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A hardboard exterior siding with vertical grooves to simulate boards.

Tank stopper
A rubber plug or flapper that seals the valve seat between a toilet tank and bowl. Upon flushing a toilet, the tank stopper is lifts to allow water to rush through the flush valve into the bowl.

Tap fees
A fee charged by most companies for hooking up utilities.

Tax lien
A lien placed against a property for nonpayment of taxes (property and/or personal)

A deed executed by the tax collector to the state, county or city when no redemption is made from a tax sale.

Property on which current county taxes have not been paid is sold to the state. No actual sale takes place. The title is transferred to the state and the owner may redeem it by paying taxes, penalties and costs. If it has not been redeemed within five years, the property (referred to as "tax sold property") is actually deeded to the state. (Similar sales to cities take place for unpaid city taxes.)

Tax service fee
A fee collected to set up third-party monitoring of the borrower's property tax payments.  This is done to ensure that the payments are made on time and to prevent tax liens from occurring to the detriment of the lender.

Tax shelter
A term often applied to real estate investment, referring to various tax advantages.

A house in such poor condition as to require complete rebuilding.

Teaser rate
A low, short-term interest rate offered on a mortgage to entice the borrower.

Tenancy by the entirety
Ownership by a husband and wife in which they together hold title to the whole property with right of survivorship.

Tenancy in common
A form of ownership in which two or more owners hold an undivided (though not necessarily equal) interest in the property, with no right of survivorship.

A common law term referring to the way in which a piece of property is held, such as a fee simple or leasehold.

Terra cotta
A red, low-fired tile that is a popular roofing material.

Leaving a legally valid will at death.

The person who makes a will.

A control that automatically turns on a heater, furnace or air conditioner when room temperature reaches a set level.

Thermostatic control
A device used to regulate the point at which the burner for the water heater is activated.

A flat trim strip normally made of oak or aluminum that offers a durable and finished transition between the floors on both sides of a door or between indoors and out.

The distance a deadbolt extends out from the edge of a door when in its locked position.

Time is of the essence
A phrase in a purchase contract that indicates a certain period of time in which an act must be performed.

Ownership that involves the acquisition of a specific period of time or percentage of interest in a vacation home or resort.

The legal document conferring ownership of a piece of real estate.

Title 1
An FHA-insured loan that allows a borrower to make non-luxury improvements (like renovations or repairs) to their home; Title I loans less than $7,500 don't require a property lien.

Title company
A firm that ensures that the property title is clear and provides title insurance.

Title Exam
An examination of the public record to determine that the seller is the legal owner and there are no encumbrances (such as claims or liens) affecting the property.

Insured statement of the condition of title or ownership of real property. For a one-time-only premium, the named insured and their heirs are protected against title defects, liens and encumbrances existing as of the date of the policy and not specifically excluded from it. In the event of a claim, the title company provides legal defense from the policyholder and pays any covered losses incurred as a result of such claim.

Title insurance binder
A title insurance company's written commitment to insure title to the property subject to the conditions and exclusions shown on the binder.

Title risk
Possible impediments to the transfer of a title from one owner to another.

A review of all recorded documents affecting a specific parcel of land to determine the present condition of title. An experienced title officer or attorney reviews and analyzes all material relating to the search and then determines the sufficiency and status of title for issuance of a title insurance policy.

Tongue and groove
Lumber with a small groove down one side of each board and a protruding piece (tongue) on the other side that fits into the groove when the boards are installed.

Top producer
Refers to agents and brokers who close a high volume of transactions.

Top rail
The horizontal structural member of a door that runs across the top of the door.

Top soil
The top layer of soil that is removed when lots are graded in preparation for construction.

Total expense ratio
The percentage of monthly debt obligations relative to gross monthly income.

Total lender fees
Fees required by the lender to obtain the loan, apart from other fees associated with transferring a property between buyer and seller.

Total loan amount
The base loan amount plus any financed closing costs.

Total monthly housing costs
The sum of principal, interest, property taxes and, if applicable, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and either hazard insurance or homeowners' association dues.

Total of all payments
The total cost of the loan including repayment of the principal amount and the sum of monthly interest payments.

An attached home that is not a condominium.

Temperature/pressure relief valve.  A device that releases built-up energy in a tank at a certain temperature or pressure.

Tract home
A mass produced house constructed by one builder in a project.  (Another term for a production home)

Trade equity
Other real estate or assets that a buyer provides to a seller as part of the down payment.

Trading down
Buying a home that is less expensive than the one's current house.

Trading up
Buying a home that is more expensive than one's current house.

Trans Union Corporation
One of the major credit reporting bureaus.  Visit

Transaction broker
A real estate professional who is hired to help a buyer and seller reach an agreement. The transaction broker does not represent either the buyer or the seller.

Transfer of ownership
Any legal means by which a piece of real estate changes hands.

Transfer tax
An assessment by state or local authorities at the time a piece of property changes hands.

A small hinged window directly above a door.

A trap is the "U" or "S" shaped section of drainpipe directly beneath a plumbing fixture such as a sink or shower.

Tray ceiling
A tray ceiling has edges that slant toward the middle from the walls.

The flat part of a stair step.

Treasury Bills
Securities issued by the Treasury Department which have the full backing of the U.S. government.

Treasury Index
An index used to determine interest rate changes for adjustable rate mortgages.

A decorative landscape structure made of thin strips of wood or plastic.

Trim work
The finishing of doors, doorways, window frames and floors.

Triple net lease
A lease that requires the tenant to pay all expenses of the property being leased in addition to rent.  Typical expenses covered in such a lease include taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

A prefabricated framework of girders, struts and other items used to support a roof or other load-bearing elements.

Trust account
A special account used by a broker or escrow agent to safeguard funds for a buyer or seller.

A legally empowered person who holds or controls a piece of property for another person.

A federal law obligating a lender to give full written disclosure of all fees, terms, and conditions associated with the loan initial period and then adjusts to another rate that lasts for the term of the loan.

The process of removing old mortar from between bricks and replacing it with new mortar.

Two to four-family property
A piece of property that is owned by one person but provides housing for up to four households.

Two-step mortgage
An adjustable mortgage with two interest rates: one for the first five or seven years of the loan, and the other for the remainder of the loan term.