.
TERMITES
Insects, similar to ants, which feed on wood, causing destruction to wooden structures.
TERMS
The consideration, other than price, in a sale, lease, mortgage, etc. For example: the way the money will be paid, time to take possession, conditions, etc.
TERRA COTTA
Literally "baked earth". A hard baked, glazed or unglazed, ceramic material used architecturally as a decorative surface for facings and tiles.
TERRA COTTA LUMBER
Very porous earthenware which can hold a nail and be cut without breaking or shattering.
TERRACE
(1) A common synonym for a balcony in a residence. (2) A series of flat cuts bulldozed into a slope, on which houses are constructed. (3) The natural levels of sloping ground, usually alongside water and indicating the levels of the water over different eras.
TERRAZZO
A flooring made by embedding small pieces of marble or granite into cement and polishing to a high gloss.
TESTAMENT
Commonly synonymous with "will", but technically only the disposition of personal property. See also: Will.
TESTAMENTARY TRUST
A trust created by a will.
TESTATE
Having written a last will and testament.
TESTATOR (F. TESTATRIX)
One who dies leaving a testament or will.
TESTIMONIUM CLAUSE
Clause in a deed or other instrument of conveyance which states that the proper parties are signing the document: "In witness whereof, the parties to these presents have hereunto set their hands and seals".
THERM
A measure of heat equal to one hundred thousand British thermal units (B.T.U.'s).
THERMAL
Heat. Having to do with heat or temperature.
THERMAL WINDOW
An insulating window of two panes of glass with air between.
THERMOSTAT
The part of a heating or air conditioning system which controls the heating or cooling unit by adjusting to bring ambient air to a pre- set temperature.
THIRD PARTY
A general term which includes anyone not a party to a contract, agreement, instrument, etc. However, statutes or court decisions may limit the definition in certain cases to, for instance, exclude representatives of the parties to a contract, etc.
THREAD
A middle line of a stream, river, or road.
THREE PHASE WIRING
A method of wiring, used in industrial buildings, allowing a series of heavy machines to be used at the same time, without overload.
THRESHOLD
A wooden strip under an outside door; the entrance to a building being over the threshold.
TIDAL BASIN
A bay or inlet without water gates. The water level varies directly with the ebb and flow of the tide.
TIDE
The ebb and flow of the sea. The tide reaches its ebb (low tide) and its flow (high tide) twice in each day (actually 24 hours 51 minutes).
TIDE LANDS
Lands which are covered at the highest point of the tide. These lands are state property and cannot be used for private purposes. Even though the tide may lower over a period of years, the land still remains state property.
TIE BEAM
A beam which acts to hold other structural members together, as a beam of a roof. Also called a collar tie.
TIER
A group of townships which form a row across a map, running East and West.
TIL
See: Truth in Lending.
TILE
A general term used to describe ceramic materials used for floors, facing of walls, and trim; also square, flat materials of many varieties of both composition and usage, such as acoustical ceiling tile, carpet tile, field tile, sewer tile, etc.
TILE FIELD
See: Disposal Field.
TILL
Unstratified glacial deposits, composed of clay, sand, gravel, rocks, in any proportion.
TILL PLAIN
Level or rolling land covered by till.
TILLABLE LAND
Land which may be plowed and planted without special preparation, such as cutting trees, removing boulders, etc.
TILT-UP CONSTRUCTION
A method of construction whereby precast concrete walls are tilted upright at the building site. Faster and less expensive than building the walls upright at the site.
TILTH
(1) Land which has been cultivated (tilled). (2) The crop produced from tilled land.
TIMBER
A general term applied to trees, standing or cut. Wood of a large size. Usually a piece of wood larger than 4" X 4" in cross-section.
TIME CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT (T.C.D.)
See: Certificate of Deposit.
TIME INTERVAL MAPS
Maps showing a given area, indicating certain changes over a given period.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Clause used in contracts to bind one party to performance at or by a specified time in order to bind the other party to performance.
TIME VALUE OF AN OPTION
The value of an option based on the expiration date. Example: An option to purchase property would be worth less if it expires in one week than it would be if it expires in one year, even though the price and terms are the same. The reasoning is that the value of the property has a better chance to increase in a year than in a week, making the one year option a better deal.
TIME VALUE OF MONEY
See: Present Value Of $1.
TIME-SHARING
A concept of ownership increasing in popularity as real estate prices rise. The purchase of an undivided interest (usually in a resort area condominium) for a fixed or variable time period. For example: Fifty-two different purchasers buy one condominium; each agrees to possession for one week per year. Costs (taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. are shared equally. Possession may be fixed, or by reservation, by lease, license, etc. Some developers provide several projects in different parts of the world, so that a person owning one week in a project in Hawaii could elect to spend that week in a connected project in France or other area.
TITLE
The evidence one has of right to possession of land.
TITLE 1
An FHA-insured loan that allows a borrower to make improvements such as renovations or repairs to his/her home.
TITLE COMPANY
An agency issuing the policy of a title insurance company.
TITLE DEFECT
See: Defective Title.
TITLE INSURANCE
Insurance against loss resulting from defects of title to a specifically described parcel of real property. Defects may run to the fee (chain of title) or to encumbrances.
TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY
A company which issues insurance regarding title to real property.
TITLE ONE LOAN
A government insured loan which is greater than the equity in the property. These loans can currently go up to one hundred twenty five percent of the value of the property, and may be used only for improvements to the property. Also called a Negative Equity Loan. See also: Title One Look Alike Loan.
TITLE ONE LOOK ALIKE LOAN
A loan which has the same greater than value characteristic of a Title One Loan (See Above) but is privately funded without government insurance. This loan is not restricted to property improvements.
TITLE ORDER
An order for a search of the title to some parcel of property, eventually leading to the issuance of a policy of title insurance.
TITLE PAGE
The page in a subdivision map which is signed by all parties having an interest in the land, agreeing to the subdivision.
TITLE PLANT
A filing of all recorded information to real property, paralleling the records of the county recorder's office, although the filing system may be different.
TITLE REPORT
See: Preliminary Title Report.
TITLE SEARCH
A review of all recorded documents affecting a specific piece of property to determine the present condition of title.
TITLE THEORY
A theory followed in several states that the mortgagee has legal title to the mortgaged property and the mortgagor has equitable title. See also: Lien Theory.
TOENAILING
Nailing at a slant for greater gripping into a second member.
TOLL
(1) Money paid for the use of a road, bridge, etc. (2) To take away, stop, or defeat. Commonly used to indicate the defeating of the statute of limitations.
TOLL BRIDGE
A bridge, the crossing of which requires a fee to be paid.
TOLL ROAD
A highway over which a motorist may travel, for a specified fee.
TOMBSTONE TITLE
Information to validate title taken from tombstones, such as the death of an owner, date of death, names of survivors, etc.
TON
(1) A measure of weight; two thousand pounds. (2) A measure of capacity of an air conditioner. One ton equals twelve thousand British thermal units (B.T.U's).
TONGUE AND GROOVE
A method of joining (usually lumber) by cutting a tongue (protrusion) in one board and a corresponding groove in the other.
TOPOGRAPHICAL MAP
Map showing the differences in grade of a parcel of land. Grades are measured in relation to sea level.
TOPOGRAPHY
The contour of land surface, such as flat, rolling, mountainous, etc.
TOPSOIL
The surface or upper layer of soil, which determines its suitability for farming.
TORRENS TITLE
A system by which title to land is registered with a registrar of land titles, instead of being recorded. Originally established by Sir Robert Torrens in Australia in 1858.
TORT
A civil wrong committed against person or property, independent of any contractual agreement.
TOTAL DEBT RATIO
See: Debt ratio
TOTAL EXPENSE RATIO
A formula to determine eligibility for a loan by figuring, as a percentage, all of the borrower's monthly obligations divided by gross monthly income. See also: Expense Ratios.
TOWN
A term varying in meaning, depending on the area of the country. May be a county, city, or unincorporated village.
TOWNHOUSE
Originally a house in a city as opposed to a country estate. More recently the term is applied to certain types of row houses, whether planned unit developments or condominiums.
TOWNSHIP
A territorial division of land established by federal survey, being six miles square and containing thirty-six sections, each one mile square
TOWNSHIP LINES
Survey lines which divide townships at their Northern and Southern boundaries. The East and West boundaries are called Range lines.
TOWNSHIP ROAD
A road under the jurisdiction of, and maintained by a town or township.
TRACK RECORD
A general term referring to the past record of performance of one applying for a loan, developing a project, asking for a listing, etc.
TRACT
A parcel of land. In some states, synonymous with a subdivision.
TRACT HOUSE
A house built using the plan of the builder, as one of many similar homes in a subdivision, as opposed to a custom house, which is built to the specifications of the owner.
TRACT LOAN
A loan secured by an entire subdivision. See: Blanket Mortgage (1); Partial Release.
TRADE AREA
The area from which a commercial development can expect to draw customers.
TRADE EQUITY
The making of a down payment with property instead of cash.
TRADE FIXTURES
Personal property used in a business, which is attached to the property, but removable upon sale as part of the business and not the real estate.
TRADE-IN
Sale of a house by an owner to a real estate broker in order for the owner to purchase another house. The house is put on the market at market value. If not sold in a specified time, the broker guarantees to buy the house at a lower price.
TRAFFIC
(1) The transporting of goods in trade or business. (2) The movement of air, sea, or land vehicles, people, or animals, along a route.
TRAFFIC COUNT
The number of pedestrians or vehicles moving past a given point in a given period of time. The counts are used to determine business potential, patterns for redesigning streets, etc.
TRAFFIC DENSITY
The number of vehicles moving across a portion of a road at a given time. Usually expressed as vehicles per mile of road.
TRAILER
Anything from a carrier used to haul small loads, boats, etc., to a complete mobile home, may be called a trailer.
TRAILER PARK
A site containing two or more parking spaces for trailers (mobile homes) with minimum facilities of water, sewer, electricity, laundry and bathing facilities. The more modern are called mobile home parks and have all the conveniences of an apartment complex.
TRANSFER
The act by which the title to property is conveyed from one person to another.
TRANSFER TAX
State tax on the transfer of real property. Based on purchase price or money changing hands. Check statutes for each state. Also called documentary transfer tax.
TRANSFERABLE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
Allowing the assignment of development rights from parcel to parcel. Example: The owner of a parcel on which the zoning allows a maximum of a five story building could buy rights from another parcel and build a ten story building. The parcel transferring the rights would have to decrease its allowable height by the same number.
TRAP
(1) The lowest curved portion of pipe under a sink (or other fixture using water) to catch and hold objects dropped into the drain. (2) A term used among sales agents of tract houses to describe the barriers which guide potential buyers through the sales offices on their way to and from the model homes.
TRAVERSE WINDOW
A window popular in modern construction, having sashes which open horizontally, sliding on separate grooves past each other.
TREAD
The middle or center line of a road or stream.
TREADS
The width of a step in a staircase, being the horizontal distance between consecutive risers.
TREASURY BILLS
Interest bearing federal obligations with maturities of less than one year.
TREASURY BONDS
Interest bearing federal obligations with maturities of ten years or more. Commonly called the "Long Bond".
TREASURY INDEX
One of the indices used to adjust interest rates on an adjustable rate loan. It reflects the changes in the rate for U.S. Treasury Bills.
TREASURY NOTES
Interest bearing federal obligations with a maturity of one to ten years.
TREBLE DAMAGES
Three times the amount of actual damages. Given when damages were caused by a deliberate or grossly negligent act of the defendant. See also: Exemplary Damages.
TRESPASS
Legally covers a variety of wrongs against person or property. Most commonly used to describe the wrongful entry of a person onto another's land, although encroachment of an inanimate object, such as a building or fence, is a form of trespass.
TRIM
Decorative or finish materials in a building as interior moldings, and exterior moldings around doors and windows.
TRIMMER
The vertical side members of a doorway, opening for a stairway, opening for a chimney, etc., to which a header is attached.
TRIPLE NET
See: Net Lease.
TRIPLEX
(1) Any building containing exactly three dwelling units. (2) An apartment on three separate floors or levels.
TRUCK HIGH
A platform at the height of a truck bed, usually about four feet high.
TRUCK INDENTURE
A recessed platform allowing a truck to back into a building to unload.
TRUCK WELL
A slope which brings the level of a truck bed to the level of a loading platform.
TRUNK TITLE
See: Dresser Drawer Title.
TRUSS
A frame to support a roof, bridge, or other span.
TRUSS HEIGHT
The height of the trusses (roof beams), as measured from the floor.
TRUST
A fiduciary relationship under which one holds property (real or personal) for the benefit of another. The party creating the trust is called the settlor, the party holding the property is the trustee, and the party for whose benefit the property is held is called the beneficiary.
TRUST ACCOUNT
An account used by brokers, escrow agents, or anyone holding money in trust for another. See also: Commingling.
TRUST AGREEMENT
The writing which sets forth the terms of a trust.
TRUST DEED
See: Deed of Trust.
TRUST INSTRUMENT
Any writing which creates a trust. May be a will, court order, trust agreement, or similar writing.
TRUSTEE
(1) One who is appointed, or required by law, to execute a trust. (2) One who holds title to real property under the terms of a deed of trust.
TRUSTEE IN BANKRUPTCY
One appointed by a bankruptcy court, and in whom the property of the bankrupt vests. The trustee holds the property in trust, not for the bankrupt, but for the creditors.
TRUSTEE'S DEED
A deed by a trustee under a deed of trust, issued to a purchaser at auction, pursuant to foreclosure.
TRUSTEE'S SALE
A sale at auction by a trustee under a deed of trust, pursuant to foreclosure proceedings.
TRUSTOR
The borrower under a deed of trust. One who deeds his property to a trustee as security for the repayment of a loan.
TRUTH IN LENDING
Also referred to as Regulation Z. Part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act. Federal legislation designed to protect borrowers by requiring lenders to furnish information regarding the cost of the loan. The law requires interest to be expressed as the annual percentage rate (APR) to the nearest 1/8 of one percent. The APR must include charges such as loan fees, discount points, servicing fees, etc., as well as interest. The law applies to 1 to 4 family residential property only. Also applies to other consumer loans.
TUCK POINTING
The finishing of joints of brick, block, or similar material, with putty or mortar. Most commonly used in chimney repair.
TURN KEY
Referring to an owner making a property ready for a tenant to begin business by having the tenant furnish only furniture, phone, and inventory, if any. Ready to "turn the key" in the front door and begin business.
TURN-OVER
In business opportunities, refers to the sale of one average inventory of a business within a specified time. For example: A business having an average inventory worth $10,000, and having gross sales of $5,000 per month, would "turn over" the inventory once every two months.
TURNPIKE
A toll road. Modernly, a road across a large portion of a state, having limited access, maximum speeds, and for the use of which a toll is charged.
TURPENTINE
An oil distilled from pine and other trees, used to thin paint and as a solvent for varnish.
TWO HOUR DOOR
A door with a resistance to fire, so that is would take a fire two hours to burn through it.
TWO HOUR WALL
A wall with a resistance to fire, so that it would take a fire two hours to burn through it.
TWO STEP MORTGAGE
A mortgage or deed of trust that begins with a fixed interest rate for a specified number of years and then uses an adjustable rate for the remaining years.
TW
TO FOUR-FAMILY PROPERTY - Property designed to provide housing for no more than four families. Has much the same legal protection and lending advantages as a single family residence. The laws change once the dwelling is designed for more than four families.