Real Estate Dictionary



WAGES
A general term encompassing all pay given a hired person for his or her services, whether paid as a salary, commission, fee, etc.
WAINSCOT
See: Wainscoting.
WAINSCOTING
The covering of an interior wall with wood (usually panels), tiles, etc., from the floor to a point about half way to the ceiling: the remaining portion is painted, wallpapered, or covered with another material different from the lower portion.
WAIVE
To knowingly abandon, relinquish, or surrender a right, benefit, or claim.
WAIVER
The relinquishment of a right. In construction, most commonly the waiver by subcontractor of their mechanic's lien rights in order for the owner to obtain draws under a construction loan.
WALK-THROUGH INSPECTION
An inspection of property by a buyer very close to the time for closing to determine that the condition of the property has not changed since the purchase contract was executed or that promised changes have been made.
WALKUP
A building without an elevator of more than one story.
WALL
A vertical structure erected to divide, enclose, support, or secure an enclosure, such as a room or building.See also: Party Wall.
WALL FURNACE
A small furnace, usually electric, fitting between the studs of a wall, and heating without ducts by using a small fan for circulation. More commonly called a "heater" than a "furnace".
WALL PANEL
An exterior wall which bears no load; the load is carried by girders or beams of the framing skeleton. Used primarily in high- rise office buildings.
WALL PLATES
(1) The horizontal members at the top and bottom of a wall, to which the studs are attached. (2) In a mine, a heavy, framed timber used for support.
WALL TILE
Tile placed on a wall as a finish material, usually in bathrooms and kitchens of homes, but sometimes throughout, as in mobile homes and trailer homes.
WALL-BEARING
See: Bearing Wall.
WALL-BEARING CONSTRUCTION
Weight of roofs and floors supported entirely by the exterior walls, with no load-bearing partitions. Posts and pillars are used at points where the span is too wide for exterior wall support.
WALLBOARD
A sheet, usually 4' X 8', of gypsum or similar material, which is attached to the studs (frame) of a wall and forms a surface which can be finished (painted, wallpapered, etc.).
WAREHOUSE
A structure used for the storage of goods, either for short or long periods of time.
WAREHOUSEMAN
One who, for compensation, stores the goods of others.
WAREHOUSING
The depositing of loans by a lender such as a mortgage company, in a bank, for sale at a later date. The mortgage company then borrows against these loans. This is done when the mortgage company wishes to assemble a block of loans for sale, or when the company believes that the discount rate is dropping and the loans may be sold for a higher price in the future.
WAREHOUSING SPREAD
The interest rate difference between the loan from the warehouse lender and the mortgages used as collateral security for the loan.
WARM AIR HEATING SYSTEM
Also called hot air heating system. A heating system whereby air is heated in a furnace and moves through ducts to the areas to be heated. See also: Forced Air Furnace; Gravity Furnace.
WARRANT
To legally assure that title conveyed is good and possession will be undisturbed.
WARRANTY
A legal, binding, promise, given at the time of a sale, whereby the seller gives the buyer certain assurances as to the condition of the property being sold. Warranties as to real property have taken on a lesser role with the increase of the use of title insurance.
WARRANTY DEED
A deed used in many states to convey fee title to real property. Until the widespread use of title insurance, the warranties by the grantor were very important to the grantee. When title insurance is purchased, the warranties become less important as a practical means of recovery by the grantee for defective title.
WASTE
(1) A destruction of property by one who holds possession rightfully, but either is not the owner or does not own the property free and clear. (2) A change made in property, even if the value is increased by the change. This is called ameliorating waste.
WASTELAND
Land that is not economically feasible for development. The land may have great environmental value, such as swampland that supports wildlife.
WASTELINE
A line carrying waste from any kitchen or bathroom fixture except a toilet.
WASTING ASSETS
Assets which, by use or lapse of time, are consumed or reduced in book value, irrespective of market fluctuation. Includes oil, minerals, patent rights, franchises for a fixed term, etc. Also called "diminishing assets"; "wasting property".
WASTING PROPERTY
See: Wasting Assets.
WATER LEVEL
The surface height of a body of water as measured by a point on the shore. See also: Water Mark.
WATER MARK
A mark on the shore indicating the highest point to which a body of water will normally rise (high-water mark) and also the lowest point (low-water mark) to which it will recede.
WATER POWER
The power created by the fall of a stream across one's land, the riparian owner being entitled to its utilization.
WATER REPELLANT
A chemical compound, in liquid form, which penetrates wood or other materials and prevents absorption of moisture or water into said materials.
WATER RIGHTS
Any right to the use and/or control of water, whether for irrigation, hydro electric power, personal use, etc. (See: Riparian Rights).
WATER TABLE
(1) The depth, measured from the surface, at which natural underground waters are found. (2) A ledge to aid the run-off of rainwater, built at or above the top of the foundation wall.
WATER-GAGE
A sea wall to restrain water from overflowing.
WATER-HOLDING CAPACITY
The amount of water a given type and amount of soil will absorb and hold under normal conditions. The capacity is expressed as a percentage of the soil's own weight when dry.
WATERFRONT
Property (improved or unimproved) fronting on a body of water. More loosely, a neighborhood near a large body of water which has a commercial port.
WATERPROOF
Capable of withstanding absorption of water; treating a material to give it this capability.
WATERSCAPE
An aqueduct.
WATERSHED
An area formed by natural barriers, such as a mountain range, which separate two river systems. The term may be used to describe the drainage area or the barrier.
WATT
A unit of electrical power equal to the flow of one ampere caused by the pressure of one volt.
WATT-HOUR
The basis used to determine electric bills. Example: A 100 watt light bulb means if the bulb burns for one hour, it will use 100 watts of electricity.
WCR
See: Women's Council Of Realtors.
WEAR AND TEAR
The deterioration or loss in value caused by the normal and reasonable use of the property. In leases, the tenant is not usually responsible for "normal wear and tear".
WEATHERING
(1) Commonly, the deterioration of the exterior of a structure caused by exposure to weather. (2) A step in the refining of gasoline.
WEATHERSTRIPS
Strips of felt, metal, etc., installed between a door or window and its casing, to keep out wind, moisture, dust, or other elements of the weather.
WEEP HOLES
Small holes in a retaining wall or other wall where it may be necessary to drain off excess water to avoid pressure build-up.
WEIGHTED AVERAGE
A method of determining an average by valuing each component based on its relative importance. Example: In a mortgage pool a loan with a $100,000 balance would be valued higher for purposes of averaging than a similar loan with a $10,000 balance.
WEIR
(1) A dam used to divert water to a pond, mill, or similar use. (2) A device for measuring the flow of water past a given point.
WEIR BOX
A box set in an irrigation ditch to measure to flow of water. The box (usually of wood or concrete) is open at both ends and contains a measuring device (weir).
WELL
A hole or shaft, which is sunk (usually by drilling) into the ground to obtain water, oil, natural gas, etc.
WESTERN FRAMING
A type of framing in which the studding for each floor rests on a separate sill rather than ground to roof as in balloon framing.
WET COLUMN
A column containing plumbing lines.
WET PLASTER
Plaster mixed with water and spread wet over a lath. The plaster dries hard to form the surface of a wall, ceiling, etc.
WETLANDS
Lands which, in their normal condition, have wet or spongy soil, such as a marsh or bog.
WHARF
A structure used for loading and unloading ships. May be constructed, as a dock or pier, or simply a piece of ground prepared for the same use.
WHAT-IF ANALYSIS
An exploration of the possible future circumstances of a potential buyer or borrower. For example: If you were off work for six months, would you lose your home? Useful in determining if you are financially sound enough to face possible future financial reverses.
WIDOW'S QUARANTINE
Old English law. Forty days during which a widow could stay in her husband's house, rent free, after his death.
WIFE
A woman who is legally married to a living man.
WILD INTEREST
An interest of record which cannot be traced in the chain of title. Frequently occurs when an incorrect legal description appears on a document. An apparent wild interest may occur if a woman who changes her name through marriage after acquiring property, sells the property using her married name only.
WILD LAND
Land not being used for cultivation or construction. Land completely in its natural state.
WILL
A written expression of the desire of a person as to the disposition of that person's property after death. Must follow certain procedures to be valid.
WINDBREAK
Any natural or artificial structure which shelters by breaking the force of the wind.
WINDOW
An opening in a wall or roof of a building to provide light, air, view, etc., but containing glass to keep out the weather.
WINDOW SILL
The bottom framing member of a window casing.
WING
A portion of a building which projects from the main area of the structure as a bird's wing projects from its body.
WIRE GLASS
A pane of glass embedded with wire to strengthen it and prevent flying glass.
WIRE LATH
A coarse mesh upon which plaster is spread.
WIRE TRANSFER
The transferring of funds electronically rather than by mail. There is no waiting for a check to clear and no interest accruing while the check is in the mail.
WITHOUT RECOURSE
A finance term. A mortgage or deed of trust securing a note without recourse allows the lender to look only to the security (property) for repayment in the event of default, and not personally to the borrower.
WITNESS
(1)To sign a deed, note, or other document, to attest to its authenticity, or to prove its execution. (2) The person attesting.
WOMEN'S COUNCIL OF REALTORS (WCR)
An affiliate of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, it offers the designation of Leadership Training Graduate (LTG) and the Referral and Relocation Certification.
WOOD FRAME CONSTRUCTION
Buildings in which the walls, roof, and floors are framed with wood, although metal, stucco, or other material may cover the framing.
WORK EQUITY
See: Sweat Equity.
WORKING CAPITAL
Cash, or assets which are readily convertible to cash, used to carry on a business.
WORKING DRAWING
Drawing used by workman in construction. Shows all structural detail such as electric, plumbing, partitions, etc.
WORKINGHOUSE
A structure on top of a grain elevator which houses the mechanical operating equipment for the elevator.
WORTHIER TITLE
A doctrine of common law which held that if one devised (left by will) the same interest as the devisee would inherit (no will), the title by inheritance would prevail, and the person would take as heir rather than devisee.
WRAP-AROUND MORTGAGE
A second or junior mortgage with a face value of both the amount it secures and the balance due under the first mortgage. The mortgagee under the wrap-around collects a payment based on its face value and then pays the first mortgagee. It is most effective when the first has a lower interest rate than the second, since the mortgagee under the wrap-around gains the difference between the interest rates, or the mortgagor under the wrap-around may obtain a lower rate than if refinancing.
WRIT OF CERTIORARI
See: Certiorari.
WRIT OF EJECTMENT
Writ in an action for the recovery of real property, generally from a tenant.
WRIT OF EXECUTION
A writ to carry out the judgment or decree of a court.
WROUGHT IRON
An easily molded form of iron used for decorative railings, gates, furniture, etc. The term is loosely used to describe steel or aluminum used in the same manner.
WYE
The joining of railway tracks, the branches coming to the main track from different angles so as to form the shape of the letter Y.
WYTHE
A partition in a chimney which contains more than one flue, separating the flues.