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Real Estate and Mortgage Terms Glossary

If you need a more in-depth understanding of a particular term, or have additional questions on any of these definitions, please contact us directly and we'll be happy to assist you.

Glossary Index

A | B | C | D | E | F | G-H | I-K | L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T | U-Z


Terms starting with Letter S

SALES COMPARISON APPROACH

An appraisal practice which estimates the value of a property by comparing it to comparable properties which have sold recently.

SALE & LEASEBACK

A technique in which a seller deeds property to a buyer for a consideration, and the buyer simultaneously leases the property back to the seller.

SALE PRICE

The actual price a property sells for, exclusive of any special financing concessions.

SCARCITY

An economic principal that dictates the price of a good or service through the interaction of supply and demand. When an item is scarce, its price tends to rise, given a constant demand. Real Estate is a classic example of scarcity.

SECOND MORTGAGE

A loan secured by the equity in a home, when a primary mortgage already exists.

SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET

An economic marketplace where mortgage bankers buy and sell existing mortgages.

SECURED LOAN

A loan that is backed by collateral. In the case of a mortgage loan, the collateral is the house.

SECURITY

The property used as collateral for a loan.

SELLER DISCLOSURE

Requires sellers to inform buyers about known problems with the house that would lower its value. See Disclosures.

SELLERS MARKET

When demand exceeds supply.

SEMI-DETACHED HOUSING

Two residences which share a common wall.

SERVICER

A financial institution which collects mortgage payments from borrowers and applies the appropriate portions to principal, interest and any escrow accounts.

SERVICING

The processing of payments, mailing of monthly statements, management and disbursement of escrow funds etc., typically carried out by the company where you send your mortgage payments.

SHEATHING

The covering on outside walls beneath the siding or exterior finish such as stucco.

SHEETROCK

Also called drywall, the gypsum board commonly used on interior walls.

SILL PLATE

The lumber used around the foundation to support exterior wall framing.

SILL COCK

Exterior hose pipe connection.

SINGLE-FAMILY PROPERTY

A property designed and built to support the habitation of one family.

SOFFIT

The underside of a cornice at the eaves.

STAGING

A method of preparing your home for sale. See Staging to Sell.

STEERING

The illegal practice of channeling home seekers to a particular area or neighborhood.

STIGMATIZED PROPERTIES

Those that individuals consider to be "psychologically impacted"  because certain events have occurred that people may find offensive or that provide emotional reactions.

STUCCO

A textured plaster exterior (and occasionally interior) wall finish.

STUD

A vertical framing piece in a wall, generally 2x4 lumber in interior walls.

SUBDIVIDE

To segment large, acquired tracts of real property in order to create small tracts for the purpose of sale; to split off.

SUBDIVISION

A residential development that is created from a piece of land which has been subdivided into individual lots.

SUBJECT PROPERTY

A term which indicates a property which is being appraised.

SUBORDINATION

The act on the part of a mortgagee, or a landowner in the case of a leasehold mortgage, acknowledging by written recorded instrument that his or her mortgage or interest can be placed in an inferior position to a mortgage given to another mortgagee and secured by the same collateral.

SUMP

A basin into which water drains and from which the water is pumped out.

SURVEY

A specific map of a piece of property which includes the legal boundaries and any improvements or features of the land. Surveys also depict any rights-of-way, encroachments or easements. See Title Insurance.

SWEAT EQUITY

The method whereby a home owner develops equity in a property, either during the purchase or throughout its life, by personally constructing improvements rather than paying to have them built.

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Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors