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A section or division of a wall, ceiling or flat piece of building material that forms part of the surface of a wall, door or cabinet.

Electrical distribution box with circuit breakers, fuses and terminals to which household wiring is connected.

Panel door
A door with a frame of horizontal rails and vertical stiles that surround raised or recessed panels.  A type of construction that allows a door to expand and contract with changes in moisture and weather without cracking or warping.

Strips of wood or wood-like material applied as a finish to a wall.

Any area of land contained within a single description.

A coating applied to a foundation wall to prevent water leakage.

Parking strip
The strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of a house.

Partial Claim
A loss mitigation option offered by the FHA that allows a borrower, with help from a lender, to get an interest-free loan from HUD to bring their mortgage payments up to date. Party wall
A wall built along the boundary between two properties.

A board composed of wood chips glued together under pressure.  Particleboard is similar to chipboard but has a higher density.

Any kind of structure dividing one room or space from another.

An association of two or more persons who have contracted to join in business and share the profits.

A wall generally erected on a property boundary or between two lots for the common benefit and use of the property owners on either side.

An opening in a wall between the kitchen and breakfast or dining room used to pass dishes.

Passive loss
A tax term that refers to any loss from a passive activity, such as the ownership but not the operation of a piece of rental real estate.

A conveyance of title to land by the Federal or State Government.

Patent defect
A visible deficiency in a piece of property, such as a cracked basement slab or a sagging porch.

An interior courtyard or a paved backyard area.

Payment cap
A limit on the amount a monthly payment can increase on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Payment Change Date
The date when a new monthly payment amount takes effect on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or a graduated-payment mortgage (GPM). Generally, the payment change date occurs in the month immediately after the adjustment date.

Peaked, rounded or other decorative panel above a doorway.

Per-diem interest
Interest charged or accrued daily.

Percolation test
A test used to determine the ability of soil to accommodate a septic system.

Any plant that produces leaves, flowers and seeds from year to year.

An arbor with an open roof of rafters supported by posts or columns.

Periodic Payment Cap
A limit on the amount that payments can increase or decrease during any single adjustment period.

Periodic Rate Cap
A limit on the amount that the interest rate can increase or decrease during any one adjustment period, regardless of how high or low the index might be.

Any property that is not designated by law as real property (i.e., money, goods, evidences of debt, rights of action, furniture, automobiles).

Photoelectric switch
A switch that turns lights or other electrical devices on or off depending upon the light.

A rectangular masonry support column.

A short wire connected to another wire, usually with a wire nut.

Pigtail cord
A short electrical cord with an integral plug designed to be attached to an appliance.

Decorative vertical columns attached to the wall or frame at each side of a doorway.

The flame or electronic control that ignites gas or oil burners.

Pilot light
A small, continually burning gas flame inside a gas-fired water heater, dryer, range or similar appliance.  This flame ignites the appliance's gas burner.

Pipestem lot
A lot connected to the street by a narrow strip of land.

The slope of a roof.  Pitch is the ratio of vertical rise to horizontal run.

A title term referring to property in question.

PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance)
Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance - the four elements of a monthly mortgage payment; payments of principal and interest go directly towards repaying the loan while the portion that covers taxes and insurance (homeowner's and mortgage, if applicable) goes into an escrow account to cover the fees when they are due.

Planned community
Any town or neighborhood built with certain guidelines or goals in mind.

Planned unit development (PUD)
A residential project that features relatively dense clusters of houses which are usually surrounded by areas of commonly owned open space maintained by a nonprofit community association.

A labor-intensive wall finish consisting primarily of lime, sand and water.

A plan, map or chart of a tract or town site dividing a parcel of land into lots.

Plat book
A public record containing maps showing the division of streets, blocks, and lots.  Also indicates the measurements of the individual parcels.

The bottom or top piece of a wall.

Pledged Account Mortgage (PAM)
A type of mortgage that is tied to a pledged savings account and this fund (plus earned interest) is gradually used to reduce mortgage payments.

A heat distribution box on a furnace or central air-handling unit.

Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance - the four elements of a monthly mortgage payment; payments of principal and interest go directly towards repaying the loan while the portion that covers taxes and insurance (homeowner's and mortgage, if applicable) goes into an escrow account to cover the fees when they are due.

Pocket door
A sliding door that recesses into the wall when opened.

Fees charged by a lender to provide a lower interest rate.  One point equals one percent (1%) of the loan amount.  Also referred to as a discount point.

A structure that can be a simple covered entrance to a home or a fully enclosed room on the outside of a residence.

A porch-like roof extending over a driveway.

A porch supported by a row of columns.

A buyer officially takes possession of a house upon signing the closing papers and receiving the keys.

A document by which one person (called the principal) authorizes another person (called the attorney-in-fact) to act for him/her in a specific manner in designated transactions.

A lender commits to lend to a potential borrower; commitment remains as long as the borrower still meets the qualification requirements at the time of purchase.

Pre-approval letter
A letter from a lender that states the amount of money a potential buyer can obtain.

Pre-foreclosure sale
Allows a defaulting borrower to sell the mortgaged property to satisfy the loan and avoid foreclosure.

Pre-sold home
A home that is sold before it is built.

A written report issued by a title company, preliminary to issuing title insurance, which shows the recorded condition of title of the property in question. (
See "Commitment")

An amount paid on a regular schedule by a policyholder that maintains insurance coverage.

Prepaid expenses
Expenses including taxes, insurance, and assessments that are paid before the due date.

Prepaid fees
Funds collected by the lender from the borrower to pay certain recurring items in advance, including interest, property taxes, hazard insurance and, if applicable, private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Prepaid interest
Interest paid before it is due.

Payment of the mortgage loan before the scheduled due date; may be Subject to a prepayment penalty.

Prepayment penalty
A penalty that a lender may impose on a borrower who pays a loan off before its expected end date.

A lender's preliminary assessment of a buyer's ability to pay for a home and an estimate of how much the buyer may borrow.

Pressure relief valve
A safety vent that relieves excess pressure in a water heater.

Price range
The upper and lower limit of what a buyer is willing to pay for a home.

The initial coat of paint or sealant applied to a surface to prepare it for painting.

The amount borrowed from a lender; doesn't include interest or additional fees.

Principal paid over life of loan
The sum of scheduled principal payments calculated by the lender to equal the face amount of the loan.

Principle of conformity
The idea that a house will more likely appreciate in value if its size, age, condition and style are similar to other houses in the neighborhood.

Principle of progression
An appraisal term which states that real estate of lower value is enhanced by the proximity of higher end properties.

Principle of regression
An appraisal term which states that the value of higher-end real estate can be brought down by the proximity of lower-end properties.

The order of preference, rank or position of the various liens and encumbrances affecting the title to a particular parcel of land. Usually, the date and time of recording determine the relative priority between documents.

A title term referring to the type of inspection made in connection with insuring a new construction loan. In making the inspection of the property, the title company must be assured that the work of improvement had not yet begun when the lender's deed of trust was recorded.

Privacy fence
A structure erected between two pieces of property.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)
A form of insurance required by a lender when the borrower's down payment or home equity percentage is less than 20 percent of the home value.

The process of establishing the validity of a will before a duly authorized court or person.  Once validity is confirmed, the probate court then administers the sale of property as directed by the will or as authorized by the court to settle any financial obligations.

Processing fee
A fee charged by some lenders for gathering information necessary to process the loan.

Procuring cause
Legal term used to determine whether a broker is entitled to a commission.

Production home
Homes that are mass-produced by one builder.

A written summation by an architect of a project's design objectives, constraints, and criteria.

Project budget
A fiscal outline that includes the construction budget and all costs for land, furniture, equipment, financing, professional services, contingencies and owner-furnished goods and services.

Property line
The official dividing line between properties.

Property tax
Tax paid on privately owned property.  Property taxes are usually paid semiannually, or monthly if the lender requires.  The amount is based on local tax rates and assessed property value.

Property tax deduction
The U.S. tax code allows homeowners to deduct the amount they have paid in property taxes.

Property value
The value of a piece of property, based on the price a buyer will pay at a given time.

Land owned by the government and belonging to the community at large.

The transcriptions in a recorder's office of instruments that have been recorded--including the indexes pertaining to them.

Punch list
A list compiled by a buyer prior to a sale detailing items to be fixed before closing.

Purchase agreement
A document that details the purchase price and conditions of the transaction.

Purchase contract
A legal document that binds a buyer to purchase a piece of property for a set price and also binds the seller to sell that property to the buyer.

Purchase-money mortgage (PMM)
A mortgage obtained by a borrower as partial payment for a property.