Real Estate Glossary

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Sales contract
Contract that contains the terms of the agreement between the buyer and seller for the sale of a particular parcel or parcels of real estate.

Second mortgage
Lien on property that is subordinate to a first mortgage. In the event of default, the second mortgage is repaid after the first. Also called a junior mortgage, and in some circumstances a home equity loan.

Secondary mortgage market
Market for the purchase and sale of existing mortgages, designed to provide greater liquidity for mortgages; plays an important role in getting money from those who want to lend to those who want to borrow.

Seller’s market
One with few sellers and many buyers.

One structure containing two dwelling units separated vertically by a common wall.

The day on which title is conveyed.

Settlement costs
See closing costs.

Special assessment
A special tax imposed on specific parcels of real estate that will benefit from a proposed public improvement, such as a street or sewer.

The illegal practice of directing potential home buyers to or away from certain neighborhoods either to maintain or to change the character of an area, or to create a speculative situation.

A tract of land divided by the owner into smaller lots for homesites or other use.

The leasing of premises by a lessee to a third party for part of the lessee’s remaining term.

An exact measurement of the size and boundaries of a piece of land by civil engineers or surveyors.

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