Real Estate Terms – From Pre-Approval Letter to Townhouse
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 “Pre-Approval Letter.”
1) Pre-Approval Lender Letter – a writing from a lender stating that a potential buyer has approval to borrow a stated amount of money from his firm based on having documented all the personal information needed. Final approval is subject only to the lender’s receiving a copy of a contract to purchase real estate, a satisfactory appraisal of that real estate, and its underwriting department’s review of all pertinent information. In other words, the buyer qualifies so long as the property does and no changes occur.
2) Pre-Qualification Lender Letter – a writing from a lender stating that a potential buyer is able to get a loan in a named amount. It typically states the price of real property to be purchased, and what information the lender had when forming his opinion. When a lender has pulled a borrower’s credit file, his opinion is worth more than if he just based it on what the borrower told him.
3) Real Estate, or Real Property – ground, any plants growing in it, any minerals under it, and any buildings or other improvements built on it.
4) Septic System – a self contained means of disposing of sewerage which tends to intimidate city dwellers. The simple version is a holding tank in which enzyme and bacterial action decomposes the waste material and buried lines in a drainage field which uses soil to strain out what remains. This works very well in soil which percolates well (water drains through it quickly). More elaborate septic systems are often needed in areas with heavy, clay soil and in areas with a high water table. Some properties are totally unsuited for septic systems and cannot be built on until public sewer is available.
5) Title Insurance – insurance which will compensate the insured for the value of his ownership or collateral position in real property if a person not thought to be a current owner materializes as an owner. (I’ve seen this come into play when property was owned by many heirs a generation or two ago.)
6) Townhouse – A single family attached dwelling unit with common walls.
Well, as promised, it’s not a be-all, end-all, but we have covered lots of the important definitions and concepts needed to successfully handle your for sale by owner transaction. If I’ve missed something, don’t hesitate to visit our site to read more.
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