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Real Estate Terms Glossary
Click the letter corresponding to the first letter of the word you wish to look up.
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Real Estate Terms Beggining with the Letter p
Parity Wall
 
A wall erected on the line between two adjoining properties that are under different ownership for the use of both owners.
   
Parol Evidence Rule
 
A rule of courtroom evidence that once the parties make a written contract they may not then introduce oral agreements or statements to modify the terms of that written agreement. An exception exists for fraud or mistake which will permit the parties to offer evidence to vary the terms of the writing.
   
Parquet Floor
 
Hardwood flooring laid in squares or patterns.
   
Partial Reconveyance
 
In a deed of trust or mortgage a clause that permits release of a parcel or part of a parcel from the effects and lien of that security instrument. The release usually occurs upon the payment of a specified sum of money.
   
Partition Action
 
A legal action by which co-owners seek to sever their joint ownership. The physical division of property between co-owners usually through court action.
   
Partnership
 
An association of two or more persons to unite their property labor or skill or any one or combination thereof in prosecution of some joint business and to share the profits in certain proportions. An agreement of two or more individuals jointly to undertake a business enterprise. If it is a general partnership all partners have unlimited liability and absent other agreements
   
Patent
 
Conveyance of title to government land.
   
Payment Clause
 
A provision in a promissory note deed of trust or mortgage permitting the debtor to pay off the obligation before maturity.
   
Penny
 
The term as applied to nails that serves as a measure of nail length and is abbreviated by the letter d.
   
Percentage Lease
 
A lease on property the rental for which is determined by the amount of business done by the tenant usually a percentage of gross receipts from the business with provision for a minimum rental.
   
Perimeter Heating
 
Baseboard heating or any system in which the heat registers are located along the outside walls of a room especially under the windows.
   
Periodic Tenancy
 
A leasehold estate that continues indefinitely for successive periods of time until terminated by proper notice. When the periods are one month in duration it is often called a month-to-month lease.
   
Personal Injury
 
A term commonly used in tort (e.g. negligence cases) indicating an injury to one's being or body (for example cuts or broken bones) as opposed to injury to his property.
   
Personal Property
 
Any property which is not real property.
   
Petitioner
 
A person who petitions the court on a special proceeding or a motion.
   
Pier
 
A column of masonry used to support other structural members.
   
Pitch
 
The incline or rise of a roof.
   
Plaintiff
 
The party who initiates a lawsuit; the person who sues another.
   
Plate
 
A horizontal board placed on a wall or supported on posts or studs to carry the trusses of a roof or rafters directly; a shoe or base member as of a partition or other frame; a small flat board placed on or in a wall to support girders and rafters for example.
   
Pledge
 
Deposition of personal property by a debtor with a creditor as security for a debt or engagement.
   
Pledgee
 
One who is given a pledge as security. (See Security Party)
   
Pledgor
 
One who gives a pledge as security. (See Debtor)
   
Plottage Increment
 
The appreciation in unit value created by joining smaller ownerships into one large single ownership.
   
Plywood
 
(1) Laminated wood made up in panels. (2) Several thicknesses of wood glued together with grains at different angles for strength.
   
Points
 
The amount of money the borrower or seller must pay the lender to get a mortgage at a stated interest rate. The amount is equal to the difference between the principal balance on the note and the lesser amount which a purchaser of the note would pay the original lender for it under market conditions. A point equals one percent of the loan.
   
Police Power
 
The right of the state to enact laws and regulations and its right to enforce them for the order safety health morals and general welfare of the public. The power of the state to prohibit acts that adversely affect the public health welfare safety
   
Power of Attorney
 
A written instrument whereby a principal gives authority to an agent. The agent acting under such a grant is sometimes called an attorney in fact.
   
Power of Termination
 
The future interest created whenever there is a grant of a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent estate. The future interest matures into a present interest estate only if the holder timely and properly exercises his right upon a breach by the current holder of the fee estate.
   
Prefabricated House
 
A house manufactured and sometimes partly assembled before delivery to the building site.
   
Prejudgement Attachment
 
An attachment of property made before the trial with the intent of holding that property as security to have an asset to sell if the court judgment is favorable to the attaching party.
   
Prepayment Penalty
 
Penalty for the payment of a note before it actually becomes due. A fee or charge imposed upon a debtor who desires to pay off his loan before its maturity. Not all prepayment clauses provide for a penalty and in many real estate transactions the law regulates the amount of penalty that may be changed.
   
Prescription
 
Securing of an easement by open notorious and uninterrupted use adverse to the owner of the land for the period required by statute. A method of obtaining an easement by adverse use over a prescribed period of time.
   
Present Interest
 
An estate in land that gives the owner the right to occupy his property immediately; as opposed to a future interest which grants only the right to occupy the premises at some future date.
   
Presumption
 
That which may be assumed without proof. A conclusion or assumption that is binding in the absence of sufficient proof to the contrary.
   
Prima Facie
 
(1) Presumptive on its face. (2) Assumed correct until overcome by further proof. Facts evidence or documents that are taken at face value and presumed to be as they appear (unless proven otherwise).
   
Principal
 
The employer of an agent. Someone who hires an agent to act on his behalf. The term also refers to the amount of an outstanding loan (exclusive of interest).
   
Priority
 
That which comes first in point of time or right. superior higher or preferred rank or position.
   
Privity
 
Closeness or mutuality of a contractual relationship.
   
Probate
 
Court supervision of the collection and distribution of a deceased person's estate.
   
Procedural Law
 
The law of how to present and proceed with legal rights (for example laws of evidence enforcement of judgments). It is the opposite of substantative law.
   
Procuring Cause
 
That event originating from another series of events that without a break in continuity results in an agent's producing a final buyer. Proximate cause. A broker is the procuring cause of a sale if his or her efforts set in motion an unbroken chain of events that resulted in the sale.
   
Profit a Prendre
 
An easement coupled with a power to consume resources on the burdened property.
   
Promissory Note
 
A written promise to pay a designated sum of money at a future date.
   
Property
 
Everything capable of being owned and acquired lawfully. The rights of ownership. The right to use possess enjoy and dispose of a thing in every legal way and to exclude everyone else from interfering with these rights. Property is classified into two groups personal property and real property.
   
Proration of Taxes
 
To divide or prorate the taxes equally or proportionately to time and use between seller and buyer.
   
Punitive Damages
 
Money awarded by the court for the sole purpose of punishing the wrongdoer and not designed to compensate the injured party for his damages.
   
Purchase Money Instrument
 
A mortgage or deed of trust that does not permit a deficiency judgment in the event of foreclosure and sale of the secured property for less than the amount due on the promissory note. It is called purchase money since the deed of trust and mortgage was used to buy all or part of the property.
   
Purchase-Money Mortgage or Purchase-Money Deed of Trust
 
A mortgage or deed of trust given as part or all of the consideration for the purchase of property or given as security for a loan to obtain money for all or part of the purchase price.
   

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