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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 L 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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façade
The part of a building facing a street or courtyard.
facilitator
A real estate professional who assists in a transaction but does not have a agency relationship with that party. Also known as transaction broker or intermediary.
Fair Credit Billing Act
A federal law that governs credit and charge card billing errors, If a credit or charge card company violates any provision, consumers can sue to recover damages.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
A federal law designed to regulate procedures and prevent old or inaccurate information from staying in consumer credit files. The act gives individuals the right to inspect their own credit files, although the credit bureau may charge a fee.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
A federal law which outlaws debtor harassment, and regulates collection agencies, original creditors’ collection offices (if separate), and creditors’ lawyers. The original creditor may be covered by state law.
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Fair Housing Act
Landmark federal law that makes it illegal to refuse to rent or sell to anyone based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The 1988 amendments to the act expanded the protections to include family status and disability.
Fannie Mae
The official name of the Federal National Mortgage Association, it is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.
Farmer’s Home Administration (FmHA)
A U.S. Department of Agriculture agency that provides credit to farmers and rural residents.
fascia
A flat board that runs horizontally along the eaves of a roof, typically capping the ends of the roof rafters to give the roof edge a more finished look and provide a base for attaching gutters.
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation is commonly known as Freddie Mac. The company buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans, and sells shares to investors.
Federal Housing Administration
(FHA)

This government agency operates a variety
of home-loan programs. Its most popular is the Section 203(b) program, which provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent.
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Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
This government agency operates a variety of loan programs including the Section 203(b) program, which provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment of as little as 3 percent.
Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)
Now officially dubbed Fannie Mae, this federally chartered agency buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans, and sells shares to investors.
Federal Reserve Board
A group of economists and other experts who set the nation’s monetary policy. Its chief tool to control inflation is the power to control interest rates.
Federal style
The American home architecture style that evolved after the Revolutionary War. Details include bigger windows and a front doorway surrounded by glass and topped with an arched window.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The government agency that regulates companies and industries, from, credit bureaus and collection agencies to timeshare operators and some creditors. National headquarters: Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580. Phone: (202) 326-2222.
fee simple
This type of ownership, also called fee simple absolute, is the maximum interest a person can have in a piece of real estate. It entitles the owner to use the property in ny manner they see fit, in accordance with state and local laws.
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fee simple absolute
This type of ownership, also called fee simple, is the maximum interest a person can have in a piece of real estate. It entitles the owner to use the property in any manner they see fit, in accordance with state and local laws.
fee simple defeasible
The owner of the property holds a fee simple title subject to certain conditions.
fenestration
A term referring to the way windows are arranged in a building.
feng shui
An ancient Chinese design philosophy in which the positioning and physical characteristics of the home are believed to affect the fortunes of the owner.
FHA loans
Mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property, and provides low-rate rtgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3  ercent.
fiduciary duty
The relationship of trust that buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent. The term also applies to legal and business relationships.
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field changes
Modifications made on the construction site that do not match blueprints.
fill dirt
Soil brought in to solidify a finished foundation.
filled land
An area where the ground has been raised by adding dirt, gravel, or other fill material.
financed closing costs
Closing costs that are added to the loan amount. This practice saves the borrower cash up front, but increases the borrower’s monthly payment.
finish grade

finder’s fee
A fee in any amount that is paid to someone.

A finish that prepares a lot for landscaping.

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fire wall
A buffer composed of fire-resistant material.
firm commitment
A promise made by a lender to loan money for the purchase of property.
first mortgage
The primary mortgage on a property. The first mortgage takes priority over all other voluntary liens.
fixed installment
The monthly payment on a home loan.
fixed time
The specific weeks in a year that an owner of a timeshare arrangement has access to accommodations.
fixed-rate mortgage
A home loan with an interest rate that will remain at a specific rate for the term of the loan. About 75 percent of all home mortgages have fixed rates.
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fixer-upper
A house that needs refurbishment or remodeling and usually sells at a below-market price.
fixture
Personal property permanently attached to a house, such as drapery rods, toilets, built-in bookcases, or a furnace.
flashing
Metal strips placed around chimneys, skylights, vents, windows, doors, beneath shingles, and along seams in the roof to prevent water seepage.
flat fee
A set fee charged by a broker instead of a commission.
flat roof
A roof with a level surface.
flip switch
An electrical switch operated by pushing the control knob up or down.
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float arm
A wire-like device in some types of toilets that attaches a float ball to the ball cock.
float ball
A round or oval ball that floats on top of the water inside the tank of some toilets. When it reaches its highest position, it shuts off the flow of water.
float floor drain
A drain that diverts water from the basement to a collection area. Water is then removed with a sump pump.
floating slab
A concrete floor that is not connected to the foundation wall.
floating wall
Walls built to withstand movement in the basement floor
flood certification
The process of determining whether a property is located within a known flood zone. If the property is in a flood zone, the lender will probably require federally provided flood insurance.
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flood insurance
Hazard coverage that is required in designated flood areas.
flood plain
Flat, flood-prone areas located along waterways.
floor area ratio
The calculation of the floor area of all homes or buildings in a project. It is used in the planning and development of a site.
Florida rooms
Enclosed porches built on the side or back of a home.
flue
A chimney, usually made of metal, designed to exhaust unwanted gasses and byproducts from a combustion appliance such as a furnace or water heater. A fireplace also has a flue to carry away smoke.
flush door
A flush door has smooth surfaces, as opposed to a panel door, which has raised or recessed panels.
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flush valve
The passageway between a toilet tank and bowl. When you flush a toilet, water rushes through the flush valve into the bowl.
flush valve seat
The seal in the passageway between a toilet tank and bowl. A stopper, flapper, or seat ball plugs the flush valve seat .When you flush a toilet, the seat is opened and water rushes through the flush valve into the bowl.
footing
A concrete foundation that supports a structure.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
The seller acts as the selling agent and handles the sales process directly with the buyer or buyer’s agent. In this situation, the seller does not pay a listing commission.
forbearance
A course of action a lender may pursue to delay foreclosure or legal action against a delinquent borrower.
foreclosure
Legal process by which a lender ends the borrower’s interest in a property after a loan is defaulted. The lender may sell the property and keep the proceeds for mortgage and legal costs, using excess proceeds to satisfy other liens or return to the borrower.
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forfeiture
The relinquishing of property rights by a delinquent borrower.
foundation
The support structure of a house.
four-way switch
A device that uses three switches to permit an appliance or outlet to be operated from all three switches.
foyer
The entrance hall to a home or building.
framing
The construction of the skeletal framework of a house.
Freddie Mac
The common name for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC), a congressionally chartered institution that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.
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free-market lots
Owners of these types of lots may hire any builder to construct their home.
freehold estate
An estate in which ownership is for an indeterminate length of time.
French doors
Two adjoining doors inlaid with glass that open from the middle.
front footage
The measurement of a parcel of land by the number of feet of street frontage.
front-end ratio
A lender calculation that compares a borrower’s monthly housing expense (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) to gross monthly income.
frontage
The portion of property that borders a roadway or body of water.
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FSBO (For Sale By Owner)
The owner acts as the agent to avoid paying a sales commission.
full-service broker
A real estate broker who performs all transaction services including listing and selling.
fully amortized adjustable-rate
mortgage

A mortgage that amortizes, or pays down, the balance of a loan.
functional obsolescence
A loss in value to an improvement resulting from functional problems caused by age or poor design.
furnace
An enclosed heating device powered by coal, oil, propane or natural gas.
furring strips
Strips of wood used to support walls, ceilings, or floors on irregular or masonry surfaces.
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fuse
A small device in an electrical circuit that is designed to shut down the circuit in the event of an electrical overload or short circuit.
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