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September 29, 2008

 Glossary of Terms

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  • Early occupancy
    The condition in which buyers can occupy the property before the sale is completed.

  • Earnest money
    Money a buyer gives with an offer to purchase a property. Also called a deposit.

  • Earthquake insurance
    A policy that provides coverage against damage to a home from an earthquake.

  • Easement
    A right given to a third party to use a portion of the property for certain purposes, such as power lines or water mains.

  • Eaves
    The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.

  • Effective age
    The age of a structure estimated by its condition rather than its actual age.

  • Effective gross income
    Additional income that a lender considers when assessing the loan application of a potential borrower.

  • Electric service panel
    A panel that transfers power from the utility line into a house to be distributed through fuses or circuit breakers.

  • Elevations
    The exterior view of a home design that shows the position of the house relative to the grade of the land.

  • Ell
    An extension or wing of a house that is at right angles to the main structure.

  • Eminent domain
    The government's right to condemn private land for public use, such as the routing of a public highway.

  • Employer-assisted housing
    Programs which help employees purchase homes through special plans developed with lenders.

  • Empty nesters
    Potential buyers who have raised their families and want to move into a smaller home.

  • Encroachment
    Fences or other structures that extend into the property of another owner.

  • Encumbrance
    A claim or lien on a property which complicates the title process.

  • End loan
    The conversion from a construction loan to permanent financing a condominium buyer secures after all units in a project have been completed.

  • Endorser
    A person who signs over ownership of property to another party.

  • English Tudor style
    An architectural design that features stone or brick exterior walls and exposed beams.

  • Environmental impact statement
    A government-mandated evaluation of all aspects and effects a development will have on the environment of a proposed site.

  • Environmentally friendly home construction
    A method of construction that utilizes recycled materials.

  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
    A federal law that prohibits a lender or other creditor from refusing to grant credit based on the applicant's sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin or age. The law also prohibits a creditor from refusing to grant credit because the applicant receives public assistance.

  • Equifax
    Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc., is one of the "Big Three" credit-reporting bureaus that operate nationwide. Address: P.O. Box 740249, Atlanta, GA 30374.

  • Equity
    A determination of the value of a property after existing liens are deducted.

  • Errors and omissions insurance
    A policy that pays for any mistakes a builder or architect makes in a project.

  • Escrow
    A neutral third party holds the documents and money involved in a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met.. Escrow also refers to a special account that a lender establishes to hold monthly installments from the borrower to cover property taxes and insurance.

  • Escrow account
    An account that a lender or mortgage servicer establishes to hold funds for the payment of expenses such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. Also known as an impound account.

  • Escrow agent
    A neutral third party who ensures that all conditions of a real estate transaction are met.

  • Escrow analysis
    A lender's periodic examination of an escrow account to determine if the lender is withholding enough funds from a borrower's monthly mortgage payment to pay for expenses such as property taxes and insurance.

  • Escrow closing
    Escrow closes when all conditions of a real estate transaction are met and the title of the property is transferred to the buyer.

  • Escrow company
    Firms that act as neutral third parties to ensure that all conditions that the buyer, seller and lender establish in a real estate transaction are met.

  • Escrow payment
    Funds that a mortgage servicer withdraws from a borrower's escrow account to pay property taxes and insurance.

  • Estate
    The total assets of a person, including real property, at the time of death.

  • Eviction
    A legal procedure to remove a tenant for reasons including failure to pay rent.

  • Examination of title
    An inspection by a title company of public records and other documents to determine the chain of ownership of a property.

  • Excavation
    The process of clearing trees, removing topsoil and grading land before the foundation is laid.

  • Exclusive listing
    A contract that gives an agent the exclusive right to market a property for a specific period of time.

  • Executor
    A person appointed to carry out the instructions in a will. If there is no will, a probate court will appoint an executor.

  • Exhaust fan
    Ventilating devices that remove water vapor, undesired smells or smoke.

  • Experian
    Experian, formerly known as TRW Information Systems & Services, is one of the "Big Three" credit-reporting bureaus.. Address: 505 City Parkway West, Orange, CA 92868.