It pre-dates "textese" and pager codes, but even to individuals familiar with those modern informal languages, real estate lingo may still be incomprehensible.
There are two types of real estate slang: the acronyms used in ads (of which there are over 6,000) and the daily jargon used by real estate industry professionals in their work. If this is your first real estate rodeo, let's bring you up to speed on what you may hear coming from the mouth of your real estate agent.
Contingency: It's surprising how many real estate professionals throw this word around as if everyone knows what it means. "Don't forget, we have to remove that contingency," might just as well mean "I need to see a podiatrist for something growing on my foot."
A contingency is simply a clause in the contract that puts off the terms of the contract until another event occurs. Think of it as saying: "This contract isn't enforceable unless X occurs by such-and-such a date." Common contingencies include the sale of your current home, obtaining a firm offer of financing, the home appraising for at least the loan amount, and acceptable inspection results.
CC&Rs: Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions are the governing documents of a homeowners association. They set forth what are known as deed restrictions – which include how the association operates and the rules and regulations that all homeowners must follow. Although that sounds pretty straightforward, these are important documents that may be challenging to read through.
CID: A Common Interest Development is a combination of individual ownership of property and property held and managed in common among all the individual owners. CID might describe a condominium, planned community or cooperative – any development where the individual owns the unit and shares ownership in the common areas.
Closing Costs: The fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction are known as closing costs. These costs vary, and some are negotiable and may be paid by the buyer, the seller or both.
CMA: Comparative Market Analysis. A research report compiled by a real estate agent that analyzes a segment of the housing market to determine the market value of a particular property.
Escrow Impound Account: You will be asked to prepay taxes and insurance when you close on a home. This money goes into an escrow impound account and is used to ensure that these bills are paid on time. Not all mortgages require an escrow impound account, and if your loan-to-value ratio is 80 percent or less, you may be able to have this requirement waived and sometimes the lender will charge you for this.
FHA and HUD: The Federal Housing Administration is an office overseen by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Many Americans assume that "FHA loans" are loans actually granted by this agency. They're not. The FHA guarantees the repayment of the loan granted by a conventional lender.
GFE: Good Faith Estimate. A form supplied by the lender that itemizes the terms and costs of the loan for which you have applied.
HOA: Homeowners Association. This is the governing body of a common interest development. It is made up of a board of directors, elected by the homeowners.
HOI: Homeowner's Insurance. This is required by the lender and it protects the property from hazards such as theft and fire. It also covers your liability or legal responsibility for any injuries on your property, including those caused by pets that live in the home.
HUD-1 Settlement Statement: An itemized list of services and fees charged to the borrower by the lender. By law, the borrower is given at least 24 hours before closing to inspect the HUD-1.
MLS: Multiple Listing Service. A database on which listing brokers share information about properties for sale with other agents. The information contained in the MLS is proprietary and typically not available to the general public.
PITI.: Pronounced "pee-tee," this acronym stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance, which, combined, make up your monthly mortgage payment.
PMI: Short for private mortgage insurance, a policy paid for by the borrower but benefitting the lender. Lenders typically require PMI when the loan-to-value ratio exceeds 80 percent.
PUD: Planned Unit Development. These developments are designed to offer amenities and conveniences not found in conventional subdivisions. They are typically governed by a homeowners association. Some PUDs are a mix of residences and retail operations.
REALTOR®: Many consumers assume that all real estate agents are Realtors®. This isn't true. A real estate agent must be a dues-paying member of the National Association of Realtors® to legally use the term REALTOR®. (The association requires the registered trademark symbol be used with the term.)
Title Insurance: There are two types of title insurance policies. One covers a buyer's interest in real property. The second type protects the lender. Title insurance is necessary to protect your interest from other claims of ownership.
TDS: Transfer Disclosure Statement. This describes a form that is filled out by the seller and given to the buyer as part of the disclosure process. The TDS contains a list of questions that must only be answered by the seller (not by his or her agent). Some of these questions are about the condition of the property and whether or not the seller has knowledge of any major repairs made to the house and items on the property, such as burglar alarms, sump pumps and even rain gutters.
VA Loan: A mortgage offered to U.S. service members, veterans and sometimes spouses that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Zero-lot line: When a home sits right on the lot's boundary, with little or no space between homes, it is said to have a zero-lot line.
The way some people talk, it would take a miracle to make it from a signed purchase agreement to the closing table. But in reality, most real estate transactions go through with nary a hitch. Those that do hit snags, however, run the very real danger of completely falling apart.
The problems are sometimes out of the control of all parties. More often than not, though, there are ways to handle them that won't result in killing the deal. Whether you are the buyer or the seller, read on to learn how to keep the deal alive.
1. Messing Up the Mortgage Approval
The number one reason deals fall apart is because the buyer unknowingly sabotages the loan. A good real estate agent or loan officer will warn the homebuyer about this pitfall. Sadly, many don't, which is why this is such a common deal killer.
Here's the scenario: Mary is approved for a mortgage and the transaction is sailing along toward closing. One day, she sees an ad for an appliance package with reasonable monthly payments. She'll need to purchase these items when she becomes a homeowner, so she goes on a shopping spree to equip her new kitchen and laundry room.
What she hasn't been told is that the lender will most likely do what is known as a "soft pull" of her credit report prior to closing. Lenders do this to ensure that nothing has changed, and that the buyer still qualifies for the loan. Mary's shopping spree changes her debt-to-income ratio enough that she no longer qualifies for the loan. Unfortunately, fixing this problem will take time and money.
Another way to mess up your mortgage approval is by changing jobs. Don't make any major purchases or life changes until the loan closes.
If you are purchasing a home managed by a homeowners association, it's important to get the HOA docs as soon as possible after the purchase agreement is accepted. You are entitled to a slew of informative documents about the association and the community, including meeting minutes, the budget, the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions), and more.
Items that can potentially derail the deal include a lien against the property, current litigation against the association or the builder, too many tenant-occupied units, or problems with the association's budget. The more time you have to peruse the documents – or have your attorney go over them – the sooner the problems will become apparent. If a deal is going to fall apart, it's better to have it happen at the beginning, rather than just before closing.
It's safe to say that if you're purchasing an existing home, it will have problems – maybe big ones, maybe small ones. To expect otherwise is unrealistic. The ideal situation is to find a home in which the problems are small and common, relative to the property's age. You won't know everything that's going on with the house, however, until you have it professionally inspected.
The inspector has a duty to report anything he or she finds, from a loose doorknob to major water damage. The former is a function of normal wear and tear, while the latter is a deal killer, if the seller won't repair it or offer a credit so the buyer can have it repaired. Be realistic in your repair or replacement requests, otherwise the deal may fall apart.
Both parties in a real estate deal dread its possible derailment. The biggest reasons a deal falls apart, however, can be avoided by slowing down, thinking clearly, and having realistic expectations. Heed the advice of your real estate agent or attorney, and all should go smoothly.
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
LABOR DAY LEGISLATION
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
THE FIRST LABOR DAY
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Palm Beach County’s South County Regional Park west of Boca Raton gained national recognition from National Association of County Park and Recreation
The park also includes accessible playgrounds, a bike trail, a freshwater boat ramp, picnic opportunities, and more. A nationally-renowned water ski school draws athletes from all over the world. South County Regional Park, ideally suited for large crowds, has also become a popular location for walk-a-thons and other community fund-raising events. West Boca tackle football league.
With the recent completion of Osprey Point, a new 27-hole golf course registered in the Audubon International Classic Signature Golf Course program, this extraordinary regional park begun in 1975 is a tribute to all who helped make it a reality.