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A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

B HORIZON - layer of soil that lies beneath the top layer. The action of percolating water changes the composition of the B horizon.

BACK POINTS - Points paid by a lender to a mortgage broker that surpass the points paid by the borrower.

BACK TITLE LETTER - Also referred to as a starter or back title certificate, it is a letter issued by a title insurance company to an attorney, who examines the title for title insurance purposes.

BACKFILL - Used to brace a foundation or structure, it replaces the ground that is removed during the construction.

BACKUP OFFER - A second or "backup" offer to purchase a property, in the event that too many problems arise and the first offer doesn't work out.

BACKWATER - Water from a river or a stream that is stopped in its course or flows back to its source because of a dam or an impediment.

BACKWATER VALVE - valve in a lateral sewer line that automatically prevents sewage from flowing back to its source, such as a building.

BALANCE - value of real property when opposing influences are equal and balanced.

BALANCE SHEET - statement of the company' assets and liabilities that determine its equity (net worth).

BALANCED EXCHANGE - Under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue code, a tax-free exchange of real estate properties that must be invested by the taxpayer.

BALLOON - A payment or final installment that is larger than the preceding ones in an installment or term loan.

BALLOON MORTGAGE - short-term mortgage that carries small payments until the end of the term when the balance is due in whole.

BALLOON NOTE - note calling for periodic payments which are insufficient to fully amortize the face amount of the note prior to maturity, so that a principal sum known as a "balloon" is due at maturity.

BALLOON PAYMENT - last payment, the full balance, of a balloon note.

BALUSTER - supporting beams of a handrail in a staircase.

BALUSTRADE - succession of balusters that is used to support a handrail.

BANK - An institution, Commercial Bank, whose purpose is to sell short-term loans and collect deposits that are demanded.

BANKRUPT - Upon petition invoked by the debtor's creditors or upon voluntary petition, debtor may file for bankruptcy. As a result, debtor's assets are distributed among the creditor to absolve debt.

BANKRUPTCY -A debtor who has filed for bankruptcy because he/she is seeking relief from an overwhelming sum of debt.

BARGAIN AND SALE DEED - In the Statute of Uses, a contract or deed that can also signify a legal title.

BARN - A farm infrastructure that houses livestock, machinery, and stores food for livestock and grain.

BASE MAP - map that contains "base" information, such as city boundaries, city, county, and state.

BASE MOLDING - Molding that is installed on the top of the base.

BASE RENT - A minimal amount that is used as the minimum in rent payment of a lease.

BASE SHOE MOLDING - A carpet strip or carpet molding that installs molding on the bottom of a baseboard.

BASE TITLE - result of an examination of title for an internal use of a title insurance company. Usually covers a large area and is done in anticipation of future sales or subdividing of the area.

BASE YEAR - year upon which a direct expense escalation of rent is based upon.

BASEBOARD - A board or molding covering an interior wall where it meets the floor.

BASEBOARD HEATING - system of perimeter heating in which the baseboard is replaced by the heating units.

BASEMENT - Generally, the story of a building below ground level.

BASIC CAPACITY - In connection with highway use, the greatest number of cars per hour, which can pass a given point under ideal driving conditions, will give the basic capacity of a lane or road.

BASIC CROPS - Crops usually subject to government price supports and is considered the basis of our agricultural economy, such as wheat, corn, oats, rice, and similar crops.

BASIS - purchase price of a piece pf property, including all expenses related to the purchase.

BASIS FOR DEPRECIATION - value of property for purposes of depreciation. An example is a purchased asset. The basis is cost, whether fully paid for or not. The method for determining the basis is different for gift, inheritance, etc.

BASIS POINT - finance term that signifies a yield of 1/100th of 1%.

BATHROOM - room that contains a toilet, sink, and bathtub or bathtub-shower combination. In appraisal for federally insured mortgages, a toilet and sink (no bathtub or shower) equal a half bathroom; a toilet, sink and stall shower equal a three quarter bathroom.

BATT - strip of insulation that fits closely between the studs of a wall.

BATTEN - narrow strip that is used to cover seams between siding boards.

BATTER - slope of a structure, such as a wall or bank, that is expressed in terms of the vertical rise per horizontal distance, such as 3 inches (vertical) per 10 feet (horizontal).

BATTURE LAND - land between a riverbank and the edge of the water when the water level is lower than normal.

BAUHAUS - (1919-1933) A school of design that is most noted for its architecture and founded by Walter Gropius in Germany.

BAY - opening between two columns, walls, etc., which forms a room-like space. May be industrial space, parking space, barn space, or other use. Also, a bending or curving of the shoreline so as to form a partially enclosed body of water.

BAY WINDOW - window that projects in a curve outwards from a wall, giving a bay- like effect to the interior.

BEACH - That portion of the shore between ordinary low and high water marks. Any sandy area adjacent to a body of water.

BEAM - vertical or horizontal member of a structure; may be of wood, steel, concrete, or other strong material, and, unless decorative only, is the load-bearing part of the structure.

BEAMED CEILING - ceiling that has one or more of its beams exposed.

BEARER - A person that holds the commercial paper.

BEARER INSTRUMENTS - Checks, notes, drafts, bonds, etc., which is payable to whomever has possession of the instruments: i.e. the bearer.

BEARING - The relative position or direction of one object to another or to a compass point. Also, supporting a load, such as a bearing wall.

BEARING VALUE - In construction, the ability of soil to bear the weight of the structure to be built.

BEARING WALL - wall that supports the weight of a part of a structure in addition to its own weight.

BED A TREE - Preparation of a path (bed) on which a tree is to fall so that it will not be damaged.

BEDROCK - A solid rock beneath the soil, distinguished from rocks or boulders.

BEDROOM COMMUNITY - area primarily residential. The people living there commute to work.

BEFORE AND AFTER METHOD - appraisal method used in both condemnation and modernization. In condemnation the method is used in a partial taking. In modernization, an appraiser may take the value of property before and after remodeling to determine if the value increased from than modernization costs.

BELT HIGHWAY - A by-pass or limited access highway carrying traffic around an urban area, with entrances and exits to principal streets.

BENCH MARK - A surveying mark made in some object that is permanently fixed in the ground, showing the height of that point in relation to sea level.

BENEFICIAL ESTATE - estate, the right to possession of which has been postponed, such as a devise under a will. More commonly, an estate, the legal ownership of which has not yet vested, similar under a land contract.

BENEFICIAL INTEREST - equitable, rather than legal ownership of property, such as under a land contract.

BENEFICIAL USE - doctrine, applicable in some areas, pertains to water rights, giving priority to those who uses the water most beneficially.

BENEFICIARY - A person whose benefit a trust is created. Also, in states in which deeds of trust are commonly used instead of mortgages, the lender is referred to as the beneficiary.

BENEFICIARY'S DEMAND - Written instructions by a beneficiary under a deed of trust stating and demanding the amount necessary for issuance of a full or partial reconveyance.

BENEFICIARY'S STATEMENT - statement by a lender under a deed of trust, setting forth the pertinent information necessary to assume said deed of trust, such as the unpaid balance, monthly payment, and interest rate.

BENEFIT OF THE BARGAIN - rule of damages under which a defrauded purchaser may recover the difference between the actual and misrepresented value of the property purchased, even if it is greater than the actual loss suffered.

BENEFITS - term used in eminent domain, referring to an increase in value to land not taken, which is produced by the taking.

BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATIONS - Non-profit groups that have a philanthropic or charitable purpose.

BENT - transverse frame of a building or bridge that is designed to support horizontal or vertical loads.

BEQUEATH - A will that states to issue personal property.

BEQUEST - gift of personal property that is traditionally in a will. Modernly, a gift of personal or real property.

BERM - bench, ledge, or other resting place part way up a hill or slope. Also, a mound used to control drainage by diverting all or part of the flow.

BETTERMENT - improvement to a structure that is other than a repair, restoration, or enlargement.

BI - prefix that signifies "every two" or "twice in".

BI-LEVEL - Two levels in reference to construction of a house.

BIANNUAL - Twice per year.

BID - offer, usually in competition with others, such as at auction. A builder may bid for the right to do construction Also, used in some states to describe an offer to purchase real estate.

BIENNIAL - Every two years.

BILATERAL (RECIPROCAL) CONTRACT - contract that is formed by an exchange of promises. Performance of the contract takes place at a later date or time.

BILL DISCOUNTED - promissory note where the interest is deducted in advance.

BILL OF SALE - instrument that transfers personal property.

BILLBOARD - structure annexed to land for the purpose of posted advertising.

BINDER - report issued by a title insurance company setting forth the condition of title to certain property as of a certain date, which also sets forth conditions that, if satisfied, will issue a policy of title insurance. Also, a policy of title insurance that calls for a reduced rate for a future policy if the property is sold within a specified period.

BIRD DOGGING - To obtain the initial lead regarding property, buyers, investors, potential home improvement customers, etc. The lead is then followed up by one who is empowered to make the deal.

BIRTH RATE - number of births in a given area during a given period of time, that is based on per thousand populations.

BIWEEKLY ACCELERATED MORTGAGE - A accelerated mortgage repaid by biweekly payments. A biweekly payment is equal to one-half the regular monthly payment. This reduced payment is then paid biweekly or 26 times per year. Under this accelerated plan, the borrower pays off more principal than a borrower making monthly payments.

BLACK ACRE - A fictitious name used by legal writers to describe a specific property without a more descriptive description.

BLACKTOP - black paving surface that contains coal or asphalt material.

BLANKET INSURANCE POLICY - policy that covers more than one property. Commonly used by builders of a tract.

BLANKET MORTGAGE - mortgage that covers more than one property of the owner of the mortgage, such as a mortgage covering all the lots of a builder in a subdivision. Also, a mortgage covering all real property of the owner of the mortgages, both present and future. When used in this meaning, it is also called a "general mortgage".

BLENDED RATE - interest rate that is higher than the original loan but less than the current market rate.

BLIGHT - To whither and decay. Applied both to diseased plants and to neighborhoods where normal real estate maintenance has ceased.

BLIGHTED AREA - A term used in urban renewal, referring to an area that is run-down.

BLIND AD - ad that is usually found in a newspaper or magazine that does not identify the party who placed the ad.

BLIND CORNER - corner where building or vegetation extends to the property line and obstructs the vision of motorists to an angle of traffic.

BLIND NAILING - To nail so that the nails are sunk into the wall and covered with putty so the nail heads do not show.

BLOCK - In a city, square or rectangular area that is enclosed by streets. Also, in some states that is a part of a subdivision legal description, such as Lot 1, Block 1, and Tract 1.

BLOCK BUSTING - illegal method of obtaining houses at below fair market value by telling the inhabitants that people of a different race or religion, moving into the area, will cause the property values to fall.

BLUE LAWS - Laws regarding the conducting of business on Sunday.

BLUE SKY LAWS - Laws that regulate the sale of securities to avoid investment in fraudulent companies or high-risk investments without disclosure of the risks to the investor.

BLUEPRINT - plan of a building in such detail as to enable workmen to construct it from the print. The name comes from the photographic process that produces the plan in white on a light blue background.

BOARD - A terms refers to a piece of lumber less than 2 inches thick, and 8 or more inches wide. Also, a group of people authorized by law to exercise management and control, either of a public function, such as a board of supervisors, board of health, etc., or a private corporation, such as a board of directors.

BOARD AND BATTEN - siding constructed of wide boards (usually one foot wide) placed 1/2 inch apart; 3-inch wide battens cover the seams.

BOARD OF ALDERMEN - governing body of a municipal corporation.

BOARD OF EQUALIZATION - State board charged with the duty to bring equitable uniformity to the various local property tax assessments.

BOARDFOOT - unit of measurement for lumber. One board foot is equivalent to 144 cubic inches or 12" X 12" X 1".

BOARDING HOUSE - house where one can rent a room and receive board (meals), for which the cost is included in the rent.

BOATEL - name that is issued to a hotel or motel adjacent to a marina and caters to boat travelers.

BOILER PLATE - The printed form language that is contained in deeds, deeds of trust, CC&R's, and other documents and contracts.

BOILER PLATING - Using a form language for a contract, CC&R's (restrictions), etc.

BONA FIDE - legal term that refers to any actions, situations, or persons that are honest, in good faith, and without fraud.

BONA FIDE PURCHASER - purchaser in good faith, without notice or knowledge of adverse claims of others. Sometimes abbreviated as B.F.P.

BOND - insurance agreement by which one is insured against the loss by acts or defaults of a third party. In construction, a performance bond insures that the builder will finish his project. The insured could be a lender, purchaser, or another interested party. Also, a method of financing long-term debt, issued by a government or private corporation, which bears interest and has priority over stock in terms of security.

BOOK COST - actual cost as carried in the account ledger.

BOOK DEPRECIATION - Depreciation reserved by an owner for future replacement or retirement of an asset.

BOOK VALUE - value of a property as a capital asset.

BOOM - A barrier that forms an enclosure for logs or timber. Also, a beam of a crane that is used for guiding whatever it lifts.

BOOT - Something that is given in addition to. Generally used in exchange to refer to something given other than the major properties to be exchanged, in order to equalize value.

BORING TEST - A study of soil by boring holes and removing samples.

BOROUGH - part of a city that has authority over certain local matters.

BORROW - Material such as sand or gravel used for grading that is brought from another location.

BORROW BANK - places from which borrowed material is taken.

BORROW PIT - pit that is left after the removal of borrow material. The pit is filled as a lake and stocked by some states for fishing.

BORROWER - party that receive funds that must be repaid, usually with interest. Also, one who uses anything belonging to another with an agreement to return.

BOTTOM LAND - Low land along a river that is formed by alluvial deposits. Also low lying ground such as a valley or dale.

BOULEVARD - wide street usually lined with trees that has a median or promenade.

BOUNDARY - natural or artificial separation that marks the division of two contiguous properties.

BRACED FRAMING - Framing that reinforced with post and braces, forming a frame that is more rigid than the balloon framing.

BRADLEY SINK - circular lavatory found in industrial buildings, that is capable of use by several persons at the same time by utilization of a center column containing multiple water jets operated by foot pedals.

BREACH OF CONTRACT - Failure to perform a contract, in whole or part, without legal excuse.

BREACH OF COVENANT - failure to do or to refrain from doing that was covenanted.

BREACH OF WARRANTY - In real property, the failure of the seller to pass title as either expressed or implied (by law) in the document.

BREAK EVEN POINT - In income property, the point where there is neither a positive nor a negative cash flow.

BREAKDOWN METHOD - Estimating accrued depreciation by using all three reasons (physical deterioration, functional obsolescence, economic obsolescence) for a loss in value.

BREAST-HEIGHT - height at which the diameter of a tree is measured.

BREATHER ROOF - storage tank roof that rises or lowers depending on the level of the stored gas or liquid.

BREEZEWAY - In construction of a home with no garage, a canopy that extends from the house over the driveway serving as a protection from the weather for an automobile and for those people going between the house and the automobile. Also, a covering over a porch or patio, connecting two sections of a house or a house and garage.

BRICK - building material made from clay that is molded and heated. The effect of the heat on the iron in the clay gives it its red hue. Addition of lime or magnesia will produce a yellow color.

BRIDGE - structure over a waterway, highway, or another obstruction that facilitates passage and for the benefit of travelers.

BRIDGE LOAN - short-term loan secured by the equity in an as-yet-unsold house, with the funds to be used for a down payment and/or closing costs on a new house. There is no payment of principal until the house is sold or at the end of the loan term, whichever comes first. Interest payments can or cannot be deferred until the house is sold.

BRIDLE PATH (ROAD) - Technically a private road that is designated as a bridle road without specific use. More modernly, a road designated for equestrian use.

BRITISH THERMAL UNIT (B.T.U.) - Unit of heat that is required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. Used to express the capacity of heating and cooling systems.

BROKER, REAL ESTATE - A person who is licensed by the state to carry on the business of dealing in real estate. A broker may receive a commission for his or her part in bringing together a buyer and seller, landlord and tenant, or parties to an exchange.

BROKERAGE - person or company, who works for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.

BROOM CLEAN - term used to describe the condition of a building that is delivered to a buyer or tenant. The floors are swept and free of debris.

BUCKED - tree that is cut into logs.

BUDGET - In reference to condominiums and planned developments, the common expenses shared by the unit owners that determines the amount each unit will be charged for expenses of the common area, such as taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc.

BUFFER STRIP (BUFFER ZONE) - parcel of land that separates two other parcels or areas, such as a strip of land between an industrial and residential area.

BUILD TO SUIT - method of leasing property whereby the lessor builds to suit the tenant (according to the tenant's specifications). The cost of construction is figured into the rental amount of the lease that is usually for a long-term.

BUILDER - A person whose occupation is the construction of structures (buildings).

BUILDING - structure built to shelter people, animals, or goods. May be a residence, business, or meeting place, such as a church.

BUILDING AND LOAN ASSOCIATION - organization that accumulates a fund by subscription and savings of its members, to assist them with loans for building or purchasing real estate.

BUILDING CODE - comprehensive set of laws that control the construction of buildings, including design, materials used, construction, use, repair, remodeling, and other similar factors.

BUILDING CONTRACT - contract that sets forth the terms under which construction is to be undertaken. Price may be set, or based on the builder's cost plus a profit.

BUILDING LINE - line beyond which there can be no construction. Set by law, the purpose of such a line is to keep buildings from being built too close to the street, for safety and aesthetic reasons.

BUILDING OWNERS AND MANAGERS ASSOCIATION (BOMA) - association of owners and managers of commercial (mainly office) buildings. The association shares information on management techniques as well as setting standards for things such as floor measurement of office buildings.

BUILDING PAPER - waterproof, heavy paper used in the construction of a roof or wall as insulation.

BUILDING PERMIT - permit given by a local government to construct a building, or make improvements.

BUILDING RESIDUAL TECHNIQUE - appraisal technique by which building value is determined by first determining the net return attributable to the land only, and deducting it from the total return to the property (may be estimated). The residual amount is capitalized to find the building value. Best used when land value is easy to estimate and building value difficult to estimate.

BUILDING RESTRICTIONS - Prohibition by a governmental body (zoning restriction) or a private party (a former owner) against construction of certain structures on a property.

BUILT-IN'S - Commonly stoves, ovens, dishwashers, and other appliances that are framed into the building construction and are not movable.

BUILT-UP ROOF - level roof composed of layers of roofing materials (tars and waterproof paper) that is covered with fine gravel.

BULK SALE - transfer in bulk of all or substantially all of the inventory and fixtures of a business.

BULK SALES ACT - Laws to protect creditors against the secret sale of all or substantially all of the merchant's goods. Requires certain notice before sale, and sets forth methods of voiding improper sales.

BULKHEAD - partition in a ship, as well as a retaining wall to hold back water and extend the shoreline.

BULKHEAD LINE - line established in navigable waters beyond the point where no solid fill can be used. The Army Corps of Engineers establishes the bulkhead line and also the pier line, which no pier can be constructed past the point.

BUNDLE OF RIGHTS - theory that compares property rights to a bundle of sticks. Each of the usual property rights (possession, alienation, etc.) is represented by a stick and is considered separately.

BUS - copper bar from which electrical current flows through.

BUS DUCT - metal clad enclosure that contains a bus.

BUSINESS - Any form of activity by which people can earn money.

BUSINESS CYCLE - economic cycle of prosperity and decline.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY - sale of a business (may or may not include the sale of real estate). Some states require a real estate license for these sales even when real estate is not involved. BUTT JOINT - meeting end to end (butting) of two members to form a connection (joint).

BUTTERFLY ROOF - roof that is formed by two gable roofs concave to a center ridge. The roof resembles the shape of a butterfly's wings, hence the given name.

BUTTRESS - support for a wall.

BUY-SELL OFFER - offer by one owner of a business or real estate to buy out the interest of another owner of the same business or real estate. One can also sell the offerer's interest at the same price or proportionate price if there is unequal ownership.

BUYDOWN - Money advanced by an individual, such as a builder, seller, buyer, lender, and developer to lower monthly mortgage payments for a few years or for the whole term.

BUYDOWN ACCOUNT - account holding funds to be used to pay additional amounts during the buy down period.

BUYER - AGENCY AGREEMENT - agreement by a real estate broker to represent a buyer of property. A broker's agreement is to represent a seller is commonly called a listing agreement.

BUYER'S MARKET - market condition that favors the buyer. In real estate, when more homes are for sale than there are buyers interested homes.

BUYERS BROKER - real estate agent who represents the interests of the buyer. Rules of confidentially between buyer and agent are stricter than if the agent represented both buyer and seller.

BY-LAWS - Rules and regulations that are adopted by an association or corporation, which govern its activities.

BY-PASS - road that is designed to avoid or pass by a high density area, such as a business section of a city, in order to ease traffic congestion.


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Wall Street Journal
Commercial News

5/28/22 US Business

Big Lots, Hibbett Become Latest Retailers to Show Inflation Pain
Big-box chain Big Lots and sporting-goods retailer Hibbett saw double-digit sales declines as higher prices across the spectrum dent shopper spending power.

SEC Confirms Probe Into Elon Musk's Disclosure of Twitter Stake
The agency is asking the Tesla CEO why he didn?t make the required filing within 10 days after his Twitter stake crossed the 5% threshold.

Shoppers Are Fretting. Stores Are Listening.
Consumers are growing cautious, and companies from Walmart to Procter & Gamble are altering course to reflect changing budgets.

Flight Cancellations Pile Up Ahead of Holiday Weekend
Airlines are facing weather-related disruptions and grappling with staffing shortages as the Memorial Day holiday presents carriers with a first test in the run-up to an expected summer travel boom.

China Smartphone Demand Weakens Amid Covid Resurgence
From Apple to chip makers, companies warn of fewer shipments and weaker consumer spending in the world?s biggest smartphone market.

Household Spending Rise Leans on Savings
U.S. households boosted spending for a fourth straight month in April, but the savings rate fell to the lowest in 14 years, suggesting many Americans are tapping savings to offset cost increases from inflation.

Inflation Eased Slightly in April, According to Fed's Preferred Measure
Consumer prices rose 6.3% in April from a year earlier, down from 6.6% in March, as measured by the Commerce Department?s personal-consumption expenditures price index, but remained near a four-decade high.

BRE #:00619059
Charles Elfsten, President
Charles A. Elfsten
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