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MARKET VALUE - price at which a property will sell, assuming a knowledgeable
buyer and seller, both operating without undue pressure.
MERGER - combining of two or more entities (businesses) into one surviving entity.
MERGER OF TITLE - lesser interest in real property being merged (absorbed) into a greater interest. For example: A lessee purchases the property being leased. The interest as a lessee is merged into the interest as an owner, thus ending the leasehold interest.
MERIDIAN - circle or semicircle around the Earth in a North and South direction, always touching or passing through the poles. Used as a guide in surveying, being placed twenty-four miles apart and running from a base line.
MESNE - Intermediate, intervening.
MESNE ASSIGNMENT - Assignment from A to B to C to D would be described as passing from A by "mesne assignments" to D.
METAL LATH - heavy coarse screen or slit sheet of metal which is used as a base upon which plaster is spread.
METAL VALLEY - Also See: Flashing.
METAMORPHIC ROCK - One of the three major types of rock. A rock formed by metamorphosis (change) caused by heat and/or pressure.
METER - (1) metric unit of measurement, equal to 39.37 inches. (2) A device for measuring the use of public utilities, such as electricity, gas, etc.
METES AND BOUNDS - Description of land by boundary lines, with their terminal points and angles. Originally metes referred to distance, bounds to direction; modernly, the words have no individual meaning of practical significance.
METROPOLITAN AREA - major city and surrounding area. The extent of the surrounding area is usually determined by the extent of the influence of the city (commuters for work, shopping, etc.), on the surrounding area.
METROPOLITAN SHOPPING CENTER - Also See: Regional Shopping Center.
MEZZANINE - (1) partial floor between two floors (usually between the first and second). (2) The partial balcony of a theater between the orchestra floor and first balcony.
MICRORELIEF - Minor surface changes, such as channels, dunes, or low hummocks, rather than hills or mountains. The term is used by farm appraisers.
MILE - linear measurement equal to 5280 feet on land and 6076 feet across water (nautical mile). See also: Knot (2).
MILKING - Also See: Equity Skimming.
MILL - Equal to one tenth of a cent. Used in expressing a tax rate. Ten mills would be the same as ten dollars per thousand.
MILL CONSTRUCTION - type of construction specifically to retard fire. Relies on heavy timbers instead of normal size lumber, extensive use of brick, masonry, and other fire resistant materials.
MILLWORK - Parts of a building produced in a mill, such as doors, window sashes, etc. Differs from cabinet work, which is the work of a finish carpenter, done at a construction site, or precision work done by a cabinet maker, on or away from the construction site.
MINER'S INCH - indefinite measure of a flow of liquid. Generally agreed to be 1/40th or 1/50th of a cubic foot per second, but which fraction is used depends on area of the country.
MINERAL RIGHTS - ownership of the minerals (coal, gold, iron, etc.) under the ground, with or without ownership of the surface of the land. See also: Subsurface Rights.
MINERAL WOOL - fibrous material produced by the action of steam on molten rock, under pressure, and used as an insulating material. (Also called rock wool).
MINERALS - In real estate terms, those minerals of value which may be taken by mining, such as coal, iron, copper, gold, silver, etc. Mineral rights, as well as oil rights, may be sold or leased separately from the land itself.
MINIMUM LOT - smallest allowable lot size for development, as stipulated by local zoning laws.
MINIMUM RENTAL - fixed rental in a lease which contains some formula for a possibly higher rental, such as a percentage lease, overrides, etc.
MINING LEASE - right to extract (mine) minerals (coal, silver, etc.). See also: Oil and Gas Lease; Profit a Prendre.
MINOR - Any person under the age of 18, or under age 21 with regard to alcoholic beverages.
MINUTE - Also See: Degree (1).
MIRROR IMAGE RULE - term used to describe acceptance of certain types of contracts, such as contracts involving real estate. The term means that the offer must be unequivocally accepted to create the contract. If you looked at the offer and the acceptance, they would be the "mirror image" of each other.
MISNOMER - wrong name or mistake in name.
MISPLACED IMPROVEMENTS - appraisal term indicating an improvement on land which is not the highest and best use.
MISREPRESENTATION - statement or conduct by a person which represents to another a fact which is not true. A seller, broker, or builder may have a duty to disclose certain defects in property to a buyer or tenant. Failure to disclose is also misrepresentation. The misrepresentation may be deliberate (known to be wrong), negligent (should have known), or innocent (reasonably believed to be true). Depending on the facts and extent of misrepresentation, there may be a suit for damages, recision of a contract, punitive action against the broker (loss of license), etc.
MISSION ARCHITECTURE - Spanish style of architecture resembling those features of California missions.
MISTAKE - unintentional, non-negligent error or misunderstanding. A mistake may be of the facts (mistake of fact) or their legal effect (mistake of law).
MITER - To cut two pieces (usually wood) at an angle, to form a joint.
MOBIL HOME - Originally, a trailer pulled behind a car or truck cab. Now includes large homes which are not truly mobil but are constructed in the same manner as trailers, as opposed to conventional on-site construction.
MOBILE HOME PARK - Originally, a trailer park, having electrical hookups, and water. Modernly, a park-like area having facilities such as complete plumbing and utilities, a recreation center, security guards at the entrance, and mobil homes which are usually attached to foundations and are permanent structures.
MODEL HOME - home, often decorated, which is shown by a builder to prospective buyers of homes yet to be built. An identical home to the model is then constructed on a lot in the subdivision. The model home is generally sold last.
MODERNIZATION - To make changes to the interior or exterior of a structure for the purpose of reflecting developments of function or design which were not available at the time of the original construction.
MODIFICATION - Any change made to a document.
MODULAR HOUSE - Also See: Prefabricated House.
MOISTURE BARRIER - Insulating materials used to prevent the build up of moisture (condensation) in walls and other parts of a building.
MOLDING - Long, narrow strips of wood or synthetic material, used as a finish piece to cover the crack between the meeting of a wall with a floor or ceiling. Also used for decoration only.
MONEY MARKET - general term referring to the availability of money for short or long term loans.
MONEY MARKET MUTUAL FUNDS - Funds which invest in the "Money Market", a variety of interest bearing securities such as treasury bills and bank certificates of deposit. None is invested directly into real property or real property securities.
MONOLITHIC SLAB - concrete slab foundation where the slab and supporting beams are poured together. Also See: Floating Slab.
MONTH TO MONTH TENANCY - tenancy where no written lease is involved, rent being paid monthly. Some obligations as to notice of moving or eviction may exist by statute.
MONTHLY ADVANCE REVERSE MORTGAGE - mortgage under which the borrower receives monthly payments which are repaid in a lump sum, either at a specified time, when the borrower sells the property, or when the borrower dies. See also: Reverse Mortgage.
MONTHLY FIXED INSTALLMENT - monthly payment of principal and interest not subject to change.
MONUMENT - visible, permanent object, marked by a surveyor, to indicate the boundaries of land. May be artificial, such as a post, or natural, such as a tree or large stone.
MORATORIUM - period of suspension of legal rights or remedies. In real estate terms, most commonly used by governmental agencies (usually local) to suspend construction in certain areas until studies are completed to determine the best use for the land involved.
MORTAR - material used in masonry work as the "glue" holding stones or bricks together. It is composed of lime, cement, sand, and water, and hardens when it dries.
MORTGAGE - contract in which a borrower's property is pledged as security
for a loan which is to be repaid on an installment basis.
MORTGAGE BANKER - company providing mortgage financing with its own funds rather than simply bringing together lender and borrower, as does a mortgage broker. Although the mortgage banker uses its own funds, these funds are generally borrowed and the financing is either short term or, if long term, the mortgages are sold to investors (many times insurance companies) within a short time.
MORTGAGE BONDS - Bonds issued by corporations, which offer first mortgages on real property of the corporation as security for the payment of the bonds.
MORTGAGE BROKER - One who, for a fee, brings together a borrower and lender, and handles the necessary applications for the borrower to obtain a loan against real property by giving a mortgage or deed of trust as security. Also called a loan broker.
MORTGAGE CLAUSE - Also See: Loss Payable Clause.
MORTGAGE COMPANY - company authorized to arrange real estate loans, charging a fee for this service.
MORTGAGE CREDIT CERTIFICATE PROGRAM (MCC) - federal program authorized by the Tax Reform Act of 1984. The program allows a tax credit to a home buyer of a portion of the amount that would be paid in income tax. This enables a lender to raise the borrower's income when attempting to qualify the buyer for a home purchase.
MORTGAGE DISCOUNT - Also See: Discount Points.
MORTGAGEE - lender in a mortgage contract.
MORTGAGOR - borrower in a mortgage contract.
M & M LIEN - Also See: Mechanic's Lien.
M ROOF - roof constructed of two double pitched roofs, forming a shape similar to the letter M. Utilizes shorter rafters, making construction easier, and allows a lower overall height.
MADE-LAND - Artificially formed land, either by filling or dredging.
MAGISTRATE - Any civil public officer. Most commonly used to designate an inferior judicial officer, such as a justice of the peace, police justice, etc.
MAGISTRATE'S COURT - Court having jurisdiction over minor matters (small claims), and usually not a court of record.
MAGNESITE FLOORING - synthetic floor, floated approximately 1 1/2 inches thick, over a concrete floor. Composed of powdered magnesite, magnesium- chloride solution and fillers. Also used for outside steps in areas where cold is not severe.
MAH - Also See: Multifamily Affordable Housing
MAI - designation conferred by the Appraisal Institute upon member appraisers who are qualified to appraise all types of property as well as give real estate investment advice. See also: RM; SRA; SREA; SRPA.
MAIN - large conduit or pipe, carrying electricity, sewage, gas, etc., to or from branch lines.
MAIN CIRCUIT - principal circuit which feeds electric current into smaller circuits (branches) for distribution where needed.
MAINTENANCE - Keeping a property in condition to efficiently serve its intended purpose.
MAINTENANCE FEE - As applied to condominiums and planned developments, the amount charged each unit owner to maintain the common area. Usually a monthly fee paid as part of the budget.
MAINTENANCE RESERVE - Money reserved to cover anticipated maintenance costs.
MAJORITY - age at which a person is no longer a minor, and is legally entitled to contract and enjoy civic rights, such as voting.
MAKER - One who executes (signs) as the maker (borrower) of a note.
MALL - (1) shaded walkway or promenade. Modernly, the pedestrian area of a shopping center. May be open or enclosed. (2) A strip between two travelways; may be landscaped or paved. Also called a median strip.
MANAGEMENT - Also See: Property Management.
MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT - Also See: Property Management Agreement.
MANAGEMENT FEE - amount paid for property management or the estimated value of such management if owner managed or the building is not yet built.
MANDAMUS - Latin for "we command". A writ issued by a superior court ordering an inferior court, corporation, or individual, to do or refrain from doing specific acts. The main importance to real estate is that it is a writ commanding a governmental body to do something, such as issue a building permit.
MANSARD ROOF - four sided roof, each side having two separate slopes of different degree; the lower slope is at a much steeper angle than the upper slope.
MANTEL - (1) lintel of a fireplace opening, constructed by a post and lintel method. May be of stone, a heavy beam, or other material of strength. (2) A decorative shelf above a fireplace opening, not load- bearing.
MANUFACTURED HOME - structure built in a factory and assembled at the site. The term is also used to describe a mobile home. See also: Stick Built Home. A manufactured home is built using more metal and less wood and brick than a stick built home. Manufactured homes are less expensive than comparable stick built structures.
MANUFACTURED LOT - lot upon which construction of a building may begin. Having all off-site improvements and approvals of government agencies.
MAPS AND PLATS - Also See: Plat.
MARBLE - hard, single or multicolored limestone. In construction, used in place of tile in more expensive structures.
MARGIN - In an adjustable rate loan, the difference between the index rate and the interest rate of the loan. Example: The borrower's interest rate is 2 points (percent) over the prime rate. The 2 points is called the margin.
MARGIN OF SECURITY - Also See: Equity (2).
MARGINAL - investment not considered strong. One which barely supports itself.
MARGINAL LAND - (1) Any income producing land which barely covers expenses. (2) Land which is clearly not the best for an intended purpose, but may be adequate.
MARINA - small harbor or basin, having docks, supplies, and maintenance services for boats.
MARK - "X" or other symbol used by one who cannot write his or her name. Modernly not used often and laws as to the validity of using a mark should be checked.
MARKET DATA APPROACH - Appraising the value of a property by comparing the price of similar properties (comparables) recently sold. The degree of similarity (physical characteristics and locations) of the properties and the circumstances of the sale (time and terms) are the important considerations.
MARKET PRICE - price a property brings in a given market. Commonly used interchangeably with market value, although not truly the same. See also: Market Value.
MARKET RENT - Also See: Economic Rent.
MARKET VALUE - highest price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller accept, both being fully informed, and the property exposed for a reasonable period of time. The market value may be different from the price a property can actually be sold for at a given time.
MARKET VALUE APPROACH - Also See: Market Data Approach.
MARKETABILITY - Salability. The probability of selling property at a specific time, price and terms.
MARKETABLE TITLE - Title which can be readily marketed (sold) to a reasonably prudent purchaser aware of the facts and their legal meaning concerning liens and encumbrances.
MARQUEE - canopy-like projection over the entrance to a building, but not supported by posts or columns. Most commonly found on theaters and hotels.
MARSH - grassy area of ground which is always soft and wet. Usually distinguished from a swamp by the absence of trees in the marsh.
MASONRY - Anything constructed of the materials used by a mason, such as brick, stone, cement, adobe, etc; anything constructed by a mason of these materials.
MASONRY WALL - wall, constructed by a mason, of stone, brick, cement, or similar materials.
MASS APPRAISING - Appraising a whole district or area at the same time, in order to adjust property taxes.
MASSACHUSETTS TRUST - unincorporated association, not a partnership, doing business through a trustee. The name comes from authorization of such a trust under the laws of the state of Massachusetts.
MASTER ASSOCIATION - In a multi phase condominium or planned unit development project there may be homeowners' associations that are concerned with specific areas of the project. The Master Association oversees these associations and handles matters affecting the entire project.
MASTER FORM INSTRUMENT - Also See: Fictitious Instrument.
MASTER LEASE - lease controlling subsequent leases. May cover more property than subsequent leases. For example: "A" leases an office building, containing ten offices, to "B". "B" subsequently leases the ten offices individually. The ten leases from "B" as lessor are controlled by the lease from "A" to "B" (master lease).
MASTER PLAN - zoning plan for an entire governmental subdivision, such as a city. A comprehensive plan to allow a city to grow in an orderly and sound manner, both economically and ecologically.
MASTER POLICY - insurance policy to a lender covering property in more than one location. If more than one state is involved, underlying policies may be issued to meet state requirements.
MATCHED BOARDS - Also See: Tongue and Grove.
MATERIAL FACT - fact upon which an agreement is based, and without which, said agreement would not be made.
MATERIALMAN - One who supplies construction materials. See also: Mechanic's Lien.
MATURITY - (1) Termination period of a note. For example: A 30 year mortgage has a maturity of 30 years. (2) In sales law, the date a note becomes due.
MEAN - middle point between two extremes; or an average, having an intermediate value between two extremes or between several successive values of variable quantity, such as mean low tide and mean high tide.
MEAN HIGH WATER MARK - point on the shore which the average high tide will reach.
MEAN LOW WATER MARK - point on the shore which the average low tide will reach.
MEANDER - To follow a winding or flexuous course, usually referring to a river or stream.
MEANDER LINES - Lines run in surveying lands which border navigable rivers to determine the sinuosities of the river.
MECHANIC'S & MATERIALMAN'S LIEN - Also See: Mechanic's Lien.
MECHANIC'S LIEN - lien created by statute for the purpose of securing priority of payment for the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in construction or repair of improvements to land, and which attaches to the land as well as the improvements.
MECHANIC'S LIEN SURETY BOND - bond, from a bonding company, indemnifying a title insurer against loss from writing a policy before expiration of the mechanic's lien period.
MEDIAN STRIP - divider, being a strip of land rather than a fence or barrier, between oncoming lanes of a roadway.
MEETING OF THE MINDS - legal term meaning the mutual agreement necessary to form a contract. It is not based on what may actually be in the minds of the parties, but rather based on whether the acts of the parties and circumstances of the contract indicate that the parties agree.
MEGALOPOLIS - Modern work describing a heavily populated continuous urban area including many cities.
MERGE - To combine two or more entities, so that one survives, the other or others becoming part of the surviving entity, and losing their identity.
MERGE LINE - appraisal term. The line which arbitrarily splits a lot which fronts on two parallel streets, so that each portion will have the highest value.
MERGED CREDIT REPORT - credit history that is compiled from all three of the major credit bureaus and combined into one report.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE - Insurance written by an independent mortgage insurance company (referred to as an +MIC') protecting the mortgage lender against loss incurred by a mortgage default, thus enabling the lender to lend a higher percentage of the sales price. The Federal Government writes this form of insurance through the FHA and the VA.
MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUM (MIP) - amount paid for FHA mortgage insurance. When paid to a private company, it is commonly referred to as Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).
MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE - term life insurance policy for the amount of the declining balance of a loan secured by a mortgage or deed of trust. The beneficiary under the policy is the mortgagee. In the event of death (some policies also cover disability) of the insured (mortgagor), the mortgage is paid in full.
MORTGAGE MODIFICATION - refinancing plan to help a mortgagor in default. The payment may be reduced if the amount refinanced is lower than the original mortgage amount or the term is extended. A mortgagor may qualify if he/she has recovered from a financial problem and can afford the new payment amount.
MORTGAGE OUT - To finance the total cost of a property or project.
MORTGAGE POLICY (MORTGAGEE'S POLICY) - Also See: Loan Policy.
MORTGAGE POOL - group or "pool" of mortgages, an interest in which can be purchased through a securities dealer. Because of market changes in interest rates and points (discounts), early payoffs, and foreclosures, pools have different returns and, therefore, different investment values. The rate of payoffs and foreclosures is called the "speed" of the pool.
MORTGAGE REVENUE BONDS - Bonds sold on a state or local level (tax exempt) to finance real estate sales, construction, or refurbishing. Used in many instances to create affordable housing.
MORTGAGE SAVING (OR SAVINGS) CLAUSE - clause in the CC&R's (covenants, conditions, and restrictions) which states that a violation of the CC&R's shall not defeat a subsequent mortgage made in good faith and for value.
MORTGAGE SERVICING - Controlling the necessary duties of a mortgagee, such as collecting payments, releasing the lien upon payment in full, foreclosing if in default, and making sure the taxes are paid, insurance is in force, etc. Servicing may be done by the lender or a company acting for the lender, for a servicing fee.
MORTGAGE WAREHOUSING - system whereby a mortgage company will hold loans which would ordinarily be sold, in order to sell later at a lower discount. These mortgages are used as collateral security with a bank to borrow new money to loan.
MORTGAGE-BACKED CERTIFICATES - Also See: Mortgage-backed Securities.
MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES - Securities similar to bonds, but having their value based on a pool of mortgages or trust deeds (usually government insured). The rate of return is based on the interest rate of the mortgages, plus early payoffs, which increases the value of any discounts. The price of the securities will vary as comparative (current) interest rates rise and fall. Also See: Collateralized Mortgage Obligation.
MORTGAGEE - party lending the money and receiving the mortgage. Some states treat the mortgagee as the "legal" owner, entitled to rents from the property. Other states treat the mortgagee as a secured creditor, the mortgagor being the owner. The latter is the more modern and accepted view.
MORTGAGOR - party who borrows the money and gives the mortgage.
MORTISE - rectangular opening, cut in wood or other material, to receive a bar of wood or other material for the purpose of securing the two parts in a mortise joint.
MOTEL - Originally, a building near a major highway to accommodate travelers, offering a place to sleep and park. Over the years, motels have come to offer most of the features of hotels, such as restaurants, recreation, etc.
MULLION - vertical bar separating panes of a window or panels of a door. Also an upright framing member of panels or wainscoating.
MULTIFAMILY AFFORDABLE HOUSING (TARGETED AFFORDABLE HOUSING) - Multifamily property with a certain percentage of the units set aside for low income families. The rental amount is based on a percentage of the median income of the area, adjusted for family size. Appropriate units meet FNMA's Multifamily Affordable Housing lending requirements.
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING - (1) building occupied by more than one family. (2) A building designed as a dwelling for more than four families at the same time.
MULTIFAMILY MORTGAGE - loan secured by a mortgage on a residence consisting of more than four units.
MULTIFAMILY PROPERTY - To meet the FNMA definition it is a residential property of not less than five dwelling units with not more than 20 percent of the net rentable area rented or set aside for rent to non-residential tenants.
MULTIPLE DWELLING - Also See: Multifamily Dwelling.
MULTIPLE LISTING - exclusive listing, submitted to all members of an association, so that each may have an opportunity to sell the property.
MUNICIPAL CORPORATION - town, city, or village, incorporated as a political corporation under state statutes. Would not include a county, or such political divisions as a district.
MUNICIPAL ORDINANCE - Also See: Ordinance.
MUNIMENTS OF TITLE - Written evidence (documents) which an owner possesses to prove his title to property.
MUNTIN - horizontal bar, dividing window panes in a window.
MUTUAL SAVINGS BANK - institution owned by its depositors, as evidenced by certificates of deposit rather than stock. These institutions are active in long term real estate financing, as opposed to commercial banks, which concentrate more on short term loans.
MUTUAL WATER COMPANY - company in which the owners are the customers. Stock is issued to the users, who are the organizers of the company.