Real Estate Terms – From Home Inspections to Personal Property

When buying or selling a property, it always helps to have a basic understanding of real estate terms. In this on going series of articles, we take a look at definitions starting with “home inspection.”

1) Home Inspection – an inspection of the condition of a home. They are done item by item, from roof to foundation, and include looking closely at things like plumbing, heating, air conditioning, sinks, tubs, and faucets, and any appliances which convey. The general concept is that the home inspector is trained to spot problems that typical Susie and Sammy Homebuyer are likely to miss. They are not usually intended to bring up discussion about items Susie and Sammy can easily see for themselves like the color of the wall paint or what the carpets look like.

2) Home Warranty Policy – an insurance policy which pays for repairs to the working systems (heat, air conditioning, plumbing, etc.) and appliance repairs during the first year of home ownership. Details vary. Usually there is a deductible amount. They can be bought by the buyer or by the seller for the buyer.

3) Limited Power of Attorney – a writing which gives another person the legal ability to act for and sign papers for the buyer or seller in connection with the purchase and sale of a specific real property. (An example of this happened last summer when a friend of my son’s gave his wife a limited power of attorney to enable her to finalize the sale of their home after he left for Iraq with members of his National Guard unit. A happy postscript is that the young man has now returned home.)

4) Personal Property – appliances which are not built-in, play equipment which is not attached, furniture, plants in containers.

As you can image, there are many real estate terms for which you have a general understanding. In our next article, we continue with the terms starting with “Pre-Approval Lender Letters.”

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