St Lucia Real Estate Terms / Glossary

Over 900 St Lucia real estate terms alphabetically

The summary of a court judgment that creates a lien against a property when filed with the county recorder.

A tax calculation that provides greater depreciation in the early years of ownership of real estate or personal property.

A provision that gives a lender the right to collect the balance of a loan if a borrower misses a payment.

A bookkeeping method that depreciates property faster in the early years of ownership.

The seller’s written approval of a buyer’s offer.


Any means by which a person can enter property.

The degree to which a building or site allows access to people with disabilities.

The gradual addition to the shore or bank of a waterway by deposits of sand or silt.


A written declaration affirming that a person acted voluntarily.

A measurement of land equal to 43,560 square feet.

The volume of material needed to cover an acre of land one foot deep.

A system that utilizes electric pumps or fans to transfer solar energy for storage or direct use.

The number of years a structure has been standing.

An addition or change to a contract.

Extra money included in the monthly payment to help reduce the principal and shorten the term of the loan.

The interest a borrower pays on the principal for the duration of the loan.

A loan with an interest rate that is periodically adjusted to reflect changes in a specified financial index.

The cost of any improvements the seller makes to the property. Deducting the cost from the original sales price provides the profit or loss of a home when it is sold.

The amount of time between interest rate adjustments in an adjustable-rate mortgage.

A person given authority to manage and distribute the estate of someone who died without leaving a will.

A legal document that an administrator of an estate uses to transfer property.

The acquisition of title to property through possession without the owner’s consent for a certain period of time.


The access and use of property without the owner’s consent.

Soil that is composed of materials deposited by the wind.

A person who makes a sworn statement.

A substitution for an oath granted to people based on religious reasons.

An interior style that features a steeply peaked roofline and a ceiling that is open to the top rafters.

The relationship of trust that exists between sellers and buyers and their agents. The agency is formed through a written contract.

Any home loan that does not conform to a standard fixed-rate mortgage.

Wooden windows with aluminum covering the exterior.

A metal covering that provides an alternative to paint for owners of wood homes.


Parks, swimming pools, health-club facilities, party rooms, bike paths, community centers and other enticements offered by builders of planned developments.


The process of paying the principal and interest on a loan through regularly scheduled installments.


Mathematical tables that lenders use to calculate a borrower’s monthly payment.

The strength of an electrical current.

A large steel bolt anchored in concrete and attached to a building to prevent the structure from moving.

Any kind of plant that must be planted every year.

A yearly statement to borrowers that details the remaining principal and amounts paid for taxes and interest.

The cost of the loan expressed as a yearly rate on the balance of the loan.

The payment of a fixed sum to an investor at regular intervals.

A communication that informs a party that the obligations of the original contract will not be fulfilled.

A document that details a potential borrower’s income, debt and other obligations to determine credit worthiness.

The fee that a lender charges to process a loan application.

An opinion of the value of a property at a given point in time.

A detailed written report on the value of a property based on recent sales of comparable sites in the area.

An opinion of the current market value of a property.

An increase in the value of a home or other property..

A provision that allows a buyer to take responsibility for the mortgage from a seller.

A fee the lender charges to process new records for a buyer who assumes an existing loan.

The price of a home determined by totaling the sales prices of all houses sold in an area and dividing that number by the number of homes.

An easement over private property near an airport that limits the height of structures and trees.

Single-sash windows that tilt outward and up.

Soil used to solidify the foundation of a structure.

A letter that a title insurance company gives to an attorney who then examines the title for insurance purposes.

Arrangements that an owner makes to oversee the sale of one property and the purchase of another at the same time.

A secondary bid for a property that the seller will accept if the first offer fails.

A valve in a sewer line that prevents sewage from flowing back into a house.

A statement that shows the assets, liabilities and net worth of an individual.


A type of framing used in two-story homes in which studs extend from the ground to the ceiling of the second floor.

A mortgage in which monthly installments are not large enough to repay the loan by the end of the term. As a result, the final payment due is the lump sum of the remaining principal.

The final lump sum payment due at the end of a balloon mortgage.


Railing held up by a set of posts on a porch or stairway.

A proceeding in which an insolvent debtor can obtain relief from payment of certain obligations. Bankruptcies remain on a credit record for seven years and can severely limit a person’s ability to borrow.

The sale of a piece of property for less than market value.


Any board or molding found at the bottom of an interior wall.

Heating units installed in the floor that can be controlled by a central thermostat.


The area of a home below ground level.


A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point. For example, the difference between a loan at 8.25 percent and a mortgage at 8.37 percent is 12 basis points.

The opening between two columns or walls that forms a space.


A window that projects outward in a curve.


A wall that supports its own weight in addition to other parts of a structure.


The lender who makes a loan, also called a mortgagee. The person borrowing money is the mortgagor.


Total income before taxes are deducted.


Personal property given to a person through a will.


An improvement that increases a property’s value as opposed to repairs that maintain the value.


Offers from multiple buyers for a piece of property. Agents also sometimes compete to list a house for sale.


A contract in which the parties involved give mutual promises. Also called “reciprocal” contracts.


A document that transfers ownership of personal property.


A roofed passageway with open sides.

An emotion felt by first-time homebuyers after signing a sales contract or closing the purchase of a house.


The rules and regulations that a homeowners association or corporation adopts to govern activities.


A clause in a loan agreement that allows a lender to ask for the balance at any time.


Cylindrical chambers with bulbs recessed into the ceiling.

A clause that details the conditions under which each party may terminate the agreement.


A projecting structure supported on one end, such as a balcony.


A limit on the amount the interest rate or monthly payment can increase in an adjustable-rate mortgage.

A wood-frame or shingled house with a steep roof and several windows projecting from the second floor.


Money used to create income, such as funds invested in rental property.

The cost of making improvements on a property.

Profits an investor makes from the sale of real estate or investments.

A tax placed on the profits from the sale of real estate or investments.

Any improvement that extends the life or increases the value of a piece of property.

A mathematical formula that investors use to compute the value of a property based on net income.


The percentage rate of return estimated from the net income of a piece of property.

A group of real estate agents who tour a house that has been recently listed for sale.

A roof that covers a driveway or other parking area.

A window hinged on its sides to allow it to swing open vertically.

The amount of cash a rental property investor receives after deducting operating expenses and loan payments from gross income.


A check the bank draws on itself rather than on a depositor’s account.

The refinancing of a mortgage in which the money received from the new loan is greater than the amount due on the old loan. The borrower can use the extra funds in any manner.

A high open ceiling formed by finishing exposed roof rafters.


An acrylic or silicon sealant used to fill cracks, crevices and holes in a home.


A courtyard or atrium.


A formal notice, that asks a court to suspend action until the party which filed the challenge can be heard.


A legal principle derived from Latin than means “let the buyer beware.”


The standard height of a ceiling is eight feet.


A device that generates cold air through an outside unit that is connected to ductwork inside the house.


The area of a city where most large businesses are located.


Citizenship By Invesment

Properties used as comparisons to determine the value of a certain property.


An estimate of the value of a property based on an analysis of sales of properties with similar characteristics.


A term for a buyer who is legally fit to enter into a sales contract.


The interest paid on the principal balance in a mortgage and on the accrued and unpaid interest of the loan.


The process of pouring concrete into forms on the ground, allowing the forms to harden and then raising the material to a vertical position to form walls.


The process the government uses to take private property for public use without the consent of the owner.


A structure designed by an architect hired by the owner.

A movable plate in a fireplace that allows smoke and fumes to travel up the chimney’s flue.


The period of time a property is listed for sale until it is sold or taken off the market

Locks that require a key to open from the outside and a turn button from the inside.


Any amount one person owes to another.


A roofless, floored area that adjoins a house.


The legal document that transfers ownership of a piece of property.

A document that gives a lender the right to foreclose on a piece of property if the borrower defaults on the loan.

A drain used to dispose of water from the basement floor to a sewer line.


The failure to fulfill a duty or promise or discharge an obligation, such as making monthly mortgage payments.


Any repair or maintenance of a piece of property that has been postponed, resulting in a decline in property value.


A mortgage that involves a borrower who is behind on payments. If the borrower cannot bring the payments up to date within a specified number of days, the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings.


An analysis of soil to determine if the surface can support the foundation of a house.


Any kind of pipe or channel that carries water, wiring or conditioned air through a house.


Standard language in a mortgage which states that the loan must be paid when a house is sold.


A structure that consists of two separate family units.


A design that features barn-like gambrel roof, a ground-level front porch, and dormers.

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


Money a buyer gives with an offer to purchase a property. Also called a deposit.


A policy that provides coverage against damage to a home from an earthquake.


A right given to a third party to use a portion of the property for certain purposes, such as power lines or water mains.


The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.


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


Additional income that a lender considers when assessing the loan application of a potential borrower.


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 government’s right to condemn private land for public use, such as the routing of a public highway.


Programs which help employees purchase homes through special plans developed with lenders.


Potential buyers who have raised their families and want to move into a smaller home.


Fences or other structures that extend into the property of another owner.


A claim or lien on a property which complicates the title process.


The conversion from a construction loan to permanent financing a condominium buyer secures after all units in a project have been completed.


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


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


A person appointed to carry out the instructions in a will. If there is no will, a probate court will appoint an executor.


Ventilating devices that remove water vapor, undesired smells or smoke.


The part of a building facing the street or a courtyard.

A federal law that governs credit and charge card billing errors. If a credit or charge card company violates any provision, consumers can sue to recover damages.


A federal law passed in 1971 that regulates the activity of credit bureaus. It is designed to prevent inaccurate or obsolete information from staying in a consumer’s credit file and requires credit bureaus to have reasonable procedures for gathering, maintaining and disseminating credit information. The act also requires credit bureaus to show a consumer their credit file if the consumer presents proper identification, although the bureau reserves the right to charge a fee for doing so.


A federal law passed in 1977 which outlaws debtor harassment and other types of collection practices. The act regulates collection agencies, original creditors who set up a separate office to collect debts, and lawyers hired by the creditor to help collect overdue bills. An original creditor–the company or individual that originally granted the credit–is not covered by the act, but may be covered by similar measures approved by state governments.


Landmark federal law passed in 1965 and amended in 1988 that makes it illegal to deny rent or refuse to sell to anyone based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The 1988 amendment expanded the protections to include family status and disability.


The official name of the Federal National Mortgage Association, it is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.


A U.S. Department of Agriculture agency that provides credit to farmers and rural residents.


A board that connects the ends of the roof rafters and provides a surface to support gutters.


The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac. The company buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and then sells shares to investors.


Now officially dubbed Fannie Mae, this federally chartered agency buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and sells shares to investors.


A group of economists and other experts who set the nation’s monetary policy. Its chief tool to control inflation is the power to control interest rates.


The government agency responsible for regulating a variety of companies and industries, from credit bureaus and collection agencies to timeshare operators and certain types of creditors. National headquarters: Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580. Phone: (202) 326-2222.


This type of ownership is the maximum interest a person can have in a piece of real estate. It entitles the owner to use the property in any manner they see fit, in accordance with state and local laws.


The owner of the property holds a fee simple title contingent upon certain conditions.


The all-American home architecture style that evolved after the Revolutionary War. Details include bigger windows and a front doorway surrounded by glass and topped with an arched window.


Mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA’s 203(b) loan program provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent. The agency also operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property.


An ancient Chinese belief that the physical characteristics of a house and the positioning of the home will affect the fortunes of the owner.


The relationship of trust that buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent. The term also applies to legal and business relationships.


Modifications made on the construction site that do not match blueprints.


Soil brought in to solidify a finished foundation.


An area where the ground has been raised by adding dirt, gravel or other fill material.


A fee in any amount that is paid to someone.


A finish that prepares a lot for landscaping.


A buffer composed of fire-resistant material.


A promise made by a lender when it agrees to loan money for the purchase of property.


The primary mortgage on a property that has priority over all other voluntary liens.


The monthly payment on a home loan.


The primary mortgage on a property that has priority over all other voluntary liens.


Two adjoining doors inlaid with glass that open from the middle.


The portion of property that borders a roadway or body of water.


A mortgage that amortizes, or pays down, the balance of a loan.


An enclosed heating device powered by coal, oil, propane or natural gas.


A device that allows power to be channeled into a home.


A triangular wall enclosed by the sloping ends of a ridged roof or a triangular decorative feature.


A ridged roof that forms a triangle at each end.

A provision in contracts signed by new buyers that prohibits the owners from publicizing complaints about the builder.


A roof with two slopes, often seen on barns.


The person who hires all of the subcontractors and suppliers for a project.


A government’s long-range land-use plan.


Popular throughout the 18th century, this type of architecture is distinguished by a symmetrical facade, prominent front entrance and quoins-decorative blocks of masonry or wood set in the corners of the house.


A structure constructed of lightweight bars forming a grid of polygons.


A cash gift a buyer receives from a relative or other source. Lenders usually require a “gift letter” stating that the money will not have to be repaid.


An intricate, almost lacy, wood trim.


Crossbeams that support floor joists.


An estimate from an institutional lender that shows the costs a borrower will incur, including loan-processing charges and inspection fees.


Commonly known as Ginnie Mae, this agency buys home loans from lenders, pools them with other loans and sells shares to investors. Ginnie Mae differs from its cousins, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in that it only purchases loans backed by the federal government.


A specified amount of time to make a loan payment after its due date without penalty.


The elevation of land above level ground.


A mortgage that requires a borrower to make larger monthly payments over the term of the loan. The payment is unusually low for the first few years but gradually rises until year three or five, then remains fixed.


The flat or sloping surface upon which a house is built.


Slang term for a separate unit in a house or above the garage, which in the past may have been occupied by an elderly relative.


A person conveyed an interest in a piece of property.


The person who conveys an interest in a piece of property to another person.


Greek Revival style

Any stretch of park, open space or other natural setting in a community.


The total income of a household before taxes or expenses are subtracted.


Devices that detect leakage of electrical current to the ground and prevent accidental shock.


The amount of money paid for the use of a piece of property when it is a leasehold estate.


A single-family residence used as a living space for unrelated, developmentally disabled or mentally disabled people.


A fixed rate mortgage that increases payments over a specific period of time. The extra funds are applied to the principal.


A loan guaranteed by a third party, such as a government institution.


Horizontal channels installed at the edge of a roof to carry rainwater or melted snow away from the house.


Also called a powder room, a half-bath contains a toilet and a sink but no bathtub or shower stall.


This provision of homeowners insurance covers damage by fire, wind or other disaster. It is required by all lenders before a loan is approved.


Crossbeams above windows and doors.


An electric cooling and heating system.


The equivalent of 2.471 acres.

The concentration of housing units in a specific area or on a specific property.


Any building higher than six stories.


A pitched roof with sloping sides.


The physical rehabilitation of a historic home or building, and the movement of the same name begun in the 1960s in the U.S. to preserve and protect landmarks and urban neighborhoods.


A home or building listed in the National Register of Historic Places and certified as historic by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior.


Loans made to older owners who want to convert equity into money. Because borrowers are qualified on the basis of the value of their home, e, the loan is not the same as a home equity loan. Also known as reverse mortgages.


A loan that allows owners to borrow against the equity in their homes.


An examination of a home’s construction, condition and internal systems by an inspector or contractor prior to purchase.


A group that governs a modern subdivision or planned community. An association collects monthly fees from all owners to pay for maintenance of common areas, handle legal and safety issues, and enforce the covenants, conditions and restrictions set by the developer.


This insurance includes hazard coverage for any damages that may affect the value of a house, in addition to personal liability and theft coverage.


Special insurance policies that cover certain home repairs for a specified amount of time.


The power of a local government to adopt its own land-use regulations.


A document that to protects some of a home’s equity from lawsuits.


A type of insurance that covers repairs to certain parts of a house and some fixtures.


A window that contains a single sash that tilts inward.


A threaded faucet connection for devices such as a washing machine.


The illegal practice of denying an individual or group the right to buy or rent a home based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or family status.


The percentage of gross monthly income devoted to housing costs.


A polyethylene barrier wrapped around a house to save energy.


A closing statement or settlement sheet that outlines all closing costs on a real estate transaction or refinancing.

Fees collected from developers of new homes to pay for schools, parks and other facilities.

Court cases which determined that all new homes are assumed to be fit for human habitation and meet all building codes.


A portion of the monthly mortgage payment that is placed in an account and used to pay for hazard insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance.


Property that is not occupied by the owner but is used to generate income.

A defect in a property that cannot be fixed, such as an adjacent hazardous waste site, or that would cost too much to repair relative to the value of the property.

Financial tables used by lenders to calculate interest rates on adjustable mortgages and on Treasury bills.


Tax-deferred savings accounts that allow people to accrue retirement funds.

Computer-generated reports drawn from credit repositories that are generally regarded as objective histories.


Any significant new construction in an established area.


Home construction in established areas.


This event occurs when there is more money available than there are goods and services to be purchased. Mortgage rates, which are determined by the marketplace and the actions of the Federal Reserve Board and Wall Street, are sensitive to inflation fears.


The roads, schools, parks, utilities, bridges and communications systems in a community.


The original interest rate on an adjustable mortgage.


An examination of a home’s exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, roofing and interior.


A purchase agreement in which the buyer does not receive title to the property until all installments are paid.


Materials including cellulose, glass fiber, rock wool, polystyrene, urethane foam and vermiculite that slow heat loss.


Title to property that a company agrees to insure against defects and disputes.


Owners and buyers can purchase various types of insurance: hazard, private mortgage and earthquake. The policies guarantee compensation for specific losses.


A temporary insurance arrangement usually put in force until a permanent policy can be obtained.


The fee borrowers pay to obtain a loan. It is calculated based on a percentage of the total loan.


The rate at which interest accrues on a mortgage.

The pays only the interest that accrues on the loan balance each month. Because each payment goes toward interest, the outstanding balance of the loan does not decline with each payment.


The sum, expressed as a percentage, charged for a loan. Interest payments on most home loans are tax- deductible.


For cash-short buyers, some sellers are willing to advance funds from the sale of the home to buy down the interest rate and reduce the buyer’s monthly obligation.


A limit on the amount that can be charged to the monthly payment of an adjustable-rate mortgage during an adjustment period.


The highest interest a lender can charge for an adjustable-rate mortgage.


Real estate that generates income, such as an apartment building or a rental house.

A window that consists of vertical rows of horizontal glass slats that operate together by a crank mechanism that connects all the slats.


The responsibility of two or more people to fulfill the terms of a home loan or debt.


Ownership by two or more people that gives equal shares of a piece of property. Rights pass to the surviving owner or owners.


A floor or ceiling support member supported by foundation walls, piers or beams. Subflooring is connected to floor joists.


The decision of a court or law. If a court decides that a person must repay a debt, a lien may be placed against that person’s property.


A procedure to handle foreclosure proceedings as civil matters.


Loans that exceed limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The current limit is $300,700.


A loan that subordinate to the primary loan.


A structure that contains prefabricated components and is put together by a contractor.


A wall-like structure that supports roof rafters.


An old-fashioned wiring system that has been replaced by fuses and circuit breakers.


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