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Real Estate Definitions

These are definitions related to real estate. The definitions can be very helpful in understanding much of the confusion that comes over people when they are trying to understand what a realtor or a loan officer might be saying. If you have any other words you may need defined, do not hesitate to call me at 608-219-8014.



Tax sale: A sale of real property ordered by the court in order to raise money to cover delinquent taxes.

Tenancy in common: A version of joint tenancy of a property, but without any right of succession by survivorship among the owners.

Testate: To die having prepared and left a valid will.

Testator: The individual who makes out a last will and testament.

Time is of the essence: A condition in a contract requiring the completion of a certain act within a designated period of time.

Time-share: A form of ownership interest which allows use of the property only for a fixed or variable period of time.

Title: A legal document that evidences a person's ownership of and right to possess a property.

Title insurance: Insurance that protects the owner or mortgagee against loss arising from disputes over or defects in the title to a parcel of real estate that arise after ownership has been transferred.

Title search: Research into public title records to determine the current status of ownership of a piece of property; a licensed attorney must provide any legal interpretation of the records found.

Torrens Title: Now a dated system (only used in a few US states) whereby the court issues a certificate establishing the extent of an individual's estate, including any exceptions noted.

Township: A division of land that is six miles square, containing 36 square-mile sections.

Tract: A specific parcel of land.

Transfer of ownership: Any circumstance in which the ownership of a property changes hands, e.g., via outright, titled purchase, or the assumption of an existing on a property, or possession of the property via a land sales trust, even any transfer of a beneficial interest in the trust.

Transfer tax: State or local taxes imposed on a transfer of ownership of real property.

Trust: A right to a piece of property that is held for the benefit of another.

Trust deed, or a Deed of trust: A written document that grants the trustee the title to a piece of property for the benefit of another, and which gives the trustee the power to sell, mortgage or subdivide the property.

Trustee: A party who holds property for the benefit of another.

Trustee's deed: A deed conveying land ownership executed by the trustee who holds the land in trust.

Trustor: The borrower in a trust loan transaction.

Truth-in-Lending: A federal law that requires disclosure by a credit institution or lender of the terms and conditions of a loan or mortgage, including the annual percentage rate and any other charges, to the borrower when they apply for the loan. Also see Regulation Z.

Two-step mortgage: An adjustable-rate mortgage that charges a below-market interest rate for a designated number of years (usually 5 or 7) after which the interest rate is adjusted to the current market conditions.

Keller Williams real estate agency serving Madison and the southern Wisconsin area

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Nataliya Flannery
My Cell Phone: (608) 219-8014
My Fax Number: (608) 831-0825
My Email: natflannery@kw.com
Alternate Website: Nataliya Flannery
- Madison Real Estate

Keller Williams-West Madison:
3 Point Place
Madison, WI 53719
Last Updated: March 25, 2007 All information copyright madison-real-estate.net 2005, Webmaster