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Early occupancy

The condition in which buyers can occupy a property before the sale is complete.

Earnest money
Money put down by a potential buyer to show that he or she is serious about purchasing the home; it becomes part of the down payment if the offer is accepted, is returned if the offer is rejected, or is forfeited if the buyer pulls out of the deal.

Earthquake insurance
An insurance policy that provides coverage against damage to a home from an earthquake.

A right or interest in the use of the land of another which entitles the holder to some use, privilege or benefit, such as to place pole lines, pipe lines or roads thereon.

The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.

Energy Efficient Mortgage; an FHA program that helps homebuyers save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to a new or existing home as part of the home purchase

Effective age
The age of a structure estimated by its condition rather than its actual age.

White, powdery substance on concrete, stucco or other masonry caused by water-soluble salts leaching to the surface.

Electric service panel
A panel that transfers power from the utility line into a house to be distributed through fuses or circuit breakers.

The exterior view of a home design that shows the position of the house relative to the grade of the land.

An extension or wing of a house that is at right angles to the main structure.

The right of a government to take privately owned property for public purposes under condemnation proceedings upon payment of its reasonable value.

Employer-assisted housing
Programs which help employees purchase homes through special plans developed with lenders.

Empty nesters
Potential buyers who have finished raising their families and want to move into a smaller home.

The presence of an improvement such as a building, a wall, a fence or other fixture which overlaps onto the property of an adjoining owner.

A right or claim upon real property (land) held by one other than the property owner. Encumbrances are divided into two classes, as follows: (1) liens (mortgages, deeds of trust, mechanics' liens, local taxes, assessments, judgments, attachments, etc.); and (2) encumbrances other than liens which are limitations on the ownership of the land (such as conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, etc.).

End loan
The conversion from a construction loan to permanent financing.

A person who signs over ownership of property to another party.

Addition to or modification of a title insurance policy which expands or changes coverage of the policy, fulfilling specific requirements of the insured.

English Tudor style
An architectural design that features stone or brick exterior walls and exposed beams.

The VA home loan benefit is called an entitlement and often referred to as eligibility.

Environmental impact statement
A government ordered evaluation of all aspxects and effects a development will have on the environment of a proposed site.

Environmentally friendly home construction
A method of construction that utilizes recycled materials.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
Federal law that prohibits a lender or other creditor from refusing to grant credit based on the applicant's sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin or age.

A mass appraisal or reappraisal of all property within a jurisdiction for the purpose of equalizing values to assure that each taxpayer is bearing a fair share of the tax load.

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(1) A legal doctrine based on fairness, rather than strict interpretation of the letter of the law; (2) The market value of real property, less the amount of existing liens; (3) Any ownership investment (stocks, real estate, etc.) as opposed to investing as a lender (bonds, mortgages, etc.).

A situation where the ownership of property reverts to the state when the owner dies without leaving a will.

An independent third party, such as First American Title, who acts as the agent for buyer and seller, or for borrower and lender, carrying out instructions of both and disbursing documents and funds. Escrow closes and the transfer of property or document is completed upon fulfillment of certain conditions specified in the written instructions, whereupon the necessary deeds and other instruments are recorded.

Escrow account
a separate account into which the lender puts a portion of each monthly mortgage payment; an escrow account provides the funds needed for such expenses as property taxes, homeowners insurance, mortgage insurance, etc.

Escrow agent
A neutral third party who ensures that all conditions of a real estate transaction are met before any transfer of funds or property is recorded.

Escrow analysis
A periodic examination of an escrow account by mortgage lenders to determine if the lender is withholding enough funds from a borrower's monthly mortgage payment to pay for expenses such as property taxes and insurance.

Escrow closing
Escrow closes when all conditions of a real estate transaction are met and the title of the property is transferred to the buyer.

Escrow company
A firm that acts as a neutral third party to ensure that all conditions established by the buyer, seller and lender in a real estate transaction are met.

Escrow Disbursements
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance and other property expenses as they become due.

Escrow payment
Funds that a mortgage servicer withdraws from a borrower's escrow account to pay property taxes and insurance.

(1) The interest or nature of the interest which one has in property, such as a life estate, the estate of a decreased, real estate, etc.; (2) A large house with substantial grounds surrounding it, giving the connotation of belonging to a wealthy person.

Estimated closing costs
An estimate of expenses related to the sale of real estate including title and appraisal fees.

Estimated hazard insurance An estimate of hazard insurance, also known as homeowners insurance, to cover physical risks such as fire and wind damage.

Estimated property taxes
An estimate of property taxes payable on the property according to state and county tax rates.  The amount due is based on the property's assessed value which is based on the most recent sale price plus any assessment updates.

Agency situation in which one party incorrectly states that another person is the agent and a third person relies on that representation.

European style
A cabinetry term referring to a style of cabinet without a face frame.  Also known as box cabinets.

A legal procedure to remove a tenant for reasons including failure to pay rent.

Examination of title
An inspection by a title company of public records and other documents to determine the chain of ownership of a property.

The process of clearing trees, removing topsoil and grading land before a foundation is laid.

Exceptional depreciation
Describes damages to a building that are not the result of normal wear and tear.

Exclusive agency
An agreement to employ a particular broker.  If another broker makes the sale, both agents are entitled to commissions.

Exclusive Buyers Agent (EBA)
An agent, company or franchise working exclusively for buyers as a fiduciary agent.  These agents do not represent sellers or list properties for sale.

Exclusive listing
A contract that gives an agent the exclusive right to market a property for a specific period of time.

Executed contract
A contract in which all parties have fulfilled their promises.

An order directing a sheriff, constable, marshal or court-appointed commissioner to enforce a money judgment against the property of a debtor. This officer, if necessary, may sell the property to satisfy the judgment.

A person appointed in a will and affirmed by the probate court to cause a distribution of the decedent's estate in accordance with the will. If a woman is appointed, she is referred to as the executrix.

The removal of property from the tax base.  An exemption may be partial or complete.

Air leakage from a building's interior to the environment.

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