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Calendar Year
A year using the actual number of days in each month for a total of 365 days in a year (366 days in a leap year).
Call option
A provision in the mortgage that gives the mortgagee the right to call the mortgage due and payable at the end of a specified period for whatever reason.
Cap
The maximum allowable increase, for either payment or interest rate, for a specified amount of time on an adjustable rate mortgage.
Capital
(1) Money used to create income, either as an investment in a business or an income property. (2) The money or property comprising the wealth owned or used by a person or business enterprise. (3) The accumulated wealth of a person or business. (4) The net worth of a business represented by the amount by which its assets exceed liabilities.
Capital expenditure
The cost of an improvement made to extend the useful life of a property or to add to its value.
Capital gain
Profit earned from the sale of an asset.
Capital improvement
Any structure or component erected as a permanent improvement to real property that adds to its value and useful life.
Capitalization
A mathematical process for estimating the value of a property using a proper rate of return on the investment and the annual net operating income expected to be produced by the property. The formula is expressed as Income -------- = Value Rate.
Capitalization rate
The rate of return a property will produce on the owner's investment.
Cash flow
The net spendable income from an investment, determined by deducting all operating and fixed expenses from the gross income. When expenses exceed income, a negative cash flow results.
Cash out
Receiving money back when refinancing your present mortgage.
Cash-out refinance
A refinance transaction in which the amount of money received from the new loan exceeds the total of the money needed to repay the existing first mortgage, closing costs, points, and the amount required to satisfy any outstanding subordinate mortgage liens. In other words, a refinance transaction in which the borrower receives additional cash that can be used for any purpose.
Cash rent
In an agricultural lease, the amount of money given as rent to the landowner at the outset of the lease, as opposed to sharecropping.
Caveat emptor
A Latin phrase meaning "Let the buyer beware."
Ceiling
The maximum allowable interest rate over the life of the loan of an adjustable rate mortgage.
Census
An official count of the number of people living in a certain area, such as a district, city, county, state, or nation. The United States Constitution requires the federal government to perform a national census every ten years. The census includes information about the respondents' sex, age, family, and social and economic status.
Certificate of deposit
A document written by a bank or other financial institution that is evidence of a deposit, with the issuer’s promise to return the deposit plus earnings at a specified interest rate within a specified time period.
Certificate of deposit index
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain ARM plans. It represents the weekly average of secondary market interest rates on six-month negotiable certificates of deposit. See adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
Certificate of eligibility
The document given to qualified veterans which entitles them to VA guaranteed loans for homes, business, and mobile homes. Certificates of eligibility may be obtained by sending DD-214 (Separation Paper) to the local VA office with VA form 1880 (request for Certificate of Eligibility).
Certificate of reasonable value (CRV)
A form indicating the appraised value of a property being financed with a VA loan.
Certificate of sale
The document generally given to the purchaser at a tax foreclosure sale. A certificate of sale does not convey title; normally it is an instrument certifying that the holder received title to the property after the redemption period passed and that the holder paid the property taxes for that interim period.
Certificate of title
A statement of opinion on the status of the title to a parcel of real property based on an examination of specified public records.
Chain of title
The succession of conveyances, from some accepted starting point, whereby the present holder of real property derives title.
Change
The appraisal principle that holds that no physical or economic condition remains constant.
Change frequency
The frequency (in months) of payment and/or interest rate changes in an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
Channeling
The illegal practice of directing people to, or away from, certain areas or neighborhoods because of minority status; Steering.
Chattel
Items, called chattels, that do not fit into the definition of real property; movable objects. Civil rights act of 1866
An act that prohibits racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing.
Cleaning fee
A nonrefundable fee charged by a landlord when a tenant moves in. The fee covers the cost of cleaning the rented premise
Clear title
A land title that doesn't have any liens (including a mortgage) against it.
CLO (Computerized Loan Origination)
A computer network of major lenders that allows agents to initiate mortgage applications in their office. HUD has approv
Closing
The point at which real estate formally changes ownership. Closing costs are fees paid for services associated with a ho
Closing cost item
A fee or amount that a home buyer must pay at closing for a single service, tax, or product. Closing costs are made up o
Closing costs
Costs the buyer must pay at the time of the closing in addition to the down payment which may include points, title char
Closing statement
A detailed cash accounting of a real estate transaction showing all cash received, all charges and credits made and all
Cloud on title
Any document, claim, unreleased lien or encumbrance that may impair the title to real property or make the title doubtfu
Clustering
The grouping of homesites within a subdivision on smaller lots than normal, with the remaining land used as common areas
CMA (Competitive Market Analysis)
A method of determining the value of a property by comparing the prices paid for similar properties.Code of Ethics A wri
Code of ethics
A written system of standards for ethical conduct.
Codicil
A supplement or an addition to a will, executed with the same formalities as a will, that normally does not revoke the e
Coinsurance
A sharing of insurance risk between the insurer and the insured. Coinsurance depends on the relationship between the amo
Coinsurance clause
A clause in insurance policies covering real property that requires the policyholder to maintain fire insurance coverage
Collateral
Something of value deposited with a lender as a pledge to secure repayment of a loan.
Collection
The efforts used to bring a delinquent mortgage current and to file the necessary notices to proceed with foreclosure wh
Co-maker
A person who signs a promissory note along with the borrower. A co-maker's signature guarantees that the loan will be re
Commingling
The illegal act by a real estate broker of placing client or customer funds with personal funds. By law brokers are requ
Commission
Payment to a broker for services rendered, such as in the sale or purchase of real property; usually a percentage of the
Commitment letter
A formal offer by a lender stating the terms under which it agrees to lend money to a home buyer. Also known as a "loan
Common area assessments
Levies against individual unit owners in a condominium or planned unit development (PUD) project for additional capital
Common areas
Those portions of a building, land, and amenities owned (or managed) by a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium
Common elements
Parts of a property that are necessary or convenient to the existence, maintenance and safety of a condominium or are no
Common law
The body of law based on custom, usage and court decisions.
Community Home Improvement Mortgage Loan?
An alternative financing option that allows low- and moderate-income home buyers to obtain 95 percent financing for the
Community Land Trust Mortgage Loan
An alternative financing option that enables low- and moderate-income home buyers to purchase housing that has been impr
Community property
A system of property ownership based on the theory that each spouse has an equal interest in the property acquired by th
Community reinvestment act
The federal law which requires federally regulated lenders to describe the geographical market area they serve. Deposits
Community seconds?
An alternative financing option for low- and moderate-income households under which an investor purchases a first mortga
Comparables
Properties used in an appraisal report that are substantially equivalent to the subject property.
Competition
The appraisal principle that states that excess profits generate competition.
Competitive market analysis (CMA)
A comparison of the prices of recently sold homes that are similar to a listing seller's home in terms of location, styl
Compound interest
Interest which is computed on the principal and any unpaid accumulated interest.
Comprehensive plan
A comprehensive plan to guide the long-term physical development of a particular area.
Condemnation
A judicial or administrative proceeding to exercise the power of eminent domain, through which a government agency takes
Conditional-use permit
Written governmental permission allowing a use inconsistent with zoning but necessary for the common good, such as locat
Condominium
The absolute ownership of a unit in a multi-unit building based on a legal description of the airspace the unit actually
Condominium conversion
Changing the ownership of an existing building (usually a rental project) to the condominium form of ownership.
Condominium hotel
A condominium project that has rental or registration desks, short-term occupancy, food and telephone services, and dail
Confession of judgement clause
Permits judgment to be entered against a debtor without the creditor's having to institute legal proceedings.
Conformity
The appraisal principle that holds that the greater the similarity among properties in an area, the better they will hol
Consideration
(1) That received by the grantor in exchange for his or her deed. (2) Something of value that induces a person to enter
Construction loan
A short-term, interim loan for financing the cost of construction. The lender makes payments to the builder at periodic
Constructive eviction
Actions of a landlord that so materially disturb or impair a tenant's enjoyment of the leased premises that the tenant i
Constructive notice
Notice given to the world by recorded documents. All people are charged with knowledge of such documents and their conte
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS)
A national non-profit agency that, at no cost, helps debtors plan budgets and repay their debts. One major criticism of
Consumer reporting agency (or bureau)
An organization that prepares reports that are used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The a
Contingency
A provision in a contract that requires a certain act to be done or a certain event to occur before the contract becomes
Contract for exchange of real estate
A contract for the sale of real estate in which the consideration is paid wholly or partly in real property instead of c
Contract of sale
The agreement between the buyer and seller on the purchase price, terms, and conditions necessary to both parties to con
Contribution
The appraisal principle that states that the value of any component of a property is what it gives to the value of the w
Conventional loan
A loan that requires no insurance or guarantee.
Conventional mortgage
A mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. Contrast with government mortgage.
Convertibility clause
A provision in some adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) that allows the borrower to change the ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage
Convertible ARM
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that can be converted to a fixed-rate mortgage under specified conditions.
Conveyance
A term used to refer to any document that transfers title to real property.
The term is also used in describing the act of transferring.
Cooperating broker
The broker in a multiple-listing situation from whose office a listing agreement is initiated, as opposed to the cooperating broker, from whose office negotiations leading up to a sale are initiated. The listing broker and the cooperating broker may be the same person.
Cooperative (Co-op)
A residential multi-unit building whose title is held by a trust or corporation that is owned by and operated for the benefit of persons living within the building, who are the beneficial owners of the trust or stockholders of the corporation, each possessing a proprietary lease.
Cooperative corporation
A business trust entity that holds title to a cooperative project and grants occupancy rights to particular apartments or units to shareholders through proprietary leases or similar arrangements.
Cooperative housing
(1) A form of real estate, usually a dwelling in which residents own shares, but do not directly own the space they inhabit. Rather, owning a share of the building entitles the shareholder with the right to inhabit a certain space within the dwelling, such as an apartment. Shares are usually proportional to the amount of space in each apartment. (2) A living arrangement in which residents must perform certain duties or chores to benefit the entire residence, in addition to paying room and board. A common form of dormitory living.
Cooperative mortgages
Mortgages related to a cooperative project. This usually refers to the multifamily mortgage covering the entire project but occasionally describes the share loans on the individual units.
Cooperative project
A residential or mixed-use building wherein a corporation or trust holds title to the property and sells shares of stock representing the value of a single apartment unit to individuals who, in turn, receive a proprietary lease as evidence of title.
Cooperative sale
A sale of property in which the buyer is brought to the transaction by a real estate agent who works for a different real estate broker than the listing agent. Both brokers/companies have agreed to cooperate in closing the property, and typically, splitting the commission. Offers of cooperation and compensation are commonly found in the MLS property listings.
Co-ownership
Title ownership held by two or more persons.
Corporate relocation
Arrangements under which an employer moves an employee to another area as part of the employer's normal course of business or under which it transfers a substantial part or all of its operations and employees to another area because it is relocating its headquarters or expanding its office capacity.
Corporation
An entity or organization, created by operation of law, whose rights of doing business are essentially the same as those of an individual. The entity has continuous existence until it is dissolved according to legal procedures.
Correction lines
Provisions in the rectangular survey (government survey) system made to compensate for the curvature of the earth's surface. Every fourth township line (at 24-mile intervals) is used as a correction line on which the intervals between the north and south range lines are remeasured and corrected to a full six miles.
Cost approach
The process of estimating the value of a property by adding to the estimated land value the appraiser's estimate of the reproduction or replacement cost of the building, less depreciation.
Cost of funds index (COFI)
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It represents the weighted-average cost of savings, borrowings, and advances of the 11th District members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. See adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).
Cost recovery
An Internal Revenue Service term for depreciation.
Co-tenants
Two or more tenants who rent the same property under the same lease or rental agreement. Each co-tenant is 100% responsible for carrying out the rental agreement, which includes paying the entire rent if the other tenant skips town and paying for damage caused by the other tenant.
Counter offer
A new offer made in response to an offer received. It has the effect of rejecting the original offer, which cannot be accepted thereafter unless revived by the offeror.
Covenant
A written agreement between two or more parties in which a party or parties pledge to perform or not perform specified acts with regard to property; usually found in such real estate documents as deeds, mortgages, leases and contracts for deed.
Covenant of quiet enjoyment
The covenant implied by law by which a landlord guarantees that a tenant may take possession of leased premises and that the landlord will not interfere in the tenant's possession or use of the property.
Covenants, conditions & restrictions (CC&R)
The restrictions governing the use of real estate, usually enforced by a homeowners' association and passed on to the new owners of property. For example, CC&Rs may tell you how big your house can be, how you must landscape your yard or whether you can have pets. If property is subject to CC&Rs, buyers must be notified before the sale takes place.
Credit
On a closing statement, an amount entered in a person's favor--either an amount the party has paid or an amount for which the party must be reimbursed.
Credit bureau
A private, profit-making company that collects and sells information about a person's credit history. Typical clients include banks, mortgage lenders and credit card companies that use the information to screen applicants for loans and credit cards. There are three major credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union, and they are regulated by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Credit file
An account of your credit history, prepared by a credit bureau. A credit report will contain both credit history, such as what you owe to whom and whether you make the payments on time, as well as personal history, such as your former addresses, employment record and lawsuits in which you have been involved. An estimated 50% of all credit reports contain errors, such as accounts that don't belong to you, an incorrect account status or information reported that is older than seven years (ten years in the case of a bankruptcy).
Credit history
A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts. A credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.
Credit insurance
Insurance a lender offers or requires a borrower to purchase to cover the loan. If the borrower dies or becomes disabled before paying off the loan, the policy will pay off the remaining balance. Federal and state consumer protection laws require the lender to disclose to existing and potential borrowers the terms and costs of obtaining credit insurance because it can affect the terms of the loan.
Credit life insurance
A type of insurance often bought by mortgagors because it will pay off the mortgage debt if the mortgagor dies while the policy is in force.
Credit limit
The maximum amount that you can borrow under a home equity plan.
Creditor
A person or entity (such as a bank) to whom a debt is owed.
Credit report
An account of your credit history, prepared by a credit bureau. A credit report will contain both credit history, such as what you owe to whom and whether you make the payments on time, as well as personal history, such as your former addresses, employment record and lawsuits in which you have been involved. An estimated 50% of all credit reports contain errors, such as accounts that don't belong to you, an incorrect account status or information reported that is older than seven years (ten years in the case of a bankruptcy).
Credit repository
An organization that gathers, records, updates, and stores financial and public records information about the payment records of individuals who are being considered for credit.
Credit score
In the mortgage lending world, credit scores either make or break you when it comes to obtaining a home mortgage or getting the best rate you can. There are three different scores available to a mortgage lender each being generated by the three different credit agencies. The most popular, known as a Fico score is from Experian (formally TRW), then there is a Beacon score from Equifax, and finally a Emperica score from Trans Union. This is the "mortgage scoring" system used to get a conventional mortgage. Simply, credit scores are numbers calculated based upon your credit history. The better your credit, the higher your number or score will be - the worse your credit, the lower the score. The number of inquiries or times your credit has been pulled in the past 90 days will also lower your "score". In some instances, lack of credit results in "no score" on your report requiring you to provide "alternative credit" via your rental, utility or telephone payment histories. There's plenty you can do to improve your score if you know how the system works. Just don't expect much help from your lender--most consider the actual formulas a trade secret and don't want people angling for an advantage. Congress is currently working on legislation to provide consumers with access to their credit scores and the formulas used to calculate these scores. There are some lenders that do not rely on credit scores to the degree that most do. Some times, credit reports contain inaccuracies that lower your score, this is when a lender has to use a common sense approach to approving your loan. In some instances you may have to correct your credit report, wait for your score to improve, then reapply for the loan. Talk with your mortgage broker or lender to understand what your options are.
CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
A professional designation awarded to experienced agents who complete an advanced course of study in residential real estate and demonstrate proficiency in sales and production. CRS Designees are members of the Residential Sales Council, a not-for-profit affiliate of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS?.
Cul-de-sac
A dead end street which widens sufficiently at the end to permit an automobile to make a "U" turn.
Curtest
A life estate, usually a fractional interest, given by some states to the surviving husband in real estate owned by his deceased wife. Most states have abolished curtesy.