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September 29, 2008

 Glossary of Terms

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  • Tap fees
    Most companies charge a tap fee for hooking up utilities.

  • Tax deduction
    A tax break given by the government. Mortgage interest, loan points and property taxes can be deducted.

  • Tax lien
    An impediment placed against a property, such as back taxes.

  • Tax sale
    The public sale of a property by the government for nonpayment of taxes.

  • Tax shelter
    A term often applied to real estate investment and refers to various tax advantages.

  • Tear-down condition
    A house that requires the entire interior to be rebuilt.

  • Teaser rate
    An low, short-term rate offered on a mortgage to entice the borrower.

  • Tenancy by the entirety
    When a married couple owns a home, it is usually considered tenancy by the entirety If the property must be sold to pay the debts of one spouse, both must agree.

  • Tenants in common
    Two or more owners who share interest in a specific property.

  • Terrace
    A terrace can be several things: an unroofed paved area right next to a house; a roofed balcony; a veranda; or a raised bed of earth constructed to enhance a landscape.

  • The 72-hour clause
    When a buyer has a house to sell before they can purchase another home, most sellers insist on a 72-hour clause. In the event of a better offer coming in before the contingency is settled, this clause entitles the seller to give the buyer 72 hours to remove the contingency or lose the house.

  • Third-party origination
    In a third-party origination transaction, the lender has another institution originate all or part of a mortgage.

  • Timeshare
    Ownership that involves the acquisition of a specific period of time, or that percentage of interest, in a vacation home or resort.

  • Title
    The actual legal document conferring ownership of a piece of real estate.

  • Title company
    Firms that ensure that the title to a piece of property is clear and provide title insurance.

  • Title insurance
    A policy issued to lenders and buyers to protect any losses because of a dispute over the ownership of a piece of property.

  • Title risk
    Possible impediments to the transfer of a title from one owner to another.

  • Title search
    A check of public title records to ascertain that the seller is the legal owner and that there are no claims or liens against the property.

  • Top producer
    A real state industry term that refers to agents and brokers who sell a high volume of homes.

  • Top soil
    The top layer of soil that is removed when lots are graded in preparation for construction.

  • Total expense ratio
    The percentage of monthly debt obligations relative to gross monthly income.

  • Townhouse
    An attached home that is not a condominium.

  • Tract home
    Another term for a production home, a mass-produced house constructed by one builder in a project.

  • Trade equity
    Other real estate or assets a buyer gives to a seller as part of the down payment.

  • Trading down
    A reference to buyers who purchase a home that is less expensive than their current house.

  • Trading up
    A reference to buyers who purchase a home that is more expensive home than their current house.

  • Transfer of ownership
    Any legal means by which a piece of real estate changes hands.

  • Transfer tax
    An assessment by state or local authorities at the time a piece of property changes hands.

  • Transom
    A small hinged window directly above a door.

  • Trans-Union
    Trans-Union Corp. is one of the "Big Three" credit-reporting bureaus that operate nationwide. Address: 760 Sproul Road, P.O. Box 390, Springfield, PA 19064-0390. Phone: (312) 408-1400.

  • Tray ceiling
    A tray ceiling has edges that slant toward the middle from the walls.

  • Treasury bills
    Securities issued by the Treasury Department that have the full backing of the U.S. government.

  • Treasury index
    An index used to determine interest rate changes for adjustable rate mortgages.

  • Trellis
    A decorative landscape structure made of thin strips of wood or plastic.

  • Trim work
    The finishing of doors, doorways, window frames and floors.

  • Truss
    A prefabricated framework of girders, struts and other items used to support a roof or other load-bearing elements.

  • Trust account
    Special accounts used by brokers and escrow agents to safeguard funds for a buyer or seller.

  • Trustee
    A legally empowered person who holds or controls a piece of property for another person.

  • Truth-in-Lending Act
    A federal law that protects consumers in a variety of ways. One of its key provisions allows a consumer to cancel a home-improvement loan, second mortgage or other loan if the home was pledged as security (except for a first mortgage or first trust deed) until midnight of the third business day after the contract was signed.

  • Tuck-point
    The process of removing old mortar from between bricks and replacing it with new mortar.

  • Two- to four-family property
    A piece of property that is owned by one person but provides housing for up to four households.

  • Two-step mortgage
    An adjustable mortgage with two interest rates, one for the first five or seven years of the loan, and the other for the remainder of the loan term.