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Real Estate Words Glossary Archive


Procedure that classifies real property for a number of different uses: residential, commercial, industrial, etc. in accordance with a land-use plan.


What an investment or property will return; the profit or income.


Depreciation or amortization an owner takes on a commercial property.

Warranty deed

A deed in which the grantor guarantees that he or she is giving the grantee good title free of encumbrances. Considered to be the best deed a grantee can receive.

VA loan

Veterans Administration-backed mortgage. The VA, a federal agency, operates a loan guarantee program for honorably discharged veterans and widows of veterans who died of a service-related injury. Mortgages call for low or no down payment. Sometimes referred to as GI loan.


A permit granted as an exception to a zoning ordinance that allows a property owner to meet certain specified needs.

Variable rate mortgage

See adjustable rate mortgage.


Market value or present worth. To have value, a property must have utility, scarcity, effective demand, and transferability.


Estimated or determined value; synonymous with appraising.

Valid contract

One that meets all requirements of law, is binding upon its parties, and is enforceable in a court of law.


Charging a higher rate of interest on a loan than is legally allowed.

Useful life

The period of time over which a commercial property can be depreciated for federal income-tax purposes. Also known as economic life.

Urban renewal

The acquisition of run-down city areas for purposes of redevelopment.

Undivided interest

Ownership by two or more persons that gives each the right to use the entire property.


One who as agent for others handles money or holds title to their land.