Real Estate Glossary

Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.
Real Estate Glossary
Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.

Ta - Tar - Te - Ter - Th - Ti - To - Tr - Tre - Tu

The "to have and to hold" clause, also known as the Habendum Clause, defines or limits the quantity of the estate granted in the deed. Declares whether the type of ownership conveyed is fee simple, a life estate, or something different.

The point in a weld where the weld metal meets the metal being joined.

Driving nails into the base of a framing member at an angle.

A fastener typically used when attaching a heavy object to gypsum wallboard where there is no stud available for support (i.e. installing a shelf). A collapsible nut is installed into a pre-drilled hole. When the bolt is attached the nut expands and pulls tight against the back of the wallboard, providing extra support.

An electrical switch activated by moving a small lever. Normal household wall switches are toggle switches.

Gasket that seals the joint between the bottom of the toilet and the drain piping to prevent water leakage or escape of sewer gasses.

1. Weight measurement equal to 2,000 pounds (U.S. short ton) or 2,240 pounds (U.K. long ton).
2. Measurement of air conditioning capacity representing the removal of 12,000 Btu of heat per hour.

Long hinged tool used for gripping objects.

Projecting piece of an object that is designed to fit into a groove in another. see tongue and groove.

Also called dressed and matched, these pieces of wood are made with a tongue milled in one edge and a groove milled into the other so that the tongue of one board fits into the groove on the next one.

High carbon steel used for making cutting tools.

A masonry joint where the mortar has been worked with a tool to create a finish effect.

Shaping a masonry joint with a special tool to create a desired look. see tooled joint.

1. A point on the cutting edge of a saw.
2. The ability of paint primer to bond with a surface.

The final coat of material applied to a surface. Typically applies to paint or varnish.

The top horizontal member in a framed wall, installed over the studs.

Term used in the real estate community, which refers to agents and brokers who sell a high volume of properties.

1. The highest horizontal rail on a fence.
2. The highest horizontal section of a panel door.

Top layer of soil, which is removed when lots are graded to prepare for excavation prior to construction. After grading the land, the topsoil is replaced.

A map with contours showing changes in elevation.

Symbols and markings used to represent terrain features on a topographic map.

Art of mapping the physical features of a region. The topography describes the characteristics of an area, such as its contours, flatness, mountainous, etc.

Various type of heating tools using combustible fuel as a power source.

A method of soldering using a torch to provide the heat.

A small pocket level.

Force exerted in rotation.

A wrench that allows measurement of the rotating force applied to a fastener.

A title registration system used in some states. Named after Sir Robert Torrens, a British administrator of Australia, this system allows the condition of the title to be discovered without resorting to a title search.

Twisting force.

A wrongful act that is neither a crime nor a breach of contract, but that renders the perpetrator liable to the victim for damages.

One who has committed a tort. A tort is a civil wrong (not a criminal act) that occurs as a result of a breach of legal duty owed to someone, e.g., negligence. A tort does not arise from a breach of contract.

Legal obligation stemming from a civil wrong or injury for which a court remedy is justified. A tort liability arises because of a combination of a direct violation of a person's rights, the transgression of a public obligation causing damage or a private wrongdoing.

Percentage of monthly debt obligations relative to gross monthly income.

Fees charged by the lender to obtain a loan.

Amount of money borrowed plus any financed closing costs.

Total costs made up of principal, interest, property taxes and insurances.

All closing costs, which also include the down payment, and any prepaid fees. Additionally, two months worth of housing expenses may be required.

Return earned on an investment over a given time period. It includes two basic components- the current yield, such as rental income and capital gains, or losses in property values. It is typically stated as an annual percentage.

1. The vertical distance between floors, used to correctly size a staircase.
2. The vertical distance from the top plate of the wall to the ridge. see roof rise.

1. The horizontal distance of a staircase.
2. The horizontal distance from the exterior wall to the ridge of a roof. see roof run.

Minor repairs and finishes.

A tall structure. Generally, a tower is higher than it is wide.

A crane with the boom on a tower, used for hoisting materials during high-rise construction.

A dwelling unit, generally having two or more floors plus a garage and is attached to other similar units via party walls. Such dwellings are typically found in condominiums and cooperatives or as part of a planned unit development.

Six-mile by six-mile square area of land delineated by Government Rectangular Survey.

Lines determined by a government rectangular survey laying out a standard six-mile square area of land.


A T-shaped metal brace used to support perpendicular lumber joints.

Temperature/pressure relief valve which releases built-up energy in a tank at a certain temperature or pressure.

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