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Real Estate Terms Glossary
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Real Estate Terms Beggining with the Letter c
Cal-Vet Loan (California Veterans Loan)
 
A program administered by the State Department of Veterans Affairs for the direct financing of farms and homes for veterans who qualify.
   
Capital Assets
 
Assets of a permanent nature used in the production of income. Examples would include land buildings and equipment.
   
Capital Gain
 
The gain recognized for federal and state income tax purposes when a taxpayer disposes of a capital asset.
   
Capitalization
 
In appraising a method of determining value of property by considering net income and a reasonable percentage of return on the investment.
   
Capitalization Rate
 
The percentage rate or rate of interest considered a reasonable return on the investment. It is used in the capitalization method of determining value based upon net return.
   
Carpet Strip
 
Molding used at junction of baseboard and floor sometimes called a carpet strip.
   
Casement Window
 
Windows set in frames of wood or metal that swing outward.
   
Cash Flow
 
The new amount of cash a property produces when all cash income and other cash generated are added together and all cash expenses and other cash payments are deducted.
   
Cause of Action
 
A legal right; facts giving rise to an enforceable claim.
   
Caveat Emptor
 
A Latin phrase meaning let the buyer beware"; the legal maxim stating that the buyer must examine the goods or property and buy at his or her own risk."
   
CC&RS
 
Covenants conditions and restrictions. The basic rules establishing the rights and obligations of owners (and their successors in interest) of real property within a subdivision or other tract of land in relation to other owners within the same subdivision or tract in relation to an association of owners organized for the purpose of operating and maintaining property commonly owned by the individual owners.
   
Certificate Of Reasonable Value (CRV)
 
The Veterans Administration's written appraisal of the value of a property.
   
Certiorari
 
The Supreme Court order indicating that the court has decided to exercise its discretion and accept a case offered on appeal. The court reviews only those select cases that it deems worthy of review.
   
Chain of Title
 
A series of conveyances encumbrances and other instruments affecting the title from the time original patent was granted or as far back as records are available. A history of the recorded ownership of real estate and claims against title to real estate.
   
Chattel
 
The old name for personal property.
   
Chattel Mortgage
 
A personal-property mortgage. (See Security Agreement.)
   
Chattel Real
 
In real estate an estate less than a freehold estate such as a lease.
   
Chattels
 
(1) Personal property. (2) This term is sometimes used in a law to describe any interest in real or personal property other than a freehold.
   
Circuit Breaker
 
An electrical device that automatically interrupts an electrical circuit when an overload occurs. Circuit breakers can be reset and today are used instead of fuses.
   
Civil Law
 
A system of jurisprudence sometimes called Roman law wherein all the laws are set forth in advance to regulate conduct (as opposed to common law where the principles of law develop on a case-by-case basis).
   
Clapboard
 
Boards that are used for siding and that are usually thicker at one edge.
   
Client
 
A person represented by a broker or an attorney.
   
Closing
 
(1) The process by which all the parties to a real estate transaction conclude the details of the sale or mortgage. The process includes the signing and transfer of documents and distribution of funds. (2) Condition of description of real property by courses and distances at the boundary lines where the lines meet to include all the tract of land.
   
Closing Costs
 
The miscellaneous expenses buyers and sellers normally incur in the transfer of ownership of real property over and above the cost of the property.
   
Closing Statements
 
An accounting of funds to the buyer and seller separately. Required by law to be made at the completion of every real estate transaction.
   
Cloud on Title
 
A claim or document that affects title to real estate. The actual cloud may ultimately prove invalid but its existence mars the title.
   
Co-Tenancy
 
Any form of joint ownership.
   
Codicil
 
An amendment to a will.
   
Collar Beam
 
A beam that connects the pairs of opposite roof rafters above the attic floor.
   
Collateral
 
Property subject to a security interest; property used as security for a debt. (See Security Agreement.)
   
Collateral Security
 
The transfer of property of other valuables to ensure the performance of a principal agreement; an obligation attached to a contract to guarantee its performance.
   
Collusion
 
A secret agreement between two or more persons wishing to defraud another for a wrongful purpose or to obtain an object forbidden by law.
   
Color of Title
 
That which appears to be a good title but in fact is not; for example a forged deed. A document that appears to convey title but in fact is ineffective conveying no title at all. It is one of the requirements for adverse possession and easement by prescription.
   
Combed Playwood
 
A grooved building material used primarily for interior finish.
   
Commercial Acre
 
A term applied to the remainder of an acre of land after the area devoted to streets sidewalks curbs and so on has been deducted from the acre.
   
Commercial Paper
 
Negotiable instruments used in business.
   
Commingling
 
The mixing of different funds so that they can no longer be distinguished. In domestic law it refers to the combination of separate property and community property so that the separate property and community funds can no longer be distinguished; in such cases all property is considered community property. For brokers it refers to the mixing o clients' money with the broker's separate bank accounts.
   
Commission
 
An agent's compensation for performing the duties of the agency; in real estate practice a percentage of the selling price of property percentage of rentals etc. A fee for services.
   
Commitment
 
A pledge or a promise; a firm agreement.
   
Common Law
 
The body of law that grew from customs and practices developed and used in England. A body of unwritten law that developed in England from the general customs and usage. It was adopted in the United States and exercised by court decisions following the ancient English principles and the recodified law of a state.
   
Community Property
 
All property acquired by a husband and wife living together except separate property. (See Separate Property.) Property owned in common by a husband and wife as a kind of marital partnership.
   
Compaction
 
Packing or consolidation of soil. When soil is added to a lot to fill in low places or to raise the level of the lot it is often too loose to sustain the weight of buildings. Therefore it is necessary to compact the added soil so that it will carry the weight of the building without danger of settling or cracking.
   
Comparative Market Analysis
 
One of three methods in the appraisal process. A means of comparing similar type properties which have recently sold to the subject property.
   
Competent
 
Legally qualified or capable.
   
Compound Interest
 
Interest paid on the original principal and also on the accrued and unpaid interest that has accumulated as the debt matures.
   
Conclusive Presumption
 
A legal assumption that cannot be rebutted and is therefore accepted as true and binding on the courts.
   
Condemnation
 
(1) The act of taking private property for public use by a political subdivision. (2) A declaration by proper governmental authorities that a structure is unfit for use. The taking of private property for public use through the exercise of the power of eminent domain.
   
Condition
 
A provision in a contract stating that the contract will not go into effect or that it will terminate upon the occurrence of some specified future event. (1) A restriction added to a conveyance that upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a some act or event causes the estate to be defeated. (2) A contractual provision that upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of a stated act or event an obligation is created destroyed or defeated.
   
Condition Precedent
 
A condition that must occur before an estate is created or enlarged or before some other right or obligation occurs.
   
Condition Subsequent
 
A condition that upon its failure or nonperformance causes the defeat or extinguishment of an estate right or obligation.
   
Conditional Commitment
 
A loan commitment for a definite amount under certain terms and conditions. It is subject to an unknown purchaser's satisfactory credit rating.
   
Conditional Sale Contract
 
A contract for the sale of property whereby the seller retains legal title until the conditions of the contract have been fulfilled. The buyer has an equitable interest in the property. (See Security Agreement.) A contract for the sale of property by which possession is delivered to the buyer but title remains with the seller until full payment or the satisfaction of other stated conditions.
   
Conditional Use Permit
 
An exception to or relief from the application of a zoning ordinance because of special authorization granted by the zoning authorities. The issuance rests on public policy benefits and prior authorization in the zoning ordinance.
   
Condominium
 
An estate in real property wherein there is an undivided interest in common in a portion of real property coupled with a separate interest in space called a unit the boundaries of which are described on a recorded final map parcel map or condominium plan. The areas within the boundaries may be filled with air earth water or any combination and need not be attached to the land except by easements for access and support.
   
Conduit
 
Usually a metal pipe in which electrical wiring is installed.
   
Confession of Judgment
 
Any entry of judgment upon the debtor's voluntary admission or confession.
   
Confirmation of Sale
 
A court approval of the sale of property by an executor administrator guardian or conservator.
   
Consideration
 
Anything of value or that is legally sufficient given to induce someone to enter into a contract. The inducement for entering into a contract; usually money services or a promise although it may consist of a legal benefit to the promisor or any legal detriment to the promisee.
   
Construction
 
The interpretation of an ambiguous term or provision in a statute or agreement.
   
Constructive
 
A fiction imputed by law.
   
Constructive Eviction
 
A breach of the landlord's warranty of quiet enjoyment. Any acts by the landlord that substantially interfere with the tenant's use and enjoyment of the premises.
   
Constructive Notice
 
Notice given by the public records; that which is considered equivalent to actual notice even though there is not actual notice. (1) Notice given by a recorded document. (2) Notice imputed by a law because a person could have discovered certain facts upon reasonable investigation and a reasonable man" in the same situation would have conducted such an investigation."
   
Consumer Credit Protection Act
 
A federal law that includes the truth-in-Leading Law.
   
Consumer Goods
 
Goods sold or purchased primarily for personal family or household purposes.
   
Contingent
 
Conditional uncertain conditioned upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of some uncertain future event.
   
Continuation Statement
 
A statement filed to extend the time limit on a financing statement that had been filed earlier.
   
Contract
 
An agreement to do or not to do a certain thing. It must have four essential elements: parties capable of contracting consent of the parties a lawful object and consideration. A contract for sale of real property must also be in writing and signed by the party or parties to be charged with performance.
   
Contract of Sale
 
A contract for the sale of property whereby the seller retains legal title until the conditions of the contract have been fulfilled. The buyer has an equitable interest in the property. (See Security Agreement.) A contract for the sale of property by which possession is delivered to the buyer, but title remains with the seller until full payment or the satisfaction of other stated conditions.
   
Conventional Loan
 
A loan that is made that is not federally insured or guaranteed.
   
Conventional Mortgage
 
A mortgage securing a loan made by investors without government underwriting i.e. which is not FHA insured or VA guaranteed. The type customarily made by a bank or savings and loan association.
   
Conversion
 
The wrongful appropriation of another's goods to one's own use; to change from one character or use to another. (1) In tort an unauthorized claim of ownership over another's personal property. (2) In property the change of character of property from real to personal or vice versa.
   
Conveyance
 
An instrument in writing used to transfer (convey) title to property from one person to another such as a deed or trust deed.
   
Cooperative Apartment
 
A form of ownership in which each individual apartment owner shares in a cooperative venture that entitles the owner to use rent or sell a specific apartment unit.
   
Corporation
 
A group or a body of persons recognized by law as an individual person with rights and liabilities distinct from those of the persons comprising it. Since the corporation is created by law it may continue for any length of time that the law prescribes. An artificial entity given authority to conduct business and possess many of the rights of natural persons. One of the key characteristics is that of perpetual existence.
   
Cost Basis
 
See Adjusted Cost Basis.
   
Counter-Offer
 
The rejection of an offer by the submission of another offer different in terms from the original offer. Any purported acceptance of an offer that introduces new terms is a rejection of that offer and amounts to a counter-offer.
   
Counterflashing
 
Flashing used on chimneys at roof-line to cover shingle flashing and prevent moisture entry.
   
Covenant
 
An agreement or a promise to do or not to do a particular act. Covenant: A contractual agreement whereby one of the parties promises to perform or to refrain from doing certain acts.
   
CPM
 
Certified Property Manager; a member of the Institute of Real Estate Property management of the National Association of Realtors.
   
Crawl Hole
 
Exterior or interior opening permitting access underneath a building as building codes may require.
   
Curtail Schedule
 
A list of the due dates and amounts by which the principal sum of an obligation will be reduced by partial payments.
   

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