Glossary of Terms
Don't be confused about the terminology used in the industry, find out what it all means here.
The expense of keeping a property in a good state of repair.
Charge to a unit holder in a condominium or cooperative complex for that persons share of costs of keeping the common-use portions of the complex in a good state of repair.
Commonly used to refer to the entire shopping complex but properly a reference to the pedestrian area of the mall that connects shopping areas.
A contract between an owner of a property and a property management firm in which the firm accepts periodic payments for acting as supervisor of the affairs of the property.
The property managers compensation.
A written document in which the property manager sets out its goals and the approaches it will use to accomplish those goals in a given period of time for the property.
MANDATORY DELIVERY COMMITMENT
A lenders written promise to deliver certain funds at specified dates upon terms set out in the commitment.
Known as pre-fab housing, any dwelling that is assembled out of components (i.e. walls, floors, roof) constructed off-site and then brought to the building lot.
The difference or the added amount. In mortgages, the difference between the index interest rate and the interest rate charged on the variable or adjustable rate mortgage. Expressed in the contract as a percentage (i.e. prime plus three per cent).
Land whose value is limited. The cost of making it capable of producing income is generally very close to the income it would produce.
A facility located on a body of water which provides docking, storage, maintenance and other facilities for boats.
The consideration actually paid for an asset in an arms-length transaction.
Also known as economic rent, the amount the owner could charge and obtain for the lease of a property in the current economic circumstances.
MARKET RENTAL RISK
The possibility that the market rent for a property will change due to changing market forces, making a long-term, fixed rent lease more or less desirable.
Analyzing sub-markets within a greater market.
An analysis of the reaction of the market to influences such as location, demand, extra-market economic events, etc.
An estimation of the price that could be obtained for a particular asset if it were sold in an arms length transaction on the current market.
Ownership of land that is without competing claims or other defects, such that it could be sold without complication.
A written description of how a salesperson intends to advertise a given property to obtain the best price within a reasonable time.
An organization of homeowners in a large condominium or planned unit development (PUD) which includes representatives from other, smaller homeowner organizations.
The dominant lease in a property, under which one or more sub-leases may exist.
A contravention of the terms of a contract by one of the parties that is so large that it changes the very nature of the agreement between the parties and allows the innocent party to treat the contract as being at an end and pursue legal remedies (recision, damages, specific performance) from the contravening party.
An important fact about one or more of the issues involved in the contract which, if known to all parties, may result in a different contract or no contract at all.
The date upon which a mortgage loan comes due and payable.
MEAN HIGH TIDE
The level to which the water rose on an average day over a previous period of time (years or decades).
A vivid description of the measurement used in surveying to set out the boundary of a water course (i.e. a stream or river).
MECHANICS AND MATERIALMANS LIENS
A claim against property that arises as a statutory right of any person who supplies work or materials to a property and is not compensated for that work. See also construction lien.
MEETING OF THE MINDS
In order for a contract to be enforceable, the parties to it must come to a common understanding of the terms of their agreement. If no such common understanding has occurred with regard to a material clause in the contract, the contract may be voidable. This common understanding is referred to at common law as a meeting of the minds.
A spiffy new term for urban sprawl, situations where the expansion of several cities in a particular area has created one continuous city, even if the different parts retain their own name (Boston, New York, Philadelphia, etc.).
Coercion, pressure. A threatening act which is aimed at forcing a person to act against their wishes.
The combining of two or more independent bodies into a single body.
Used in government survey method, lines which form the north-south portion of the grid.
Also known as metre. The metric systems basic unit for linear measurement, equal to 39.37 inches. 1/10th of a meter is a decimeter; 1/100th is a centimeter; 1/100th is a millimeter.
METES AND BOUNDS
An older way of describing land in registered instruments. Starting at a recognizable point (the meeting of two roads, the corner of a lot), the description then describes the boundaries of the land by indicating distances and directions for each boundary (i.e. South 100 feet or South 73 degrees, five minutes west for a distance of 100 feet), returning at the end of the description to the beginning point.
The land which is located in a city and in the surrounding areas which can be said to be still part of the economic or political sphere of the city.
A slang description for a person who acts to bring together the parties to a transaction.
Linear measurement equaling 5,280 feet, 1,760 yards, 1,609 kilometers, or 8 furlongs. Note, a nautical mile is equal to 6,080 feet.
A term of a residential lease which allows a tenant who is a member of the military to terminate the lease upon being transferred to another place without suffering any penalty.
10 per cent of a penny. In many jurisdictions, property tax assessments are based on a mill rate.
An instrument which transfers to the purchaser only an interest in the subsurface portion of the property, while retaining to the vendor the surface and air rights.
A contract between the owner of a property and another party allowing the other party to explore and exploit any mineral deposits found on the property for a limited period of time in return for a periodic payment.
The legal interest in the valuable items found below the surface of a property.
The least amount of money a purchaser can provide toward the purchase price of a house under a mortgage loan program.
MINIMUM LOT SIZE
The smallest size allowable for an independent parcel of property under a zoning by-law or ordinance provision.
The lowest amount a borrower is allowed to pay toward a loan, line of credit or other debt in a given period of time.
MINIMUM PROPERTY STANDARDS
The bare essentials in the way of construction and lot location required by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) before it will underwrite a mortgage on a residential property.
The lowest amount the landlord will accept under a lease contract with a variable rent.
MINIMUM-GUARANTEED PERCENTAGE LEASE
A lease whereby the landlord is paid periodic rent as a percentage of the gross (or net) sales of the tenant of the premises but where the tenant agrees that the rental payments shall not drop below a specified amount.
A person who is too young to be considered legally competent according to the laws of the jurisdiction.
An error regarding a name.
A statement of a fact that turns out to be false. May be innocent, negligent or fraudulent.
An innocent error. If a mistake is made by all parties to a contract about a material fact, the contract may be voidable.
MIXED-USE COMMERCIAL PROJECT
A development which is designed to mix two or more uses of land together (i.e. a shopping center which offers office space for dentists, etc.)
A dwelling that sits on wheels and may be moved, often under its own power.
MOBILE HOME PARK
An area specifically designed to allow for permanent or semi-permanent stationing of mobile homes.
A dwelling built first by a developer to allow potential purchasers to see what the finished product will look like once the other homes in the development are completed.
A change to the terms of a contract.
MONTHLY DEBT SERVICE
The periodic payments required to remain current on all outstanding loans.
MONTHLY FIXED INSTALLMENT
Periodic payment that is applied toward accumulated interest and reduction of principal.
MONTHLY HOUSING EXPENSE
The total of the costs of maintaining a home per month, including financing, realty taxes and house insurance.
MONTHLY TOTAL EXPENSES
The total when monthly housing expense is added to monthly debt service.
Any kind of marker to indicate the boundary or corner of a parcel of land, used by surveyors.
A temporary ban or halt to a specific activity.
MORE OR LESS
A term used in metes and bounds descriptions and in Agreements between Vendors and Purchasers of land to indicate that the measurement given may not be exact.
A loan which is secured against property (i.e. registered on title as a claim or encumbrance on the property). Often used to purchase the property itself.
Also known as a vendor take-back mortgage. Financing of a purchase of property whereby the vendor accepts only a portion of the purchase price up front and accepts a mortgage (with periodic payments and interest chargeable) for the remainder.
A firm that offers mortgages for property purchases but, at times, may require financial support from larger institutions to help cover the outlay of cash.
A middleman who serves to bring borrowers together with lenders. Offers the service of doing the shopping for the borrower while often collecting a fee from the chosen lender rather than from the borrower.
An authorized agent of a lender for a geographic area.
MORTGAGE DISABILITY INSURANCE
A policy of insurance which promises to pay periodic mortgage payments for the borrower during any future period that borrower may be disabled from working and, therefore, incapable of making the payments himself.
A policy of insurance which promises to pay out the amount owing in the event that the borrower defaults.
MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION
A tax break for people who pay mortgage interest on their homes.
MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE
A policy of insurance which promises to pay out the remaining balance owing on a mortgage should the borrower die. The amount payable by the insurer declines as the mortgage is paid down and the policy ends upon the paying out of the mortgage.
MORTGAGE LOAN SERVICING
The lenders actions in collecting mortgage payments, allocating payments to principal, interest and escrow accounts, paying out property taxes and insurance over the life of the loan.
MORTGAGE LOAN UNDERWRITING
The action of reviewing an application for a loan and then advising the lender as to the risk factor in making the loan.
The bundle of features of a particular kind of mortgage offered to the public.
The estimate worth of a particular asset which is established for the purposes of obtaining financing secured against that asset.
The lender in a mortgage transaction. Also known as chargee.
MORTGAGEE IN POSSESSION
A lender that has taken over control and occupancy of a property upon default of the borrower to collect income from the property and prepare for foreclosure and sale.
The borrower, purchaser or homeowner in a mortgage transaction. Also known as chargor.
MOST PROBABLE SELLING PRICE
An estimation of the price a property is most likely to realize in a given market.
A property which may have one owner but offers a number of homes for separate people or families.
Similar to multi-dwelling units, a building which features two or more family dwellings within the same structure. May require special zoning.
Also known as multi-dwelling unit.
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS)
A service created and run by real estate professionals which gathers all of the property listings into a single place so that purchasers may review all available properties from one source. The MLS also deals with commission splitting and other relations between brokers and agents.
The city, street and number on the street by which a property is known. Also known as mailing address but not the same as legal description.
A rule set down by a local government.
A generic name for any organized local government (a city, town, etc.).
MUNIMENTS OF TITLE
Written documents which may be used to prove an owners title to a property.
A shared acceptance by two or more parties.
The act of ending a contract by obtaining the agreement of all parties to the contract to treat the contract as being at an end.