Definitions For Real Estate Terminology

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FACADE
An exterior wall of a building or house.

FACE LIFT
Slang term for cosmetic changes to the appearance of a property which may improve the selling price.

FACE RATE OF INTEREST
The rate of interest chargeable on a loan as set out in the loan document.

FACE VALUE
The value of an item as set out in the instrument creating it or representing it.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT
A law which standardizes the form and rules of disclosure of credit reports created by consumer/credit reporting agencies and establishes procedures for the correction of errors on a persons credit report.

FAIR MARKET VALUE
The value of an item as established by a consideration of how much an independent buyer would pay to an independent seller in a completely free transaction for the item.

FANNIE MAE
The U.S.s largest supplier of mortgages to home buyers and owners, a corporation established by Congress. The Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA).

FARM MORTGAGE
A mortgage secured against agricultural land.

FARMERS HOME ADMINISTRATION (FMHA)
U. S. Department of Agriculture agency providing financing for farmers, residents of rural areas, etc.

FARMLAND
A category of land for zoning or other legal purposes, denoting property used for agricultural purposes.

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC)
A U.S. Government agency providing insurance to depositors of money into financial institutions up to a certain amount.

FEDERAL HOME BOARD
U.S. board that regulates federal savings and loan associations.

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA)
Division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, sets standards for the underwriting of private mortgages. Also insures residential mortgages made by private lenders.

FEDERAL LAND BANKS
Local banks providing long-term mortgages to farmers and owners of agricultural lands.

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK
One of a set of twelve banks servicing one of twelve reserve districts in the U.S.A.

FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (FRS)
The central bank of the United States, controls supply of money, credit availability and benchmark interest rates. Made up of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks.

FEDERAL REVENUE STAMP
Stamp affixed to deeds evidencing payment of the tax on the transfer of land required to be paid up until January 1, 1968.

FEDERAL TAX LIEN
An encumbrance registered on title to a property securing a tax debt owed by the property owner to the national government.

FEE APPRAISER
A person who estimates the value of a property for a fee.

FEE SIMPLE
The best title to property available, representing the absolute ownership of a parcel of land.

FEE SIMPLE DETERMINABLE
An estate in land where the owners title to a property in fee simple is dependent on the occurrence (or non-occurrence) of a particular event. Usually represented by the inclusion of As long as in the deed.

FEE SIMPLE SUBJECT TO A CONDITION SUBSEQUENT
An estate in land where the owners title in fee simple may be terminated by the former owner or her heirs upon the occurrence of a particular event. The termination must be carried out by the former owner and is not automatic upon the occurrence of the event.

FEE SIMPLE SUBJECT TO AN EXECUTORY LIMITATION
An estate in land where the owners title in fee simple may be terminated by the occurrence or non-occurrence of a particular event, at which time title passes to a named third party.

FEE TAIL
An archaic form, an estate in land where title to the property was limited to the owner and his descendants with no power to transfer. Usually created by a transfer to the person and the heirs of his body.

FEES
The money required at the outset by a lender from the borrower or held back from the mortgage advance.

FIDUCIARY
A person charged by law and equity with a higher duty of care for another person. A person who, as a result of a relationship with another person, is required by law to place the other persons interests equal to or ahead of his own in all dealings involving that other person. The relationship is often created when the other person approaches the fiduciary to use the fiduciarys special skills and knowledge, for a fee, to benefit the other person. Real estate agents, lawyers, trustees, investment brokers etc. are often fiduciaries.

FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP
A relationship of trust and confidence between two people in which one person (the fiduciary) holds much more power, knowledge or skill than the other and is, therefore, held by the law to a higher standard of conduct.

FIFTEEN-YEAR MORTGAGE
A loan with payments amortized over a fifteen-year period, rather than the usual twenty-five-year amortization period.

FILTERING DOWN PROCESS
The gradual decline in the value of a property, whether due to market forces, changes in desirability of neighborhood or deterioration of condition of the home, such that a property once owned by a high-income family might eventually be owned by a low-income family.

FINAL VALUE ESTIMATE
The product of a real estate appraisers completed work, an assessment of the value of a property based on all factors and taking into consideration the different evaluation methods available.

FINANCE CHARGE
The total cost, in dollars, of a loan or mortgage over its life, including appraisal/application/commitment fees, financing insurance, interest paid over the life of the loan.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION
A generic term for banks, trust companies, credit unions, and perhaps other investment companies that deal with money, hold money, invest money and lend money.

FINANCIAL RISK
An assessment of the possibility that a given investment or loan will fail to bring a return and may result in a loss of the original investment or loan.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT
A document which sets out the assets, income, expenses and debts of a person or company to allow a third person to assess that person or corporations financial health (i.e. when considering lending money to that person or corporation).

FINANCING
The manner in which a proposed purchaser intends to make up the difference between cash on hand and the purchase price.

FINANCING STATEMENT
A form of lien filed by a lender or creditor and registered against the personal property (all or specific items) of a debtor. Generally filed when a loan is secured against personal property.

FINDERS FEE
Commission paid to a mortgage broker for placing a mortgage with a specific institution.

FIRE AND EXTENDED COVERAGE INSURANCE
A promise issued by a registered insurance company to compensate the owner of a particular property for losses as a result of specified risks (i.e fire, flood, storms, vandalism, etc.).

FIRM AND BINDING
Description of a legal contract once all conditions have been removed. It is now legally enforceable by the parties to it.

FIRM COMMITMENT
A promise from a lender to lend a specific borrower a specified amount of money on specified terms to be secured against a specific property.

FIRM OFFER
An offer to purchase delivered to the potential Vendor by a potential Purchaser who will not negotiate any changes to the offer.

FIRM PRICE
An indication in a real estate advertisement that the price asked for the property is not open for negotiation.

FIRST LIEN
The registered legal claim which stands first in line to enjoy the proceeds of a sale of the property. Liens generally are ordered according to time or registration but various statutes allow some liens (realty taxes) to jump to the head of the line.

FIRST MORTGAGE
A mortgage that, when registered, is first in line on the property, giving the lender superior right to the proceeds of the sale of the property over other, later claimants.

FIXED EXPENSES
Costs of owning and operating a property that are not discretionary and, except for occasional increases, do not change from month to month. Examples are realty taxes, insurance costs, etc.

FIXED INSTALLMENT
The periodic payment made for principal and interest on a loan.

FIXED RATE MORTGAGE (FRM)
A loan registered on title to the property against which it is secured which charges an interest rate that does not change over the term of the mortgage.

FIXING-UP EXPENSES
Moneys spent on minor repairs to improve the marketability of a property

FIXTURE
An item which is attached to and forms part of the buildings or land itself and are, therefore, included in the sale or property unless specifically excluded in the contract.

FLAG LOT
Description of the shape of a property, where access to a road is provided along the long, narrow flag pole and the usable land itself is the rectangular flag at the tend of the pole.

FLAT
English term for apartment. A portion of a building designed to serve as a home for a single family group.

FLEA BAG
Slang term for a cheap, run-down property.

FLIP
The rapid turnover of a piece of property by one person who buys it for a certain price then sells it soon thereafter for more.

FLOATING RATE
Rate of interest chargeable on a loan that is variable according to a specified index or the national prime rate. The loan rate is said to float on top of the specified index by a set amount i.e. the loan may be set at Prime Rate plus 2%, meaning if the Prime Rate is 6%, the loan interest rate will be 8%.

FLOOD INSURANCE
A policy of insurance that specifically covers damage due to flood waters, required in designated flood areas.

FLOOD PLAIN
The area around a body of water which may at times be under water and may at other times be dry land, depending on the level of the water in the lake, river, pond, etc.

FLOOR
The lowest the interest rate on a variable or adjustable rate mortgage may go.

FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR)
A comparison of the total area of the floor of a building with the total area of the land upon which it stands. Maximum or minimum FARs may be established by local zoning rules.

FLOOR PLAN
A sketch of an existing or proposed building showing the design and layout of the building and the specifications of each room. May also show doors, windows, stairways and other features.

FNMA (FANNIE MAE)
The largest single lender on residential properties in the United States, generally purchases mortgages from primary lenders.

FOLIO
The page upon which a land instrument is record in the public record. The Book is the liber, the page is the folio.

FOR RENT BY OWNER (FRBO)
Indication that the owner of a property is attempting to find a tenant for his property on his own, without employing an agent.

FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO)
Indication that the owner of a property is attempting to find a purchaser for her property on her own, without employing an agent.

FORBEARANCE
Any indulgence a party gives to another party to a contract who is late in meeting her obligations under the contract.

FORCED SALE
The marketing of a property as a result of some outside influence, such as bankruptcy, where the price obtained might not be optimum.

FORECLOSURE
An enforcement process in which the lender under a defaulted mortgage takes title to the property for the purposes of selling it to recoup moneys owed under the mortgage.

FORESHORE
The land on a water-side property that lies between the high-water mark and the low-water mark.

FORFEITURE
The loss of a right, claim, interest or item of property as a result of ones failure to meet ones legal obligations.

FORGERY
A document that is false, either as a result of being signed by someone other than the person represented to have signed it or as a result of being a false, worthless replica of a document that has value.

FORM REPORT
A standardized appraisal document which requires the appraiser to present her findings in a prescribed form.

FORMAL CONTRACT
A contract under seal.

FORWARD COMMITMENT
A lenders promise to make a loan in the future.

FRACTIONAL APPRAISAL
An estimate of the value of one portion of a property.

FRACTIONAL INTEREST
A legal claim or right to a portion of a property.

FRAUD
The act of leading a person to believe something which you know to be false in a situation where you know the person will rely on that thing to their detriment.

FREDDIE MAC (FHLMC)
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. A US agency which purchases first mortgages on residences.

FREE AND CLEAR
A description of title to property which is unencumbered and subject to no competing claims.

FREEHOLD
As opposed to leasehold. A right to or interest in property.

FREEHOLDER
She who has a freehold interest in a property.

FREE-STANDING BUILDING
A structure which does not depend on other structures for support, an independent structure.

FRONT FOOT
A measurement of the property line which runs along the side of a street.

FRONTAGE
The measurement of a propertys boundary that runs along the side of a particular feature (street, lake, ocean, river, etc.).

FRONTAGE ASSESSMENT
A levy by a local government, usually to pay for the costs of building and maintaining roads and sidewalks, which is based on the frontage of each property along the street.

FRONT-END FEE
A lenders charges to the borrower for the costs of the borrowers application for the loan.

FRONT-END RATIO
A comparison of a borrowers monthly cost of housing with that borrowers monthly gross income.

FULL DISCLOSURE
The revelation to another party in a contract or legal dispute of all relevant information in ones possession. An agent acting for both parties in a real estate purchase must fully disclose this conflict of interest to all parties.

FULL-PRICE OFFER
A proposal by a purchaser to buy a property at the price and on the terms asked by the vendor in her property listing.

FULLY AMORTIZING PAYMENT
A periodic mortgage payment which, if paid consistently throughout the amortization period of the mortgage, will result in the total principal and interest owing on the loan being retired at the end of the amortization period.

FULLY ASSUMABLE MORTGAGE
A land loan that may be transferred to a new owner without any change to the terms, as long as the new owner qualifies.

FULLY EXECUTED SALES CONTRACT
An agreement in which all parties have agreed and signed to all terms of the agreement.

FULLY INDEXED INTEREST RATE
The interest rate as set out in the variable or adjustable rate mortgage, equaling the index rate plus the float of the mortgage.

FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE
The loss of use or value of an asset due to a change in the market demands. A property in Buffalo with no furnace may be considered to be functionally obsolete and, therefore, difficult to sell.

FUNDING FEE
The charge paid by the borrower to the VA for the mortgage insurance provided by the VA on a veterans mortgage.

FUTURE ADVANCES
Monetary payments under an already registered mortgage as a result of the occurrence of certain events, as in a construction loan where more money is advanced once the framing is completed, etc