A construction term that refers to the resistance of to heat loss. The higher the R-value, the slower the rate of heat loss.
A ground-generated radioactive gas that seeps into some homes through sump pumps, cracks in the foundation and other inlets. A leading cause of lung cancer , radon is found in mostly the northern half of the country.
Rafters form the slope of a pitched roof and are analogous to floor joists.
An alternative building process in which dirt is compacted into large structural frames to create walls.
Modern ranch-style homes, popularized in the 1950s, were championed by such architectural giants as Frank Lloyd Wright.
When interest rates are volatile, many borrowers want to “lock in” an interest rate and many lenders will oblige, setting a limit on the amount of time the guaranteed interest rate is in effect.
A loan with a clause that entitles a borrower to a one-time cut in the interest rate without going through refinancing.
Land and anything permanently affixed to it, including buildings, fences and other items attached to the structure.
Real estate agent
A real estate agent has a state license to represent a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Most agents work for real estate brokers.
Real estate attorney
A lawyers who specializes in real estate transactions.
Real estate broker
A real estate agent who is licensed by the state to represent a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Most brokers also have agents working for them, and are entitled to a portion of their commissions.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
The trusts are publicly traded companies that own, develop and operate commercial properties.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
A federal law designed to make sellers and buyers aware of settlement fees and other transaction-related costs. RESPA also outlaws kickbacks in the real estate business.
Land and any permanent fixtures on it, including buildings, trees and minerals.
A designation for an agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers.
A designation for an agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors.
The cancellation of a contract by law or consent by the parties involved.
When a borrower completely pays off the mortgage, the property is reconveyed to them from the lender.
A public official responsible for keeping the records of all real estate transactions.
The filing of a specific document to the appropriate government entity.
A fee charged by real estate agents for conveying the sale of a piece of property into the public record.
The practice by a bank or insurance company to deny credit or insurance to people based on ethnic background or neighborhood.
The process of replacing an older loan with a new mortgage that has better terms.
The federal code issued under the Truth-in-Lending Act which requires that a borrower be advised in writing of all costs associated with the credit portion of a financial transaction.
A mortgage that provides for the costs of repairing and improving a resale home or building.
Benefits provided by employers for new workers and can include moving costs, reimbursement for temporary housing and transportation, real estate agent assistance and discounted loans.
A firm that administers all aspects of moving in new employees to the community.
The amount of unpaid principal on a home loan.
The original loan term minus the number of payments made.
Rent loss insurance
A policy that covers any loss of rent or rental value in the event of fire or other damage that renders the property uninhabitable.
A policy that covers the replacement value of possessions.
When a borrower falls behind in mortgage payments, many lenders will negotiate a repayment plan rather than go to court.
Replacement reserve fund
Money that is set aside from homeowners’ assessments to replace common property, such as furniture in a planned development’s community room.
When a house is repossessed, it is taken back by the lender holding the mortgage.
The future value of a piece of property that can be affected by many factors, including the surrounding neighborhood, school scores, and economic and housing market conditions.
All homeowners associations set aside a certain amount of money for major repairs or improvements.
A mortgage in which new terms are negotiated.
Return on investment
The amount of profit a property generates.
A special type of loan available to equity-rich, older owners. Repayment is not necessary until the borrower sells the property or moves into a retirement community.
A horizontal board that serves as the apex of the roof structure.
A vent located along the ridge board of the roof that allows moisture to escape.
Right of first refusal
An agreement by a property owner to give another person the right to buy or rent the property before it goes on the open market.
Right to recission
A provision in the federal Truth-in-Lending Act that allows borrowers to cancel certain kinds of loans within three days of signing.
The installation of plumbing, electrical and other mechanical systems.
Rural Housing Service
A U.S. Department of Agriculture program that provides financing to farmers and certain borrowers to purchase rural property when other funds are not available.