Real Estate Glossary

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Debt: The owed amount.

Deed: The legal document that shows title to a property. 

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure: A deed to real property accepted by a lender from a defaulting borrower to avoid the necessity of foreclosure proceedings by the lender. 

Deed of Trust: Like a mortgage, a security instrument whereby real property is given as security for a debt. However, in a deed of trust there are three parties to the instrument: the borrower, the trustee, and the lender, (or beneficiary). In such a transaction, the borrower transfers the legal title for the property to the trustee who holds the property in trust as security for the payment of the debt to the lender or beneficiary. If the borrower pays the debt as agreed, the deed of trust becomes void. If, however, he defaults in the payment of the debt, the trustee may sell the property at a public sale, under the terms of the deed of trust. In most jurisdictions where the deed of trust is in force, the borrower is subject to having his property sold without benefit of legal proceedings. A few States have begun in recent years to treat the deed of trust like a mortgage.

Default: Failure to make a mortgage payment within a specified period of time. For first mortgages or first trust deeds, the loan is in default if a payment has still not been made within 30 days of the due date.

Deferred Maintenance: Existing requirements for repairs and rehabilitation but has yet to be performed.

Deficiency Judgment: A personal claim against the debtor when the sale of foreclosed property does not yield sufficient proceeds to pay off the debt.

Delinquency: Failure to make mortgage payments before the due date.

Deposit: A sum of money given in advance of a larger amount being expected in the future. 

Depreciation: Loss of value in real property due to age, physical deterioration, etc. 

Deterioration: Reflecting the loss in value brought due to wear and tear, disintegration, use in service, and the actions of the elements.

Discount Fee: A fee charged by the lender in order to obtain a higher earning than the interest stated in the mortgage note.

Discount Points: The total percentage amount in addition to the one percent loan origination fee in government loans. A "point" is one percent of the loan amount.

Documentary Transfer Tax: A state enabling act allows cities and counties to adopt a documentary transfer tax to apply on all transfers of real property located within their jurisdictions.

Down Payment: The amount of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.

Due-On-Sale Provision: A rule in a mortgage allowing the lender to demand repayment in full if the borrower sells/transfers the property that serves as security for the mortgage.

Duress: To unlawfully force action or inaction against a person's will.