Real Estate Definitions
Radon: A radioactive gas that can cause health problems if present in sufficient concentration, found in some structures.
Rate cap: In an adjustable-rate loan, the ceiling on the amount that the interest rate can be increased at each adjustment.
Rate lock, or lock-in: A commitment to a specified fixed interest rate for a designated period of time, issued by a lender.
Real estate agent: An individual trained and licensed to negotiate the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner.
Real estate investment trust (REIT): An organization of individuals who purchase certificates of ownership in the trust, which then invests their money in real property, distributing the profits back to the individual investors free of corporate income tax.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA): A federal consumer protection law that requires certain disclosures of lenders to consumers relative to mortgage loans.
Real property: Land and appurtenances permanently on it, including buildings, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof.
Realtor: A real estate professional who holds active membership in a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.
RealtorŪ: The registered trademark reserved for the sole use of members of local Realtor boards affiliated with the National Association of Realtors; other real estate professionals who do not belong to the local board may not advertise themselves as Realtors.
Recision: The cancellation or annulment of a transaction or contract based on law or by mutual consent.
Recording: The entering or noting of documents affecting all transactions of real estate in the recorder's office in each county, making it public record; until recorded, a mortgage or deed is usually not valid against subsequent buyers.
Recording fees: Payment made to the lender for recording the sale of a property with the county office.
Refinance: To obtain a new mortgage loan on a property already owned.
Regulation Z: A federal law that requires disclosure by a credit institution or lender of the terms, conditions, and full cost of a loan or mortgage, including the annual percentage rate and any other charges, to the borrower when they apply for the loan.
Remainder: An interest in land that is postponed until the termination of some other interest.
RESPA: Abbreviation for the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which is a federal law that requires lenders to provide information on estimated settlement costs, which is available for review by the buyers one time after application, and again once prior to or at the closing.
Restrictive covenants, or Protective covenants: A provision in a deed that limits how real estate ownership may be used.
Reverse-annuity mortgage (RAM): A loan or mortgage whereby the amount of the monthly payments the borrower receives is based on accumulated equity, rather than on the agreed-upon total sum loaned.
Reversion: A clause in a transfer of title that returns the property to the grantor upon specified events or occurrences happening.
Right of first refusal: The right specified in an agreement to have the first opportunity to purchase or lease a given property before it is offered to others, or alternately, the prior right to purchase a property based on the same terms made by another buyer that were acceptable by the seller.
Right of survivorship: In joint tenancy, when one of the joint tenants dies, the right of the survivors to the deceased's interest in the property.
Right-of-way: Permission to pass across the property of another.
Riparian rights: The right of an owner of property to make use of waterways adjoining the property.