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
C HORIZON - horizon (layer) of the Earth below the A and B horizons.
Also referred to as the substratum, it is usually not affected by rain,
change of temperature, or other surface conditions.
C.A.E.(CERTIFIED ASSESSMENT EVALUATOR) - assessor who, through the
completion of required courses, experience, and examination, has earned
this designation by the International Association of Assessing Officers.
CADASTRE - Inventory of real property in a community for tax and
CAISSON - watertight chamber in which men work underwater, or in an open
excavation where loose soil or sand cave in on the workers. It may also be
filled with concrete after it is used, and become a support.
CAL-VET LOANS - Real estate loans available to armed forces veterans
from California, at low interest rates.
CALIFORNIA RANCH ARCHITECTURE - sprawling, one story, ranch-style
building, lending itself to interior flexibility in floor plan design.
CALL - In metes and bounds description, the angle and distance of a
given line or arc. Each call is usually preceeded by the word
"then" or "thence". Example:N 22% E 100' (1st call),
thence N 80% E 100' (2nd call). (2) To demand payment due to default. Also
used when a loan payment is not large enough to amortize the loan. Example:
A mortgage payment requiring 20 years to pay in full but for a term of 5
years would be referred to as a 20-year amortization with a 5- year call.
CALL DATE - Originally used when a bond is redeemed prior to
maturity, it is now also used in describing mortgages. [See Call(2)].
CALL LOAN - loan payable upon demand.
CALL OPTION - clause in a note and mortgage allowing the lender to
demand full payment of the loan before the full term.
CAMBER - slight bending or arching to a convex angle. Used to prevent
beams, girders, flooring, ship decks, timbers, and similar load- bearing
members, from taking a concave shape.
CAMINO - Spanish word meaning highway.
CAMPANILE - free standing bell tower.
CANAL - (1) man made waterway used to connect bodies of water for
navigation. (2) An irrigation waterway.
CANCELLATION CLAUSE - clause in a lease or other contract, setting
forth the conditions under which each party may cancel or terminate the
agreement. The conditions may be as simple as giving notice or complex and
require payment by the party desiring to cancel.
CANDLE - measure of light, being the luminous intensity of a 7/8 inch
sperm candle burning at 120 grains per hour. An international candle is
based on the burning of platinum.
CANDLE HOUR - measure of light, equal to one candle burning for one
CANDLE POWER - intensity of a light, expressed in candles.
CANTILEVER - structural support which itself is supported at one end
only and bears its load through its material strength and rigidity.
CANTILEVER BRIDGE - bridge formed by two cantilevered members
extending toward each other and connecting each other or a suspended span.
CAP - (1) maximum amount of charge. Example: An Adjustable Rate
Mortgage with a 5% rate cap could not adjust the interest rate by more than
5%. (2) A fitting used to seal, such as by a plumber to seal (cap) a pipe
end. (3) A cornice, lintel, or top of a structure member such as a column.
CAP (INTEREST RATE) - maximum interest rate increase allowable on an
adjustable rate mortgage. Does not result in negative amortization. See
CAP (PAYMENT) - maximum payment amount increase allowable on an
adjustable rate mortgage. May result in negative amortization. See Negative
amortization. Also See: Payment cap.
CAP RATE (APPRAISAL) - Same as capitalization rate.
CAPACITY - ability to carry on normal business transactions. Lack
of capacity may be natural (unsound mind) or simply by law (a minor).
Restrictions may be full or partial.
CAPE COD HOUSE - adaption of the New England cottage. May be one or
two stories with sloping roof, usually with dormer windows, cornices, and
of frame painted white.
CAPITAL - money used to create income, either as investment in a
business or income property.
CAPITAL ASSETS - assets of a permanent nature used to produce income,
such as machinery, buildings, equipment, land, etc. Must be distinguished
from inventory. A machine which makes pencils, for example, would be a
capital asset to pencil manufacturer, but inventory to the company whose
business is to sell such machines.
CAPITAL EXPENDITURES - money spent on improvements such as land,
buildings, machinery, and similar major expenditures which are not
CAPITAL GAIN - Gains realized from the sale of a capital asset. The
difference between the purchase and sale price less allowable deductions,
CAPITAL LOSS - loss from the sale of a capital asset. The difference
between the purchase and sale price plus allowable deductions, less
CAPITAL STOCK - general term referring to the stock a corporation may
issue, the amount actually subscribed by shareholders, the value of the
company, liability to the shareholders, etc.
CAPITALIZATION - Determining a present value of income property by
taking the annual net income (either known or estimated) and discounting by
using the rate of return commonly acceptable to buyers of similar properties.
For example: Net income of a property is $10,000 per year. Capitalizing at
a rate of 10%, the property would be worth $100,000.
CAPITALIZATION RATE - percentage (acceptable to an average buyer)
used to determine the value of income property through capitalization.
CAPITALIZE - To determine out the present money value of future income,
whether estimated or fixed.
CAPITALIZED VALUE - value of the property after use of the
capitalization approach of appraisal.
CAPRICIOUS VALUE - In appraisal, value based on whim or emotion and
not reflective of the fair market value.
CAPTURE RATE - comparison of the rate of sales or leases of real
estate developments in a given market area.
CAR - California Association of Realtors.
CAR FLOAT BRIDGE - connection (bridge) used to transfer railroad
cars to or from land and a barge. The bridge must be vertically mobil to
adjust to changing water levels.
CARAVAN - inspection of newly listed properties, either by the entire
sales staff of an office or by sales personnel from more than one office in
conjunction with a multiple listing group. Generally conducted on a regular
CARPORT - roof supported by pillars or cantilevered which shelters a
car. May either extend from a structure (usually a house) or be constructed
separately (often to accommodate several cars).
CARRYING CHARGES - costs involved in keeping a property which is
intended to produce income (either by sale or rent) but has not yet done
CARRYOVER BASIS - tax basis in a tax deferred exchange which is
transferred (carried over) from the property given up to the property
CASE - (1) external framework of a structure. (2) court action.
CASEMENT WINDOW - window hinged at its sides, allowing it to swing open
CASH - (1) Money or (2) its equivalent (checks, bank notes, etc.). Ready
CASH ASSETS - Money which is available to meet the requirements of
operating a business.
CASH DISCOUNT - discount from a billed amount if paid within a certain
CASH EQUIVALENCY ANALYSIS - appraisal technique by which the price of
comparable properties selling at different financing terms are adjusted to
find market value. The theory is that terms less advantageous to the seller
will cause a higher sale price; cash being most advantageous to the seller.
CASH FLOW - In investment property, actual cash the investor will
receive after deduction of operation expenses and debt service (loan
payment) from his gross income.
CASH ON HAND STATEMENT - statement of cash on hand which the buyer
intends to apply to closing costs, impounds, and down payment. Also shows
the source of the money (savings, gift, etc.).
CASH OUT - Taking the entire amount of a seller's equity in cash rather
than to retain some interest in the property, such as a purchase money
mortgage or deed of trust. Also loosely used when paying off anyone having
an interest in property, thereby ending the interest.
CASH RENT - term used in farm rental to distinguish between money rent
and rent paid by giving a portion of the crop to the owner (share crop).
CASH RESERVES - amount of money sometimes required by a lender to be
held in reserve in addition to the down payment and closing costs.
CASH SALE - sale for full payment in cash, as opposed to a credit
sale. A payment by check is considered cash. May be qualified, as
"cash to new loan", "cash to existing loan", etc.
CASH-ON-CASH - amount of cash received compared to the amount of
cash invested. Also called the Equity Dividend Rate, Cash Flow Rate or
Equity Capitalization Rate.
CASH-OUT REFINANCE - new mortgage loan that pays off any existing
debts on the property and still gives the borrower cash.
CASHIER'S CHECK - check drawn by a bank on itself rather than on an
account of a depositor. A cashier's check is generally acceptable to close
a sale without waiting for the check to clear.
CASING - exterior surface or covering of a building such as aluminum
siding, a roof, etc.
CATTLE GUARD - grill or grating placed in the ground over which cattle
will not cross.
CATWALK - narrow, elevated walkway along a wall, girders, or over a
stage or other area where it may be necessary for a person to go for
operation or repair.
CAUSEWAY - raised roadbed over lowlands. See also: Levee.
CAVAEDIUM - atrium, courtyard.
CAVEAT - "Let Him Beware" - formal notice to a court or
officer, given by an interested party, asking that the court suspend
proceedings until deciding on the merits of the caveat.
CAVEAT EMPTOR - "Let the buyer beware". Legal maxim stating
that the buyer takes the risk regarding quality or condition of item
purchased, unless protected by warranty or there is misrepresentation.
Modernly, consumer protection laws have placed more responsibility for
disclosure on the seller and broker.
CAVITY WALL - Refers to brick or stone wall which is actually built as
two separate walls, joined only at the top and ends, and so
"hollow". Also called a hollow wall.
CC&R'S (COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS) - term used in
some areas to describe the restrictive limitations which may be placed on
property. In other areas, simply called restrictions.
CEILING - (1) overhead interior lining of a room, building, etc. (2)
A maximum amount.
CELLAR - storage room or group of rooms, usually under a building,
which are used for storage.
CEMENT - mineral powder which, when mixed with water and allowed to
set will dry hard and can be used in construction as floors, walls, etc.
CEMENT BLOCK - building block, composed of cement, and usually hollow.
See also: Cinder Block.
CEMETERY - Large parcels of land used for burying deceased persons. May
be public or private, the private usually being of a specific religious
CENTRAL ASSESSMENT - assessment of property under one ownership but
located in more than one assessment district. Used for railroads and public
utilities to stabilize the assessment value.
CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT - area of a city where most of the major
businesses are located. The "downtown" area.
CENTRAL CITY - (1) downtown area of a major city. (2) A city which
is central to a metropolitan area containing many cities. The name of the
central city is used for the whole area. For example: Los Angeles
CERCLA (COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION, AND
LIABILITY ACT) - See which.
CERTIFICATE - writing, either from a court or other public body,
giving assurances of existing conditions or facts, and giving rights or
CERTIFICATE BACKED MORTGAGE - variation of the buydown. The seller
purchases a savings certificate (usually with the proceeds of the sale)
from the lender. The lender sets the buyer's interest rate below market
(generally 2 percent above the certificate rate). Should the seller
withdraw the certificate funds, the buyer's rate goes to market rate.
CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT (C.D.) - specific sum of money deposited into a
savings institution for a specified time period, and bearing a higher rate
of interest than a passbook account if left to maturity. Does not have
withdrawal privileges as does a passbook account. Also called a time
certificate of deposit (T.C.D.)
CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT INDEX - One of the many indices that may be used
for interest rate changes in an adjustable rate mortgage.
CERTIFICATE OF ELIGIBILITY - certificate obtained by a veteran from a
Veteran's Administration office which states that the veteran is eligible
for a V.A. insured loan. There is a list of requirements (when and how long
the veteran served, type of discharge, etc.) which also may be obtained
from the V.A. office.
CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY - certificate issued by a local building
department to a builder or renovator, stating that the building is in
proper condition to be occupied.
CERTIFICATE OF PURCHASE - Also See: Certificate of Sale.
CERTIFICATE OF REASONABLE VALUE - certificate giving the estimate of
value on which to base a loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
CERTIFICATE OF REDEMPTION - Evidence of redeeming (buying back) a
property by the owner after losing it through a judicial sale. The time
limit for redemption is set by statute.
CERTIFICATE OF SALE - Certificate issued to the buyer at a judicial sale
(such as a tax sale), which will entitle the buyer to a deed upon
confirmation of the sale by the court or if the land is not redeemed within
a specified time.
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE - statement that shows ownership of property,
stating that the seller has clear legal title.
CERTIFICATE OF VETERAN STATUS - evidence of eligibility given to a
veteran by the VA. The certificate gives the veteran status to obtain
certain loans with less money down.
CERTIFIED CHECK - personal check drawn by an individual which is
certified (guaranteed) to be good. The bank holds the funds to pay the
certified check and will not pay any other checks drawn on the account if
such payment would impede payment of the certified check. The bank also
will not honor a stop payment of a certified check.
CERTIFIED COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT MEMBER (CCIM) - designation conferred
by the Commercial Investment Real Estate Institute, an affiliate of the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. The designation recognizes expertise in
many different areas including commercial real estate sales, leasing,
property management, appraisal, development, lending and investment
CERTIFIED COPY - true copy, attested to be true by the office holding
CERTIFIED MORTGAGE BANKER (CMB) - designation conferred by the
Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) to employees of its member
companies after experience, educational and testing requirements have been
CERTIFIED PROPERTY MANAGER (CPM) - professional awarded to real estate
managers by the Institute of designation Real-Estate Management,an
affiliate of the National Association of Realtors. Address: Institute of
Real Estate Management 430 North Michigan Avenue Chicago, IL 60611
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT (CPA) - designation awarded to accountants
by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) after
completing the required education and passing a national exam. Only CPA's
may audit HUD programs unless registered before 1970.
CERTIFIED REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE MANAGER (CRB) - designation conferred
by the Real Estate Brokerage Managers Council upon a brokerage owner or
manager who is an expert in the field.
CERTIFIED RESIDENDIAL SPECIALIST (CRS) - designation conferred by The
Council of Residential Specialists upon those who have successfully
completed the required courses and are experts in residential real estate
CERTIORARI - appellate review of the complete record of a lower court
action, rather then simply a review of an appeal for judicial error.
CESSPOOL - pit or pool which holds raw sewage.
CESTUI QUE TRUST - One having an equitable interest in property, legal
title being vested in a trustee.
CESTUI QUE VIE - person whose life is used to determine the length
of an estate based on a life in being.
CHAIN - Also See: Chain Of Title; Chains And Links.
CHAIN OF TITLE - chronological order of conveyancing of a parcel of
land, from the original owner (usually the government) to the present
CHAIN STORE - store belonging to a series of similar stores under
central ownership and management, and striving for uniformity in design,
inventory, and service.
CHAINS AND LINKS - Measurements. In real estate measurements (surveying)
a chain is 66' long or 100 links, each link being 7.92". The
measurement may change when used in fields other than surveying.
CHANGE - principle that no physical or economic condition remains
CHANGE FREQUENCY - time between adjustments of interest and payment
on a adjustable rate mortgage.
CHANGE OF NAME - When there is a name change of a party appearing on a
document (deed, etc.), it may be reflected in several ways, such as (1)
Mary Smith, a married woman, W.A.T.A. (who acquired title as) Mary Jones,
an unmarried woman. (2) Mary Smith AKA (also known as) Mary Jones. (3) Mary
Smith, formerly Mary Jones. (4) Mary Smith, alias Mary Jones. Each may be
applicable in different circumstances (how and why the name was changed).
CHANGE ORDER - In construction, a written instruction to alter the
original construction plan.
CHANNEL - (1) open or closed duct or conduit. (2) A gutter, furrow,
or groove. (3) The deepest part of a natural waterway through which the
main current flows, and which affords the best passageway for ships.
CHANNELIZATION - term used to describe traffic direction. Traffic is
"channeled" by use of one way streets, signs directing turns,
island barriers, etc.
CHAPEL - (1) place of worship apart from a church, such as a hospital
chapel, college chapel, etc. Generally for a small group. (2) A portion of
a church secondary and subordinate to the main alter.
CHARGE-OFF - unpaid balance of a loan that a lender writes off as a
CHATTEL - Personal property.
CHATTEL MORTGAGE - lien on personal property. Also called a security interest
or financing statement.
CHATTEL REAL - All estates in real property less than fee estates, such
as a lease.
CHECK ROW - method of planting rows of plants on intersecting lines,
forming a "checkerboard" effect. Used for corn, tomatoes, and
CHECK VALVE - valve to prevent backup of material being carried
through a pipe or other conduit.
CHILD CARE STATEMENT - statement by a working husband and wife showing
the amount paid for child care and to whom paid.
CHIMNEY - Any passage through which smoke from a fire passes. Most
commonly the passage, constructed of brick, from a fireplace to above the
roof of a building.
CHIMNEY BACK - back wall or lining of a fireplace or furnace
CHIMNEY FLASHING - Also See: Flashing.
CHIMNEY POT - earthenware or metal pipe or deflector, projecting from
the top of the chimney to increase draft and reduce and disperse smoke.
CHOSE IN ACTION - right to an action for recovery of a debt or to
possession of anything held by another. The right to possession rather than
CHOSE IN POSSESSION - Something in possession, rather than the right to
CHURCH - public place of worship, usually Christian worship. See also:
CID - Also See: Common Interest Development.
CIENAGA - Spanish word meaning a swamp or marsh, formed by hillside
CINDER BLOCK - building block composed of cinders (ashes) and cement,
which does not have the weight or strength of a cement block.
CIRCLEHEAD WINDOW - semicircular window, usually above a door, which
has no moving parts and is used as a decoration as well as to admit light.
CIRCUIT BREAKER - electrical device which has taken the place of the
fuse in most buildings. The circuit is broken (electricity shut-off) when
there is an overload. The circuit breaker can be reset rather than replaced
as a fuse must be.
CIRCULATION PATTERN - regular traffic pattern, as from a residential
area to a business district and back.
CIRCUMFERENTIAL HIGHWAY - highway which arcs around the central
business district of a city. Also called a belt highway or by-pass.
CISTERN - tank used for storing rain water for use in areas where
there is no water brought to the property by plumbing.
CITY - Technically, a municipal corporation having voting by
represen-tatives to operate its functions, rather than direct voting, as in
a town. Commonly, any large incorporated town is called a city.
CITY PLAN - See; Master Plan .
CIVIL ACTION - Any action which is not a criminal action.
CIVIL LAW - (1) Roman Law. The legal system derived from the Romans
which is prevalent in most of the non-English speaking countries, and, to
some degree, in Louisiana. Differs from Common Law of England, from which
United States Law is derived. (2) Any laws which are not criminal laws.
CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 - act passed to strengthen the Civil Rights
Act of 1866. The act, among other things, prohibits discrimination in
CLAIM - assertion of some right or demand.
CLAPBOARD - Narrow boards used as siding for frame houses, and having
one edge thicker than the other. The boards run horizontally with the
thicker edge overlapping the thinner edge.
CLARIFIER - Underground system of tanks with filters or chemical agents
designed to remove or neutralize harmful wastes from water before emptying
said water into a sewer or septic tank.
CLASS ACTION - action brought on behalf of a group of people having a
similar claim. Has become increasingly popular in the consumer movement,
and is a strong weapon against unfair pricing when the price of
overcharging in one instance would be too minor to bring suit.
CLASSIFIED LOAN - substandard loan which a bank should not have made.
CLASSIFIED PROPERTY TAX - Property tax which varies in rate depending on
the use (zoning classification) of the property.
CLEAN ROOM - room specially designed to have a controlled atmosphere,
for health reasons or experimentation accuracy, such as a germ free room or
a dust free room.
CLEAN WATER ACT - federal act, first adopted in 1977, to stop
pollution of waterways and protect wildlife and recreational areas.
CLEAR HEADWAY - height of the lowest overhead framing member
(usually the top of the door frame) as measured from the floor.
CLEAR LUMBER - High quality lumber "clear" of most defects,
CLEAR SPAN - interior area which does not use columns or posts to
hold up the roof, thereby creating a large, open area with maximum
visibility and use of the floor space.
CLEAR TITLE - Also See: Free and Clear.
CLEARANCE - (1) removal of structures from an area for urban
renewal. (2) The maximum height of a vehicle which may safely pass under a
bridge or through a tunnel.
CLERESTORY - wall or portion of a wall to which the roof attaches at a
higher level than the other walls or portions of a wall of a building.
Generally found in church construction and contains windows.
CLERESTORY WINDOW - Window in a clerestory.
CLIENT - Traditionally one who employs an attorney. Has loosely been
used to refer to the principal of a real estate agent, insurance agent,
stock broker, etc.
CLOSE CORPORATION - (1) corporation not allowing its shareholders to
vote for directors or officers. (2) A corporation owned by a small group of
shareholders and not having publicly traded stock. Commonly, and
incorrectly, called a closed corporation.
CLOSED CORPORATION - Also See: Close Corporation.
CLOSED END MORTGAGE - mortgage that does not allow the borrower to
increase the amount borrowed over the term of the mortgage. See also: Open
CLOSED END MUTUAL FUND - fund (sometimes dealing in real estate or
mortgages) which is not accepting new investors. The shares in the fund are
bought and sold, either at a premium, par, or a discount, based on the
success of the fund. The shares are not sold and redeemed through the fund
but on the open market. The same technique is used with closed end trusts.
CLOSED MORTGAGE - Also See: Lock-in.
CLOSING - concluding day of the real estate transaction, when title
and deed pass from seller to buyer, the buyer signs the mortgage and pays
the purchase price and closing costs.
CLOSING COSTS - Expenses (over and above the price of the property)
incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property.
Also called "settlement costs."
CLOSING STATEMENT - financial disclosure giving an account of all
funds received and expected at closing, including the escrow deposit for
taxes, hazard insurance and mortgage insurance for the escrow account.
CLOUD - Also See: Cloud on Title.
CLOUD ON TITLE - invalid encumbrance on real property, which, if
valid, would affect the rights of the owner. For example: A sells lot 1,
tract 1, to B. The deed is mistakenly drawn to read lot 2, tract 1. A cloud
is created on lot 2 by the recording of the erroneous deed. The cloud may
be removed by quitclaim deed, or, if necessary, by court action.
CLOVERLEAF - intersection using loop shaped ramps and grade
separation to accomplish the intersecting of traffic without signal lights
or stop signs. When viewed from above, the shape of the intersection
resembles a cloverleaf.
CLOVERLEAFING - method of real estate canvassing by looping around a
specific property (one listed or sold) in the shape of a cloverleaf, in
order to obtain listings or buyers.
CLUSTER HOUSING - Building houses close together with little yard space
and a large common area, rather than each house having a large yard. The
density is usually greater in the cluster project.
CLUSTER ZONING - Zoning allowing the construction of buildings closer
together than normal (clustered) and then requiring the balance of the
property to be kept as open space.
CLUSTERING - Also See: Cluster Housing.
CMB - Also See: Certified Mortgage Banker.
CMO - See Collateralized Mortgage Obligation.
CO-ADMINISTRATOR - One who shares the duties of administrator with one
or more other administrators.
CO-EXECUTOR - One who shares the duties of executor with one or more
CO-MAKER - surety (see which) under a loan. The co-maker is equally
responsible for repayment as the borrower (maker).
CO-MORTGAGOR - One who signs a mortgage with another as borrower. The
term is often applied to one who intends to guaranty the loan even though
co-mortgagors have equal liability.
CO-OP - Also See: Cooperative apartment.
CO-ORDINATES - general term encompassing a number of methods to
determine the position of intersecting lines, planes, points, etc.
CO-OWNERSHIP - Ownership by two or more persons or entities. See also:
Equitable Ownership; Legal Owner.
CO-SIGNATORY - Also See: Co-maker.
CO-TRUSTEE - One who shares the duties of trustee with one or more other
COAST - seashore or land near it.
COASTAL COMMISSION - commission set up to control construction in
CODE - comprehensive set of laws drawn up to cover completely a given
subject. Covers diverse subjects, such as the criminal code, and the
CODE OF ETHICS - Also See: Ethics.
CODICIL - addition to a will, which modifies the will by adding to
it, subtracting from it, or clarifying it.
COFFERDAM - Also See: Caisson.
COFI (COST OF FUNDS INDEX) - One of the many indexes used to determine
rate changes for an adjustable rate mortgage. COFI is considered a good
index for the borrower.
COGNOVIT NOTE - note in which a debtor confesses judgement in the
event of nonpayment and waives all defenses.
COIGN, COIGNE - cornerstone, usually differing in size (and sometimes
material) from the rest of the wall, also spelled quoin.
COINSURANCE - sharing of the risk of an insurance policy by more than
one insurer. Usually one insurer is liable up to a certain amount; the
other liable over that amount.
COINSURANCE CLAUSE - requirement by an insurer that the property owner
carry insurance equal to a specified percentage of the value of the
COLD CANVASS - Soliciting door to door or by phone without any previous
contact. A good method for a salesperson to begin to establish a farm area.
Also See: Farm (3).
COLLAPSIBLE CORPORATION - corporation which is sold instead of its
product, in order to create a capital gain rather than ordinary income for
tax purposes. For example: A and B (persons) are real estate developers who
want to build an office building to sell. They form a corporation which
builds the building. Then, rather than selling the building, A and B sell
the corporation, claiming capital gain on the stock profit. Federal tax
laws regulate such transactions.
COLLATERAL - By or at the side, additional or auxiliary. Mistakenly used
to mean collateral security.
COLLATERAL ASSIGNMENT - assignment of property as collateral
security, and not with the intent to transfer ownership from assignor to
COLLATERAL HEIR - One not in a direct line of descent of inheritance.
Example: A nephew, not a son.
COLLATERAL NOTE - promissory note secured by specific property.
COLLATERAL SECURITY - Most commonly used to mean some security in
addition to the personal obligation of the borrower.
COLLATERALIZED MORTGAGE OBLIGATION - mortgage-backed security. CMOs
are similar to mortgage-backed securities except that CMOs offer the option
of short or long maturity. The future cash flows from a group of mortgages
are split into varying length classes to satisfy the needs of investors who
seek different maturity lengths. (Also See: Mortgage-Backed Securities).
COLLUSION - agreement of two or more people to do something unlawful.
Generally, an agreement between people who represent different interests
and "sell out" these interests for personal gain.
COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE - Two story houses with windows divided into small
panes, usually with shutters. The main facade is detailed and symmetrical,
generally with a center entrance. Architecture following the style of New
England colonial houses.
COLONNADE - Columns, regularly spaced, which support an architrave. See
also: Peristyle; Portico.
COLOR OF TITLE - That which gives the appearance of good title, but
actually contains some defect. For example: A conveyance given without the
grantor having good title.
COLUMN - large vertical support member of a structure. A pillar,
COLUMN FOOTINGS - support bases for load-bearing columns. Generally
composed of reinforced concrete.
COLUMN LOTS - Small lots for the placement of columns to support a
structure, such as a billboard or other structure which has its largest
parts not touching the ground.
COLUMN STEEL - Steel used inside a column for reinforcement.
COMBED PLYWOOD - interior paneling, grooved as if by a comb.
COMBINATION ADVANCE REVERSE MORTGAGE - Under this arrangement, the
borrower receives a lump sum. This is most commonly used to pay off an
existing mortgage, make repairs on the property, or pay consumer debt. The
balance of the loan is made in periodic (monthly) payments. See also:
COMBINATION DOOR - outer door using interchangeable panels of glass
and screen, depending on the weather.
COMBINATION SEWER - sewer that is both a sanitary and storm sewer.
COMBINATION WINDOW - window using interchangeable panels of glass and
screen, depending on the weather.
COMMENSURATE PROPERTY - Also See: Base Property.
COMMERCIAL ACRE - Also See: Net Acre.
COMMERCIAL BANK - institution for savings, loans, checking accounts,
and other services not all of which are found in savings and loan
institutions. Banks are generally more active in construction loans rather
than long term real estate financing
COMMERCIAL BROKER - licensed real estate broker specializing in
improved commercial property or offices.
COMMERCIAL INESTMENT REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE - affiliate of the
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS which strives to improve the level of
competency of those engaged in Commercial-Investment real estate, and which
confers the designation of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM).
COMMERCIAL PAPER - Negotiable instruments used in the course of
business, such as promissory notes, which are bought and sold (usually at a
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY - Property which is zoned "commercial"
(for business use). Property such as stores, restaurants, etc., falling
between residential and industrial.
COMMINGLING - To mix funds held in trust with other funds. For example:
A broker or builder mixes deposits (should be in a trust account) with his
funds by putting the deposits in his general account. Although commingling
is in itself a violation for which a broker may lose his license, it does
not mean that, by commingling, the broker or builder intended to
misappropriate the funds. See also: Conversion (2).
COMMISSION - agent's or broker's fee for bringing the principals
together and helping to negotiate a real estate transaction, often a
percentage of the sales price or flat fee.
COMMISSION POINT - Also See: Point (2).
COMMITMENT - agreement, frequently in writing, between a lender and a
borrower to loan money at a future date, subject to certain conditions.
COMMITMENT FEE - fee paid for a loan commitment. Also See: Commit-ment (2).
COMMITMENT LETTER - Also See: Commitment (2).
COMMON AREA - area owned in common by the owners of condominiums or
planned unit development homes in a subdivision.
COMMON AREA ASSESSMENTS - levies (assessments) charged to owners of
condominiums or planned unit developments for the cost of common area
maintenance and home owner association costs.
COMMON BRICK - brick having no special surface treatment, making each
brick different in color. Used to describe a surface of bricks which are
artificially treated so that each is different in color.
COMMON ELEMENTS - Also See: Common Area.
COMMON INTEREST DEVELOPMENT - general term used to describe any type
of clustered buildings with shared land ownership, such as condominiums and
planned developments. CID's, as they are called, must have individual
ownership or exclusive right to occupy, combined with shared ownership.
COMMON LAW - body of laws, originated and developed in England, which
was adopted by most states and still prevails if not superseded by statute.
Also referred to as case law.
COMMON LAW MORTGAGE - Any mortgage which contains the elements of a
mortgage according to the Common Law.
COMMON OF ESTOVERS - Also See: Estovers.
COMMON STOCK - share of ownership in a corporation.
COMMON WALL - Also See: Party Wall.
COMMUNITY APARTMENT - form of common interest development under which
title to the entire development is shared, with an exclusive right to
occupy each unit given to the various title holders.
COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION - Also See: Home Owner's Association.
COMMUNITY HOME IMPROVEMENT MORTGAGE - loan for low to moderate income
buyers to borrow more than the usual 80% loan to value when a portion of
the funds will be used to improve or make repairs on the property. The
theory is that improvement of individual properties will benefit the whole
COMMUNITY PROPERTY - Property owned in common by a husband and wife,
which is not separate property. A classification of property peculiar to
COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT - Federal legislation of 1977 (and subsequent
amendments) for the purpose of encouraging banks and thrifts (savings and
loans) to make more loans in their local areas. The act created the
National Consumer Cooperative Bank to make loans to local banks and thrifts
for community investment (loans) and also to guarantee certain loans made
in the local community.
COMMUNITY SECOND MORTGAGE - junior mortgage subsidized by a state or
local government agency or nonprofit organization enabling low to moderate
income buyers to purchase a home with less of a down payment. The mortgage
will have a below market interest rate and the principal may not have to be
repaid if the buyer stays in the home for a certain period. The details of
this type of loan vary by location.
COMMUNITY SHOPPING CENTER - intermediate size shopping center. May
contain a small department store and coordinated small shops. Larger than a
neighborhood center and smaller than a regional center.
COMPACTION - pressing together and joining ofsedimentary layers of
ground by the pressure of the weight of overlying layers. A report showing
the density of the soil and its make-up is required in some areas before
permits for construction will be issued.
COMPARABLES - Refers to similar properties used for comparison purposes
in the appraisal process. These properties will be reasonably the same size
and location, with similar amenities and characteristics, so that the
approximate fair market value of the subject property can be determined.
COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS - Also See: Market Value Approach.
COMPARATIVE MARKET ANALYSIS - Also See: Market Data Approach.
COMPARATIVE METHOD - method of estimating replacement construction
cost by comparing the property to be built with the cost per square foot or
cost per cubic foot of a similar building.
COMPARISON METHOD - Also See: Market Data Approach.
COMPENSATING BALANCE - Funds deposited into a bank, savings and loan
association, or other lending institution, to induce the lender to make a
specific loan or establish a line of credit. The deposit may be made by the
party desiring the loan, or a third party.
COMPENSATION - payment to make amends for the abridgement of rights or
an injury. In condemnation, the payment for the taking of a person's
property without the owner's consent.
COMPENSATORY DAMAGES - Damages to cover a loss or injury and nothing
more. See also: Exemplary Damages.
COMPETENT - Legally fit. Having the necessary age, ability, and
authority to accomplish any given acts or duties.
COMPETITION - appraisal principle that states that excess profits
COMPETITIVE MARKET ANALYSIS (CMA) - Also See: Market Data Approach.
COMPLETION BOND - bond protecting against failure to complete
COMPONENT CONSTRUCTION - Also called modular construction or
prefabrication. See also: Prefabrication.
COMPONENT DEPRECIATION - Allocating separate effective lives to
components of a building and depreciating each separately.
COMPONENT PANEL - modular (prefabricated) wall, fully finished, which
is installed as a part of a building.
COMPOSITE RATE - rate reflecting both the income flow of a building
(or other depreciating asset) and the recapture of invested capital.
COMPOSITION - (1) mixture of gravel and stones embedded in a heavy tar
roof shingle, and called a "composition" roof. (2) A creditor's
composition, (see which).
COMPOUND AMOUNT OF AN ANNUITY - total amount at the end of a given
period, including investment and reinvestment of the annuity payments.
COMPOUND AMOUNT OF AN INVESTED SUM - total amount at the end of a
given period, including the reinvestment of all interest plus the original
COMPOUND INTEREST - Interest paid on accumulated interest as well as on
COMPOUND SLOPE - slope composed of two or more separate slopes with
different grade angles.
COMPREHENSIVE COMMUNITY PLAN - Also See: Master Plan.
COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE, COMPENSATION, AND LIABILITY ACT - federal legislation which established the Superfund to hasten the
cleanup of contaminated property. The strength of the act is that there is
strict liability, joint and several liability, and liability is
retroactive. See also: Joint and Several Liability; Strict Liability;
COMPS - Also See: Comparables.
COMPUTER LISTING - system of processing listings through a computer so
that anyone belonging to the service may learn of the listing through a telephone
call directly into the computer. The listings are coded by area, number of
bedrooms, and other features of the property.
CONCAVE - Having an angle or curvature less than 180 degrees.
CONCEALED HEATING - Also See: Radiant Heating.
CONCESSION - granting of a right, by government or privately, usually
for use of land or area in a building to carry on a business.
CONCRETE - cement mixture containing sand and gravel which is combined
by mixing with water, poured to a desired shape, and hardens as it dries.
See also: Poststressed Concrete; Prestressed Concrete; Reinforced Concrete.
CONCRETE (PLAIN) - concrete which has not been prestressed,
poststressed, or reinforced in any way except possibly to hinder shrinkage
or expansion caused by temperature changes.
CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION - Also See: Architectural Concrete Construc-tion;
Reinforced Concrete Construction.
CONCRETE SLAB FOUNDATION - poured foundation consisting of concrete
beams at the perimeter and center of a reinforced slab, which gives the slab
support. Also See: Floating Slab; Monolithic Slab; Rebar.
CONCRETE TILT-UP - inexpensive method of constructing walls by
pouring concrete into forms flat on the ground, allowing to harden, then
raising the forms by a crane or block and tackle to a vertical position,
thereby forming the wall.
CONCRETION - mineral mixture which forms, generally in rock of a
different composition, various size grains or modules.
CONCURRENT EXCHANGE - exchange of properties under section 1031 of
the Internal Revenue Service Code that close (transfer) simultaneously.
CONDEMNATION - (1) taking of private property for public use.
Consent of the owner is not required but fair compensation must be paid.
See also: Eminent Domain. (2) Declaring property unfit, usually for
violations of health and/or safety codes.
CONDEMNATION VALUE - Market value paid upon condemnation.
CONDEMNEE - owner of property taken by condemnation (eminent
CONDEMNER - party taking property by condemnation (eminent domain).
CONDENSATION - forming of water on a barrier from warm air meeting
cooler air, as in air conditioning units.
CONDENSATION DUCT - duct which carries away the water given off by
condensation from an air conditioning unit.
CONDITION - In real property law, some limiting restriction to a grant
or conveyance of property, stating that upon the happening or not happening
of a stated event, the estate shall be changed in some manner.
CONDITION PRECEDENT - condition to be performed before an agreement
becomes effective or some right vests or accrues.
CONDITION SUBSEQUENT - condition following an agreement, the happening
of which changes the estate.
CONDITIONAL COMMITMENT - loan commitment given before a borrower
(buyer) is obtained, and subject to approval of the buyer by the lender.
CONDITIONAL OFFER - offer conditioned upon some event, such as the
buyer being approved for a loan, an appraisal above a certain amount or a
favorable termite report.
CONDITIONAL SALE OF REAL PROPERTY - Also See: Land Contract.
CONDITIONAL SALES CONTRACT - sale in which the title to property or
goods remains with the seller until the purchaser has fulfilled the terms
of the contract, usually payment in full. See also: Land Contract.
CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT - Approval by the government body that controls
zoning of a use not permitted by the zoning. The procedure is less
complicated than applying for a change of zoning.
CONDOMINIUM - Ownership of a single unit in a multiunit building or
complex of buildings. Along with this goes a share of ownership of the
CONDOMINIUM CONVERSION - changing of rental property (two or more
units) to condominium ownership. Physical changes, as well as paperwork,
may be necessary to conform to building and safety codes.
CONDOMINIUM MAP (PLAN) - recorded map showing the condominium units
and common area. The map includes both horizontal and vertical measurements
of the units. It is important that the map agree with the declaration of
restrictions (recorded at the same time).
CONDOMINIUM OWNER'S ASSOCIATION - Also See: Home Owner's Association(2).
CONDUCTION - Transmission of electricity or heat through a conductor.
CONDUCTOR - material (usually metal) which can transmit electrical
current or heat.
CONDUIT - natural channel for the flow of water, or artificial
channel, such as a pipe, used for conveying and protecting water, wires, or
other materials.See Which: Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduit.
CONDUIT SYSTEM - system of metal casings (conduits) containing wiring
CONDUIT, ELECTRICAL - metal pipe, usually flexible, through which
electrical wiring is installed.
CONFESSION OF JUDGMENT - written, voluntary, submission of a debtor
to a judgment by a creditor for a specified amount.
CONFIGURATION - Outline of a shape.
CONFIRMATION DEED - Also See: Rerecording.
CONFIRMATION OF SALE - Also See: Order Confirming Sale.
CONFORMING LOAN - mortgage loan that follows the requirements for sale
in the secondary market to FHLMC or FNMA.
CONFORMITY, PRINCIPLE OF - appraisal term stating that general
uniformity of structures in an area produces highest value.
CONGRUOUS - Suitable or appropriate. In appraisal, a property which
conforms to the area.
CONSANGUINITY - Blood relationship, rather than legal relationship
(through marriage).See also: Affinity.
CONSENT JUDGMENT - written agreement between plaintiff and defendant
to have a judgment entered and recorded. Although the court does no actual
finding for one party or the other, the judgment, once approved by the
court, is binding on both parties.
CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES - Damages created by a change in other property.
An owner's right to compensation varies with state statutes. See also:
Lateral Support: Inverse Condemnation.
CONSERVATION - (1) Care and preservation of natural resources. (2)
Preservation, though zoning, of improved areas to maintain the quality of
CONSERVATOR - guardian, court appointed.
CONSIDERATION - Anything which is, legally, of value, and induces one to
enter into a contract.
CONSOLIDATION - (1) coming together, either through merger or
partial ownership, of two or more companies. (2) The solidification of
loose material or liquid, usually under pressure.
CONSTANT - Also See: Loan Constant.
CONSTANT PAYMENT LOAN - Also See: Interest Included Note.
CONSTRUCTION COST - total cost of building, including overhead and
profits as well as land, labor, and materials.
CONSTRUCTION LOAN - Short term financing of real estate construction.
Generally followed by long term financing called a "take out"
loan, issued upon completion of improvements.
CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION - (1) Regarding a landlord and tenant
relationship, constructive eviction is any act by the landlord which
substantially interferes with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the leased
property, but is not actual eviction. (2) The inability of the buyer to
obtain possession because of a superior title of a third party. This
constitutes a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment warranted by the
CONSTRUCTIVE MORTGAGE - Also See: Equitable Mortgage.
CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE - Notice given by publishing in a newspaper,
recording, or other method which legally notifies the parties involved, but
may not actually notify them.
CONSTRUCTIVE RECEIPT - controlling by the taxpayer of funds from the
sale of the relinquished property under a 1031 exchange rather than direct
reinvestment into the replacement property. This will cause the taxpayer to
lose the tax free status.
CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST - trust created by operation of law to change an
inequitable situation. If one acquires title to property through fraud, the
court will hold that the legal owner holds in trust for those who really
should have ownership. Also called an involuntary trust.
CONSUMER LENDING - Loans made for personal property, such as
automobiles, appliances, etc.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX - Also See: Cost of Living Index.
CONSUMER REPORTING BUREAU - Also See: Credit Bureau.
CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE - general term encompassing any number of
modern designs which do not conform to any traditional architectural
CONTIGUOUS - Near or close to, whether actually touching or not.
Generally refers to actual touching or bordering on.
CONTINGENCY - condition that must be met for a contract or a
commitment to remain binding.
CONTINGENT BENEFICIARY - One who, under the terms of a will or trust,
may or may not share in the estate upon the happening of an uncertain
event. Example: A leaves property to B when B reaches 30, stipulating that
if B dies before 30, property goes to C. C is the contingent beneficiary.
CONTINGENT FEES - Fees to be paid only in the event of a future
occurrence. A broker's commission is paid only if the property is sold or
leased (unless otherwise agreed upon). Attorneys (especially in negligence
cases) may be paid based on winning the suit and collecting damages.
CONTINGENT INTEREST - interest subject to the occurrence of a
specified but uncertain event.
CONTINGENT REMAINDER - remainder interest uncertain as to the persons
in interest or the occurrence of an event. Example: A grants to B for life,
then to the children of C. At the time of the grant C has no children but
may have when B dies.
CONTOUR FURROWS - Furrows plowed laterally across a slope to control
water running down the slope.
CONTOUR LINE - (1) line showing the shape (outline) of a parcel of
land or body of water. (2) A line on a topographical map connecting all
portions of the property which have the same elevation.
CONTOUR MAP - map which uses lines (most always curved) to outline the
configuration and elevation of surface areas.
CONTRACT - legally enforceable promise or agreement consisting of
offer, acceptance and consideration or a legally acceptable consideration
CONTRACT FOR DEED - Also See: Land Contract.
CONTRACT OF SALE - In some areas of the country, synonymous with land
contract. In other areas synonymous with purchase agreement.
CONTRACT RATE - interest rate on a specific note as opposed to the
CONTRACT RENT - Rent paid under a lease. The actual rent as opposed to
the market rental value of the property.
CONTRACTOR - Also See: General Contractor; Subcontractor.
CONTRACTOR'S OVERHEAD - Expenses over and above labor and materials,
such as return on money invested, carrying costs of land, office expense,
interest on loans, etc.
CONTRACTOR'S PROFIT - Price at which property is sold, less costs of
land, labor and materials, and overhead.
CONTRACTUAL LIEN - voluntary lien such as a mortgage or deed of trust.
CONTRIBUTION - (1) right of one who pays a common liability to
recover from the others who share the liability. Example: A, B and C own
property. A pays the property tax. A may recover from B and C that portion
which B and C should have paid. (2) Decreasing the gifts in a will to pay
creditors of the estate or those entitled to a portion of the estate who
have been omitted. See also: Abatement.
CONTROL - Referring to traffic, the term is used to indicate a traffic
light or stop sign at an intersection, which slows (controls) traffic. A
retail site, such as a gas station or fast food restaurant, prefers a
corner location with control.
CONTROLLED ACCESS HIGHWAY - Also See: Limited Access Highway.
CONTROLS - In government projects such as urban renewal, the limits on
use, density, and other limits which would be contained in zoning laws in a
CONVECTION - In heating, the motion created by the gravitational pull on
air or water at different temperatures, and therefore, different densities.
CONVENTIONAL LOAN - mortgage or deed of trust not obtained under a
government insured program, (such as F.H.A. or V.A.).
CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE - Any mortgage loan that is not insured by FHA,
guaranteed by VA, of funded by a government authorized bond sale or grant.
Also See: Conventional Loan.
CONVERSION - (1) legal term referring to the "legal"
changing from real to personal property (or vice versa), although there is
no actual change in the property. (2) A taking of something for one's own
use which was originally in his possession only to hold for the owner. (3)
The changing of an apartment to a condominium.
CONVERTIBILITY CLAUSE - provision in a convertible adjustable rate
mortgage giving the borrower the option of changing to a fixed rate at
specified times during the term of the mortgage.
CONVERTIBLE ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE - adjustable rate mortgage that
gives the borrower the option to change to a fixed rate at specified times
during the term of the loan.
CONVERTIBLE MORTGAGE - mortgage which enables the lender to take
(convert to) an equity (ownership) position in the collateral security
(real estate) as opposed to that of a lienholder.
CONVEX - Having an angle or curvature greater than 180 degrees.
CONVEY - To transfer real estate from one person to another.
CONVEYANCE - Transfer of title to land. Includes most instruments by
which an interest in real estate is created, mortgaged, or assigned.
CONVEYANCE TAX - Also See: Transfer Tax.
COOP - structure to shelter chickens.
COOPERATING BROKER - broker who finds the buyer and so shares in the
commission with the listing broker.
COOPERATION CLAUSE - clause in the purchase agreements of both the
relinquished and replacement properties in a 1031 exchange stating that the
parties agree to do what is required (cooperate) by the IRS rules.
COOPERATIVE - Also See: Stock Cooperative.
COOPERATIVE APARTMENT - Also called a stock cooperative or a co-op. A
structure of two or more units in which the right to occupy a unit is
obtained by the purchase of stock in the corporation which owns the
building. Difficult to obtain financing because there is not individual
ownership of each unit. A forerunner of the condominium.
COPING - top or "cap" of a wall, usually convex to permit
the runoff of water.
COPSE - small wooded area. A thicket of trees or bushes.
CORBEL - timber or stone, set in and projecting from a wall, and used
to support a load.
CORD - measure, usually associated with cut wood. 128 cubic feet of
cut wood, or a pile 4' high, 4' wide, and 8' long.
CORNER - Most commonly, the acute angle formed by intersecting streets
CORNER BEAD - reinforcement placed in corners before plastering.
Commonly a strip of iron with metal lath.
CORNER BOARDS - boards (trim) covering the outside corners of a
CORNER BRACES - Braces nailed diagonally to the studs as a reinforcement
CORNER INFLUENCE - In appraisal, the effect on the value of a property
because it is on a corner or near a corner.
CORNER LOT - lot contiguous to two intersecting streets, and, for
purposes of value, having access to both streets.
CORNICE - "crowning" member of a wall. The top molding or
facade, generally of a decorative nature.
CORPORATE RESOLUTION - action taken by vote of the directors of a
corporation. A title insurance company may require a corporate resolution
before insuring a sale or loan made by a corporation.
CORPORATION - general term encompassing any group of people
"incorporating" by following certain statutory procedures. Most
common type of corporation is a private one formed to carry on a business.
CORPOREAL - Concerning material objects or property, rather than
non-material things, such as ideas. A machine would be corporeal; the
patent for it would be incorporeal.
CORPOREAL PROPERTY - That property which can be touched. For example: A
window (glass) is corporeal. The view through the window is incorporeal.
CORPUS - body; of people, laws, etc.
CORRECTION DEED - Also See: Rerecording.
CORRECTION LINES - Also See: Standard Parallels.
CORRELATION - use of different appraisal methods to reach an
estimate of value of a property. The methods must be weighed as to relative
value in each specific appraisal.
CORRIDOR - (1) hallway or passageway. (2) A strip of land used as a
passageway, such as an inland country's outlet to the sea, or between
heavily populated areas.
COSIGNER - Also See: Co-Maker.
COST - Technically, the original amount paid for anything. The term is
generally used as a synonym for value or the total amount invested,
including expenses after the original purchase.
COST APPROACH - appraisal method, estimating the replacement cost of
a structure, less depreciation, plus land value.
COST ESTIMATING - (1) In construction, the expenditure of building based
on a detailed cost of materials to be used. (2) In appraisal the term is
general, referring to replacement cost, but not limited to a specific
method of arriving at said cost.
COST OF FUNDS INDEX (COFI) - Also See: COFI.
COST OF LIVING ESCALATION - Also See: Escalation Clause (2).
COST OF LIVING INDEX - government indicator of the increase or
decrease of living costs for the average person on a monthly basis. See
also: Escalation Clause (2).
COST OF OCCUPANCY - Cost (usually monthly) of a business to occupy its
property exclusive of any costs of doing business.
COST OF REMODELING - Expense of alterations to raise the value of a
property, rather than to make repairs.
COST OF REPAIRS - Expenses to maintain the value of a property by
restoring the worn- out or broken parts of the structure.
COST RECOVERY - Also See: Depreciation (2).
COST-PLUS CONTRACT - building contract setting the builder's profit at
a set percentage of actual cost of labor and materials.
COTENANCY - general term covering both joint tenancy and tenancy in
COTTAGE - Originally, a house with no surrounding land belonging to it.
Modernly, a small house, perhaps used as a summer home.
COULOMB - measure of electricity equal to a one second electrical
charge in a current having a constant flow of one ampere.
COUNSELOR (COUNSELLOR) - (1) lawyer. (2) One designated as a real
estate counselor by the American Society of Real Estate Counselors. The
designation indicates an extremely high standard of knowledge and
experience on the part of the conferee.
COUNSELOR OF REAL ESTATE (CRE) - designation conferred by the
Counselors of Real Estate, an affiliated association of the NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. The designation is not just for those in the real
estate business but includes lawyers, accountants, financial firms,
government employees and educators.
COUNSELORS OF REAL ESTATE - association affiliated with the NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Its members provide counseling in various aspects
of real estate. The association offers publications and courses in
counseling and confers the designation of Counselor of Real Estate.
COUNTER FLASHING - Flashing (tar substance) used on chimneys at the
roofline to prevent entry of moisture, and cover the metal sheet flashing.
COUNTER OFFER - offer (instead of acceptance) in response to an
offer. For example: A offers to buy B's house for X dollars. B, in
response, offers to sell to A at a higher price. B's offer to A is a
COUNTER-LETTER - In civil law (Louisiana), when a deed is given to a
lender as security, an agreement to reconvey (counter-letter) upon payment
of a certain amount is given by the lender.
COUNTY - political division within a state, usually encompassing one
or more cities or towns. There are exceptions such as New York City which
contains more than one county. Louisiana uses the word parrish instead of
county; New York uses both borough and county, as in Kings County (the
borough of Brooklyn).
COUNTY MORTGAGE - mortgage placed on property by the county to secure
aid given to indigent persons. Generally paid upon sale of the property.
Also called an indigent mortgage.
COUNTY RECORDS - Public recorded documents by which notice is given of
changes of title, liens, and other matters affecting real estate.
COUNTY ROAD - (1) road lying entirely in one county. (2) Any road or
portion of a road under the jurisdiction and maintenance of the county. (3)
Loosely, any road not a federal or state road.
COURSE - (1) path or direction of a river. (2) Something designed so
that it must be used by following a certain direction, such as a golf
course or race course. (3) A continuous row or layer of wood, bricks,
COURSES AND DISTANCES - Terminology used in surveying, meaning metes and
bounds. See also: Metes and Bounds.
COURT - (1) totally uncovered space, wholly or partly surrounded by
walls or buildings. (2) A blind alley, short street, or short cul de sac.
(3) A courtroom.
COURTESY TO BROKERS - Willingness of a seller to pay a commission to any
broker supplying a suitable buyer; or the willingness of a listing broker
to share the commission with any broker supplying a suitable buyer.
COVE - (1) arched, rather than square angle, meeting of a ceiling and
wall. (2) An inlet or small bay.
COVE MOLDING - small, concave faced molding, used to cover a narrow
gap or angle.
COVENANT - Generally, almost any written agreement. Most commonly in
real estate, assurances set forth (expressed) in a deed by the grantor or
implied by law. Example: Covenant against encumbrances, covenant of right
to convey, etc.
COVENANT NOT TO COMPETE - promise (covenant) usually by a seller of a
business, not to operate a competitive business after the sale. The more
specific the restriction (time limit, distance, etc.), the more easily it
COVENANT OF QUIET ENJOYMENT - Usually inserted in leases or conveyances
whereby lessor or grantor promises that the tenant or grantee shall enjoy
possession of the premises in peace and without disturbance caused by
COVENANTS RUNNING WITH THE LAND - Also See: Running With The Land.
COVENANTS, CONDITIONS, AND RESTRICTIONS - Also See: CC&R's.
CPA - Also See: Certified Public Accountant.
CPM - Also See: Certified Property Manager.
CRA - Also See: Community Reinvestment Act.
CRADLE - (1) framework or support, built to shield or protect its
contents. (2) The path prepared to catch a falling tree to prevent damage
to the tree.
CRAMDOWN - term used in chapter 13 (wage earner restructuring debt)
bankruptcy. A secured loan is reduced when the loan balance exceeds the
reasonable value of the collateral security. The amount above that value
becomes unsecured. Used mainly for personal property loans but now starting
to be used for mortgage loans. A portion of the mortgage, if it exceeds the
value of the property, can become an unsecured loan.
CRAWL SPACE - space between the ground and the first floor of a
structure (usually a house). Repair of utilities under the house may be
made by a person crawling through the shallow space.
CRB - Also See: Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager.
CREATIVE FINANCING - general term which encompasses any method of
financing property going beyond traditional real estate lending.
CREDIT - (1) financial worthiness of a borrower. The history of
whether this borrower has met financial obligations on time in the past.
(2) An accounting term designating money received or receivable, as opposed
to debit which is money payed or payable.
CREDIT BUREAU - company that compiles information on a person's credit
history. Also called a Consumer Reporting Bureau.
CREDIT BUREAU SCORE - number representing the credit worthiness of a
CREDIT ENHANCEMENT - requirement of additional collateral security,
such as mortgage insurance, to protect a lender against loss.
CREDIT HISTORY - past and present debts of a potential borrower. It
is used to see if the person pays obligations as agreed and whether any
past defaults have led to judgments or bankruptcy.
CREDIT LIFE INSURANCE - Also See: Mortgage Life Insurance.
CREDIT LINE REVERSE MORTGAGE - maximum amount is established as a line
of credit. The borrower can write checks up to this amount. This loan
allows repayment and reborrowing during the life of the loan, but does not
require repayment until the loan ends. This occurs either at the borrower's
sale of the property or the borrower's death. See also: Reverse Mortgage.
CREDIT REPORT - report to a prospective lender on the credit
standing of a prospective borrower. Several national and local companies
make such reports that tell of a borrowers ability to make payments.
CREDIT REPOSITORY - Also See: Credit bureau.
CREDITOR - One who is owed money.
CREDITOR'S COMPOSITION - agreement by creditors to take a portion of
a debt as satisfaction for the total due. Generally done to avoid a debtor
having to declare bankruptcy.
CREDITOR'S POSITION - (1) portion of the value of property which is
mortgaged, rather than the equity. (2) The portion of the value of property
upon which a first mortgage could be obtained.
CREEK - (1) inlet, going deeper into land than a cove. (2) A stream
which empties into a river or bay.
CRICKET - small, convex roof, placed on a larger roof or surface, to
promote drainage in areas of the surface which have barriers to said
CROFT - obsolete term referring to a small farm or area to be farmed.
CROP - specific harvest in a single growing season, such as the corn
crop, apple crop, etc.
CROP ROTATION - planting of crops such as peas and beans (leguminous
plants), which add nitrogen to the soil, on an alternating basis with crops
such as corn, wheat, etc., which take nitrogen from the soil.
CROPLAND - (1) Any land suited for farming (the growing of crops). (2)
Land upon which crops are actually grown or growing.
CROSS CONNECTING ROAD - road connecting two parallel roads, usually at
a right angle.
CROSS SECTION - surface exposed by cutting at a right angle to an
axis (usually the longer axis) of an object.
CROSS-BRIDGING - Strengthening a structure by bracing cross members
between the joists, thereby spreading the weight over a larger area.
CROWN MOLDING - large molding used on a cornice or to cover a wide gap
CRUISE - surveying report showing the amount and type of timber in a
given area or stand.
CUBIC CONTENT - number of cubic feet in a building, measured from
the exterior surfaces of the exterior walls and roof, and the interior
surface of an unfinished floor or six inches below the finished surface of
CUBIC FEET PER MINUTE - air flow measure used to grade the efficiency
of ventilating fans.
CUBIC FOOT - Also See: Cubic Measure.
CUBIC FOOT COST - cost of construction of a structure, divided by
the number of cubic feet of the structure. Also See: Cubic Content.
CUBIC FOOT METHOD - Also See: Comparative Method.
CUBIC FOOT PER SECOND - flow of water of one cubic foot per second.
Used as a measurement term in determining the flow of a river or stream.
CUBIC INCH - Also See: Cubic Measure.
CUBIC MEASURE - system of measuring volume or space by using cubic
units. One cubic inch is 1 inch long by 1 inch wide by 1 inch high; 1728
cubic inches equals 1 cubic foot; 27 cubic feet equals 1 cubic yard.
CUBIC YARD - Also See: Cubic Measure.
CUL DE SAC - street or ally open at one end only. Modernly, a street
in a subdivision, open at one end, and having a large, rounded, closed end
to facilitate U turns.
CULTURA - parcel of land which can be cultivated.
CULTURAL FEATURES - term denoting man made changes to land.
CULVERT - waterway or drainage ditch which crosses under a road.
CUPOLA - (1) structure, usually domelike, atop a roof. (2) A type of
foundry furnace for melting iron.
CURABLE DEPRECIATION - Repairs which an owner of real estate should make
to retain a high value, but which have not been made.
CURABLE FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE - Also See: Functional Obso-lescence.
CURABLE PHYSICAL DETERIORATION - Also See: Physical Deterioration.
CURB CUTS - part of a curb which lowers to street level to form the
apron of a driveway.
CURB LINE - line between the right of way for automobiles (road) and
the right of way for pedestrians (sidewalk).
CURRENT ASSETS - accounting term meaning cash or those things which
can be readily converted to cash, such as short term accounts receivable.
CURRENT LIABILITIES - Short term debts.
CURTAIL SCHEDULE - schedule of partial principal payments (both
amounts and due dates) to reduce and retire an indebtedness.
CURTAIN WALL - outside wall which lends no structural support to a
building, but acts merely to enclose.
CURTESY - common law interest of a husband in the property of his
deceased wife. Abolished in most states.
CURTILAGE - grounds and secondary buildings surrounding a house
which are commonly used in connection with the everyday use of the house.
CURVILINEAR - Having boundaries of curved lines; may refer to
architecture, streets, etc.
CUSTODIAN - (1) One who is entrusted with the care and keeping of real
or personal property. See also: Custody. (2) A janitor.
CUSTODY - care and keeping of property (real or personal). For
example: An escrow agent has custody of documents and funds until closing.
CUSTOM BUILDER - One who builds for a specific owner, designing the
building to suit said owner's need, rather than building and then looking
for a buyer.
CUSTOMER - buyer of goods or services.
CUT-OVER LAND - Land from which the original growth has been cut away by
CUTS - In construction, the excavation of land into a terrace or
terraces, to control flooding, locate a highway, building, or affect the
grade for some other purpose.
CY PRES - As nearly as possible. A doctrine used to carry out the intent
of the donor when a specific charitable gift fails. Example: Land is left
in a will to the X Blood Bank. When the will is probated, X Blood Bank no
longer exists. The land is given to the Red Cross.
CYCLICAL MOVEMENT - term in economics describing the
business cycle of the national economy, from good to bad to good again.