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September 29, 2008

 Glossary of Terms

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  • Damper
    A movable plate in a fireplace that allows smoke and fumes to travel up the chimney's flue.

  • Days on the market
    The period of time a property is listed for sale until it is sold or taken off the market

  • Deadbolt lock
    Locks that require a key to open from the outside and a turn button from the inside.

  • Debt
    Any amount one person owes to another.

  • Deck
    A roofless, floored area that adjoins a house.

  • Deed
    The legal document that transfers ownership of a piece of property.

  • Deed of trust
    A document that gives a lender the right to foreclose on a piece of property if the borrower defaults on the loan.

  • Deep-seal floor drain
    A drain used to dispose of water from the basement floor to a sewer line.

  • Default
    The failure to fulfill a duty or promise or discharge an obligation, such as making monthly mortgage payments.

  • Deferred maintenance
    Any repair or maintenance of a piece of property that has been postponed, resulting in a decline in property value.

  • Delinquent mortgage
    A mortgage that involves a borrower who is behind on payments. If the borrower cannot bring the payments up to date within a specified number of days, the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings.

  • Density test
    An analysis of soil to determine if the surface can support the foundation of a house.

  • Dentils
    Small rectangular blocks that project from a building, usually under cornices or along rooflines.

  • Deposit
    Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase property. Also called earnest money.

  • Depreciation
    The decline in value of a piece of property.

  • Design/build
    A project in which the owner contracts directly with an individual or company to perform design and construction.

  • Designer
    Unlike architects, designers are limited to drawing blueprints.

  • Digital images
    Images that are incorporated into house listings to give potential buyers a view of the property.

  • Dimension plans
    Plans which show the layout of a house but are less detailed than full blueprints.

  • Disability insurance
    An insurance policy which covers an individual's ability to produce income.

  • Disclosure
    A statement to a potential buyer listing information relevant to a piece of property, such as the presence of radon or lead paint.

  • Discount points
    Fees that a borrower pays at the time the lender makes the loan. A point equals 1 percent of the total loan amount.

  • Distressed property
    Property that is in poor physical or financial condition.

  • Document needs list
    A list of documents a lender requires when a potential submits a loan application.. The required documents range from paycheck stubs to credit card statements.

  • Domed ceiling
    A hemispherical ceiling that projects upward without support.

  • Domicile
    A person's primary or permanent home.

  • Dormer
    A window set upright in a sloping roof.

  • Double-hung window
    A window that consists of two sashes that slide up and down.

  • Dovetail joints
    Joints that lock two pieces of wood together with meshed teeth.

  • Down payment
    The amount of money a buyer agrees to give the seller when a sales agreement is signed. Complete financing is later secured with a lender.

  • Down spouts
    A vertical gutter that empties water from the roof to the ground.

  • Drainage
    A system of gutters and drainpipes that carry water away from the foundation of a house.

  • Draw
    A payment made to subcontractors or suppliers from a construction loan.

  • Dropped ceiling
    A flat ceiling built lower than the original ceiling.

  • Dry rot
    A fungal decay that causes wood to become brittle and crumble.

  • Drywall
    A construction material composed of gypsum or plaster wrapped in paper and produced in large sheets that can be nailed to wall studs.

  • Dual agency
    A relationship in which a real estate agent or broker represents both parties in a transaction.

  • Duct
    Any kind of pipe or channel that carries water, wiring or conditioned air through a house.

  • Due-on-sale clause
    Standard language in a mortgage which states that the loan must be paid when a house is sold.

  • Duplex
    A structure that consists of two separate family units.

  • Dutch colonial style
    A design that features barn-like gambrel roof, a ground-level front porch, and dormers.