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Real Estate Dictionary


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PACKAGE MORTGAGE - A method of financing in which the loan that finances the purchase of a home also finances the purchase of personal items such as a washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove and other specified appliances.

PARCEL - A specific portion of a larger tract; a lot.

PARTIAL RELEASE - A clause found in a mortgage which directs the mortgagee to release certain parcels from the lien of the blanket mortgage upon the payment of a certain sum of money.

PARTICIPATION MORTGAGE - A mortgage in which the lender participates in the income of the mortgaged venture beyond a fixed return, or receives a yield on the loan in addition to the straight interest rate.

PARTITION - The dividing of common interests in real property owned jointly by two or more persons.

PARTNERSHIP - "An association of two or more persons to carry on as co-owners a business for profit," as defined in the Uniform Partnership Act, which is in force in a majority of the states.

PARTY WALL - A wall which is located on or at a boundary line between two adjoining parcels and is used or is intended to be used by the owners of both properties in the construction or maintenance of improvements on their respective lots.

PENTHOUSE - An apartment located on the roof of a building, or more commonly, an apartment on the top floor of a building.

PERCENTAGE LEASE - A lease whose rental is based on a percentage of the monthly or annual gross sales made on the premises.

PERCOLATION TEST - A hydraulic engineer's test of soil to determine the ability of the ground to absorb and drain water.

PERFORMANCE BOND - A bond, usually posted by one who is to perform work for another, which assures that a project or undertaking will be completed as per agreement or contract.

PERIODIC TENANCY - A leasehold estate which continues from period to period, such as month to month, year to year. All conditions and terms of the tenancy are carried over from period to period, and continue for an uncertain time until proper notice of termination is given.

PERMANENT FINANCING - A long-term loan, as opposed to an interim loan.

PERSONAL PROPERTY - Things which are tangible and moveable; property which is not classified as real property; chattels; personalty.

PIGGYBACK LOAN - A joint loan with two lenders sharing a single mortgage.

PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT (PUD) - A modern concept in housing designed to produce a high density of dwellings and maximum utilization of open spaces.

PLAT - A map or a town, section, or subdivision indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties.

PLOTTAGE - The merging or consolidating of adjacent lots into one larger lot, with the consequent result of improved usability and increased value; also called assemblage.

POCKET LISTING - A listing which is retained by the listing broker or salesperson, who does not make it available to other brokers in the office or to other Multiple Listing Service members.

POINT OF BEGINNING - The starting point in a metes and bounds description of property, which is usually a street intersection or a specific monument.

POINTS - A generic term for a percentage of the principal loan amount which the lender charges for making the loan; each point is equal to one percent of the loan amount.

POLICE POWER - The constitutional authority and inherent power of a state to adopt and enforce laws and regulations to promote and support the public health, safety, morals and general welfare.

POPULATION EQUIVALENT - The numerical value given to a development that translates its use of sewer and water facilities into a common factor, facilitating capacity analysis of those utilities.

PORTE COCHERE - A roofed structure extending from the entrance of a building over an adjacent driveway to shelter those getting into or out of vehicles.

POSSESSION - The act of either actually or constructively possessing or occupying property.

POWER OF ATTORNEY - A written instrument authorizing a person(the attorney-in-fact) to act as the agent on behalf of another to the extent indicated in the instrument.

POWER OF SALE - A clause written into a mortgage authorizing the mortgagee to sell the property in the event of default.

PRELIMINARY PLAT - The draft subdivision plan which is submitted for preliminary approval by the Municipality. Once approved it is revised and submitted as a final plat. In the case of a Planned Unit Development, the preliminary plat is known as the Preliminary Plan.

PREMISES - The subject property, such as the property which is deeded or the unit that is leased.

PREPAID INTEREST - The paying of interest before it is due.

PREPAYMENT PENALTY - The amount set by the creditor as a penalty to the debtor for paying off the debt prior to its maturity. The prepayment penalty is charged by the lender to recoup a portion of interest that he had planned to earn when he made the loan.

PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGE - The right of the debtor to pay off part or all of the debt without penalty prior to maturity, such as in a mortgage or agreement of sale.

PRE-SALE - A pre-construction sale program by a condominium developer who is required to sell a certain percentage of units before a lender will commit to finance construction of the project.

PRESCRIPTION - The acquiring of a right in property, usually in the form of an intangible property right such as an easement or right-of-way, by means of adverse use of property that is continuous and uninterrupted for the prescriptive period.

PRESENT VALUE OF ONE DOLLAR - A doctrine which is based on the fact that money has a time value. The present worth of a payment to be received at some time in the future is the amount of the payment less the loss of interest.

PRIME RATE - The minimum interest rate charged by a commercial bank on short-term loans to its largest and strongest clients(those with the highest credit standings).

PRINCIPAL - The capital sum; interest is paid on the principal. NOT spelled principle.

PRINCIPAL BROKER - The licensed broker directly in charge of and responsible for the real estate operations conducted by a brokerage company.

PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE - A special form of insurance designed to permit lenders to increase their loan-to-market-value ratio, often up to 95 percent of the market value of the property.

PROBATE - The formal judicial proceeding to prove or confirm the validity of a will. The will is presented to the probate court, and creditors and interested parties are notified to present their claims or to show cause why the provisions of the will should not be enforced by the court.

PROCURING CAUSE - That effort which brings about the desired result, as in producing the buyer for the listed property.

PRO FORMA STATEMENT - A projection of future income and expenses.

PROMISSORY NOTE - An unconditional written promise of one person to pay a certain sum of money to another, or order, or bearer, at a future specified time.

PROPERTY - The rights or interests a person has in the thing owned; not, in the technical sense, the thing itself. These rights include the right to possess, to use, to encumber, to transfer and to exclude, commonly called the "bundle of rights."

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT - That aspect of real estate devoted to the leasing, managing, marketing and overall maintenance of the property of others.

PROPERTY REPORT - A disclosure document required under the federal interstate land sales act where applicable to the interstate sale of subdivided lots.

PROPRIETARY LEASE - A written lease in a cooperative apartment building, between the owner-corporation and the tenant-stockholder, in which the tenant is given the right to occupy a particular unit.

PRORATE - To divide or distribute proportionately.

PROSPECT - A person or corporation who may be interested in buying or selling real property. The prospect does not become a client until the parties establish a fiduciary relationship, such as upon signing a listing contract or upon executing a DROA.

PROSPECTUS - A printed statement distributed to describe, advertise and give advance information on a business, venture, project or stock issue.

PUBLIC HEARING - The part of an official Municipality meeting (held by the Planning Commission/Zoning Board of Appeals and Municipality Board) where information is heard, and after which action is taken regarding development proposals as well as other Municipality business.

PUFFING - Exaggerated or superlative comments or opinions not made as representations of fact and thus not a grounds for misrepresentation. A statement such as "the apartment has a fantastic view," is puffing because the prospective buyer can clearly assess the view in each case.

PUNCH LIST - A discrepancy list showing defects in construction which need some corrective work to bring the building up to standards set by the plans and specifications.

PURCHASE MONEY MORTGAGE - A mortgage given to the seller as part of the buyer's consideration for the purchase of real property, and delivered at the same time that the real property is transferred as a simultaneous part of the transaction.

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