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Real Estate Glossary

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SALE AND LEASEBACK - A transaction in which, typically, an owner sells his improved property and as part of the same transaction signs a long-term lease and remains in possession.

SCHEMATICS - Preliminary architectural drawings and sketches; basic layouts not containing the final details of design.

SECOND MORTGAGE - A mortgage which is junior or subordinate to a first mortgage; typically, an additional loan imposed on top of the first mortgage, which is taken out when the borrower needs more money.

SECONDARY MORTGAGE MARKET - A market for the purchase and sale of existing mortgages, designed to provide greater liquidity for mortgages; also called secondary money market.

SECURITY AGREEMENT - A security document which creates a lien upon chattels, including chattels intended to be affixed to land as fixtures; known as a chattel mortgage prior to the adoption of the Uniform Commercial Code.

SECURITY DEPOSIT - Money deposited by or for the tenant with the landlord, to be held by the landlord for the following purposes: to remedy tenant defaults for damage to the premises (be it accidental or intentional), for failure to pay rent due, or for failure to return all keys at the end of the tenancy.

SEPTIC TANK - A sewage settling tank in which part of the sewage is converted into gas and liquids before the remaining waste is discharged by gravity into a leaching bed underground.

SETBACK - Zoning restrictions on the amount of land required surrounding improvements; the amount of space required between the lot line and the building line.

SETTLEMENT - The act of adjusting and prorating the various credits, charges and settlement costs to conclude a real estate transaction.

SEVERALTY - Sole ownership of real property.

SHELL LEASE - A lease wherein a tenant leases the unfinished shell of a building, as in a new shopping center, and agrees to complete construction himself by installing ceilings, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, and electrical wiring.

SHOPPING CENTER - A modern classification of retail stores, characterized by off-street parking and clusters of stores, subject to a uniform development plan, and usually with careful analysis given to the proper merchant mix.

SHORELINE - The dividing line between private land and public beach on beachfront property.

SIMPLE INTEREST - Interest computed on the principal balance only.

SPECIAL ASSESSMENT - A tax or levy customarily imposed against only those specific parcels of realty which will benefit from a proposed public improvement, as opposed to a general tax on the entire community.

SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED - A deed in which the grantor warrants or guarantees the title only against defects arising during the period of his tenure and ownership of the property and not against defects existing before the time of his ownership.

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE - A legal action brought in a court of equity to compel a party to carry out the terms of a contract.

SPOT LOAN - A loan on a particular property, usually a condominium unit, by a lender who has not previously financed that particular condominium building.

STANDING LOAN - A commitment by the interim or construction lender to keep the money already funded in the project for a specified period of time after the expiration of the interim loan, usually until permanent take-out financing is secured.

STATUTE OF FRAUDS - That law which requires certain contracts to be in writing and signed by the party to be charged therewith in order to be legally enforceable.

STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS - That law pertaining to the period of time within which certain actions must be brought to court.

STEP-UP LEASE - A lease with fixed rent for an initial term and provision for pre-determined rent increases at specified intervals and/or increases based upon periodic appraisals; sometimes called a graduated lease.

STRAIGHT NOTE - A promissory note evidencing a loan in which "interest only" payments are made periodically during the term of the note, with the principal payment due in one lump sum upon maturity.

SUBJECT TO MORTGAGE - A grantee taking title to real property "subject to mortgage" is not personally liable to the mortgagee for payment of the mortgage note. In the event the grantor-mortgagor defaults in paying the note, the grantee could, however, lose property, and thus his equity, in a foreclosure sale.

SUBORDINATION AGREEMENT - An agreement whereby a prior mortgagee agrees to subordinate or give up their priority position to an existing or anticipated future lien.

SUMMARY POSSESSION - A legal process used by a landlord to regain possession of the leased premises if the tenant has breached the lease or is holding over after the termination of tenancy.

SURRENDER - A premature conveyance of a possessory estate to a person having a future interest, as when a lessee surrenders the leasehold interest to the owner of the reversion interest, the lessor, before the normal expiration of the lease.

SURVEY - The process by which boundaries are measured and land areas are determined; the on-site measurement of lot lines, dimensions, and position of houses in a lot including the determination of any existing encroachments or easements.

SURVIVORSHIP - The right of survivorship is that special feature of a joint tenancy whereby all title, right and interest of a decedent joint tenant in certain property passes to the surviving joint tenants by operation of law, free from claims of heirs and creditors of the decedent.

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