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Real Estate Dictionary


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MAINTENANCE - The care and work put into a building to keep it in operation and productive use; the general repair and upkeep of a building. If maintenance is deferred, the building will suffer a loss in value.

MALL - A landscaped public area set aside for pedestrian traffic.

MARGINAL LAND - Land which is of little value because of some deficiency, such as poor access, lack of adequate rainfall, or steep terrain.

MARKETABLE TITLE - Good or clear title reasonably free from risk of litigation over possible defects; also referred to as merchantable title. Marketable title need not, however, be perfect title.

MARKET VALUE - The highest price, estimated in terms of money, which a property will bring if exposed for sale in the open market, allowing a reasonable time to find a purchaser who buys with knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used.

MASTER PLAN - A comprehensive plan to guide the long-term physical development of a particular area.

MEANDER LINE - An artificial line used by the surveyors to measure the natural, uneven, winding property line formed by rivers, streams and other watercourses bordering a property.

MECHANIC'S LIEN - A statutory lien created in favor of materialmen and mechanics to secure payment for materials supplied and services rendered in the improvement, repair or maintenance of real property.

METES AND BOUNDS - A common method of land description that identifies a property by specifying the shape and boundary dimensions of the parcel, using terminal points and angles.

MILITARY CLAUSE - A clause inserted in some residential leases to allow the military tenant to terminate the lease in case of transfer, discharge or other circumstances making termination appropriate.

MINERAL RIGHTS - Rights to subsurface land and profits. Normally, when real property is conveyed, the grantee receives all right and title to the land including everything above and below the surface, unless excepted by the grantor.

MISREPRESENTATION - A false statement or concealment of a material fact made with the intent to induce some action by another party.

MONEY - The cash deposit (including initial and additional deposits) paid by the prospective buyer of real property as evidence of his good faith intention to complete the transaction; called hand money or a binder in some states.

MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCY - A periodic tenancy where the tenant rents for one month at a time. In the absence of rental agreement (oral or written), a tenancy is deemed to be month-to-month, or in the case of boarders, week-to-week.

MONUMENTS - Visible markers, both natural and artificial objects, which are used to establish the lines and boundaries of a survey.

MORTGAGE - A legal document used to secure the performance of an obligation. In effect, the mortgage states that the lender can look to the property in the event the borrower defaults in payment of the note.

MORTGAGE BANKER - A corporation or firm which normally provides its own funds for mortgage financing.

MORTGAGE BROKER - A person or firm which acts as an intermediary between borrower and lender; one who, for compensation or gain, negotiates, sells or arranges loans and sometimes continues to service the loans.

MORTGAGEE - The one who receives and holds a mortgage as security for a debt; the lender; a lender or creditor who holds a mortgage as security for payment of an obligation.

MORTGAGOR - The one who gives a mortgage as security for a debt; the borrower; usually the landowner; the borrower or debtor who hypothecates or puts up his property as security for an obligation.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS) - An organization created by Realtors to facilitate the sharing of listings among member brokers.

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