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REAL ESTATE DICTIONARY


A I B I C I D I E I F I G I H I I I J I K I
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I M I N I O I P I Q I R I S I T I U I V I W I X I Y I Z

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lally column
A circular pipe filled with concrete that supports girders and beams.
laminate
Plastic material used to seal countertops. Also known by the trademark name Formica.
lanai
A porch-like room or open-sided living room commonly found in homes in warm climates.
landscape
A home's surroundings can range from a shrub-studded emerald lawn to a native-plant xeriscape. It is a major component of curb appeal.
landscape architect
A professional who holds a degree in landscape architecture and is trained in horticulture, design, and planning.
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landscape contractor
A professional who carries out the plans of a landscape architect or a landscape designer.
landscape designer
A landscape designer has training in horticulture and landscape planning, but does not necessarily hold a degree.
lap siding
A type of siding composed of horizontal boards with the bottom of one piece overlapping the top of the piece below it.
late charge
A fee imposed by a lender when the borrower does not make a payment on time.
late payment
A payment a lender receives after the due date has passed.
latent defect
An invisible problem in a piece of property such as bad wiring, termite damage, or lead paint.
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lead
A metallic chemical element present in older dwellings, primarily in the form of lead-based paint and lead plumbing. Exposure to lead has been found to be a health risk.
leader
A pipe that carries rainwater from the gutters to the ground, sewers, or wells.
lease
A binding agreement that contains the terms and conditions of a renter's occupancy.
lease option
A lease that contains the right to purchase the property for a specific price within a certain time frame.
lease purchase
A type of delayed closing. The lease purchase contract sets the closing date and provides remedies to the seller if the buyer defaults.
leasehold
The limited interest in a property held by a tenant; primarily the right to inhabit it for a specified period of time. At the end of the lease, the property reverts to the owner or landlord.
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leasehold estate
An arrangement in which the borrower does not own a specific piece of property but possesses a long-term lease.
leasehold interest
The limited interest in a property held by a tenant; primarily the right to inhabit it for a specified period of time. At the end of the lease, the property reverts to the owner or landlord.
legal blemish
Blemishes on a piece of property, such as a zoning violation or fraudulent title claim.
legal description
A specific way of identifying and locating a piece of real estate that is acceptable to a court.
lender
A bank, savings institution, or mortgage company that offers home loans.
lessee
A person to whom property is rented under a lease.
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lessor
A person who rents property to another under a lease.
letter of intent
A formal statement that the buyer intends to purchase the property for a certain price on a certain date.
leverage
The use of a small amount of cash (for example, a 5 percent down payment) to buy a piece of property.
levy
The amount of money a governing body certifies to be raised from the property tax.
liabilities
A borrower's debts and financial obligations.
liability insurance
A policy that protects owners against any claims of negligence, personal injury, or property damage.
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LIBOR
Acronym for "London Interbank Offered Rate." An index used to determine interest rate changes for adjustable rate mortgages.
lien
A claim laid by one person or company on the property of another as security for money owed.
life cap
Limits the amount that a loan rate can change during the mortgage term. For example, if the rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage begins at 5 percent and has a life cap of 6 percentage points, it can't go over 11 percent.
life-cycle cost analysis
An analysis of a building project's expected operating, maintenance and replacement costs, calculated by an architect.
lifetime rate cap
In an adjustable rate loan (ARM), a maximum interest rate or "ceiling" that may not be exceeded under any circumstances over the entire life of the loan.
limited partnership
Real estate syndicates and other investment groups use this type of ownership.. A general partner makes the group's investment decisions, oversees the investment and is principally liable for any losses.
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lintel
A horizontal piece over a door or window that carries the weight of the structure above it.
liquid assets
Cash and all other assets that can be converted to cash relatively quickly. Liquid assets can include money in savings and checking accounts, money-market accounts, and most certificates of deposit.
liquidated damages
A sum of money specified in the purchase contract to be paid by one party to the other in the event of a breach of contract.
liquidity
The ability to sell an asset at a price close to its true value and convert it into cash in a short period of time.
listing
A piece of property placed on the market by a listing agent.
listing agent
A broker or sales agent who has contracted with a seller to handle the marketing and sale of a piece of property.
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listing broker
A real estate broker responsible for the listing of the property and representing the interest of the seller. (Also called a listor or seller's broker.)
listing inventories
The known number of houses for sale within a given market.
live-in partnership
An arrangement in which two unrelated people purchase a home.
live-work space
An officially designated dwelling in which the occupant conducts a home-based business or enterprise.
load-bearing wall
A wall that supports not only its own weight, but the weight of other parts of a home. Also called a bearing wall.
loan application
The first step toward submitting a home loan requires the borrower to itemize basic financial information.
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loan application fee
A fee charged by lenders to cover expenses incidental to a loan application.
loan commitment
A promise by a lender or other financial institution to make or insure a loan for a specified amount and on specific terms.
loan officer
An official lending institution representative who is empowered to act on behalf of the lender within certain limits.
loan origination fee
The lender requires a loan origination fee (or points) to cover the direct costs of arranging the loan.
loan term
The time set by a lender for a buyer to pay a mortgage. Most conforming loans have 30-year or 15-year terms. In the case of balloon loans, payments are based on the amortization period and a final payment due at term.
loan type
The type of loan determines its borrowing limit, down payment requirements, and qualifying rules. Available loan types include conforming, jumbo, FHA, and VA.
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loan-to-value ratio (LTV)
The ratio of the total loan amount to the value of the property. For lending purposes, the value is equal to the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is lower.
local improvement district (LID)
A legal district established by state law to benefit a specific area. Districts issue bonds to finance improvements such as sidewalks and sewer systems, then levy assessments on real estate in the affected area to repay funds.
lock-in
A lender's commitment to a borrower to guarantee (or "lock in") a specific interest rate for a limited amount of time.
lock-in period
A period of time during which the borrower is guaranteed an agreed-upon interest rate, even if market rates rise. The longer the period, the higher the cost (in points) to the borrower.
loft
A living space not partitioned into rooms or a small space built above a larger room.
log cabin
Homes constructed of rough-hewn timbers; a standard form of housing during the settlement of the United States.
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louvers
Slatted panels mounted in the upper portion of a gable wall to provide attic ventilation.
low density
A low concentration of housing units in a specific area.
low down-payment loan
A home loan that requires the borrower to make only a small down payment before obtaining the financing needed to purchase a house.
low-documentation loan
A mortgage that requires only minimal verification of income and assets.
low-emissivity
A coating or film applied between panes of glass in high-efficiency glazing; abbreviated "low-E."
lowball offer
An offer made to a seller that is substantially below market value.
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LTV (loan-to-value ratio)
The ratio of the total loan amount to the value of the property. For lending purposes, the value is equal to the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is lower.



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