Dictionary of Terms - H

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Habendum Clause: That part of a deed beginning with the words "to have and to hold," following the granting clause and defining the extent of ownership the grantor is conveying.
Hazard Insurance: Hazard insurance provides coverage for damage from items as fire and wind. Mortgage lenders require coverage for at least the replacement value of the home. (Also known as homeowner's insurance or fire insurance)
Heir: One who might inherit or succeed to an interest in land under the state law of descent when the owner dies without leaving a valid will.
Highest And Best Use: A fundamental precept of appraising. All land is appraised as if it is vacant and available for its highest and best use. The assessment will be based upon the potential use that will generate the highest net return, provided such use is physically and legally possible.
High-rise: Any building taller than six stories.
Historical Cost: The actual or first cost of a property at the time it was originally constructed and placed in service. It should not be confused with original cost, the latter term more properly being used to designate the actual cost to the present owner, who may have purchased at a price more or less than the historical or first costs. In an assembled property, such as a public utility, the historical cost as of any date means the first cost as defined, plus all subsequent additions and betterments less deductions.
Historical Rent: Scheduled (or contract) rent paid in past years.
Holdover Tenancy: A tenancy in which the lessee retains possession of the leased premises after the lease has expired and the landlord, by continuing to accept rent from the tenant, thereby agrees to the tenant's continued occupancy.
Holographic Will: A will that is written, dated and signed in the testator's handwriting.
Home Equity Line: An open ended line of credit based on a homeowner's accumulated equity.
Home Equity Loan: A loan (sometimes called a line of credit) under which a property owner uses his or her residence as collateral and can then draw funds up to a prearranged amount against the property.
Home Inspection: An examination of a home's condition by a licensed inspector prior to purchase.
Home Inspector: A licensed professional who evaluates the structural soundness and operating systems of a residence.
Home Price: The price agreed upon by a buyer and seller, usually based on an appraisal of the house's market value.
Homeowner's Insurance Policy: A standardized package insurance policy that covers a residential real estate owner against financial loss from fire, theft, public liability and other common risks.
Homeowners Association (HOA): A group that governs a subdivision, condominium or planned community. The association collects monthly fees from all owners to pay for common area maintenance, handle legal and safety issues and enforce the covenants, conditions, and restrictions set by the developer.
Homeowners Association Dues: Monthly payments due to a homeowners' association to be used for maintenance and communal expenses. Condominiums, townhouse complexes, and planned unit developments (PUDs) may require monthly homeowners' association dues.
Homeowner's Insurance: Insurance that includes coverage for any damages that may affect the value of a house, in addition to personal liability and theft coverage.
Homeowners' Association: The organization in a condominium form of ownership responsible for maintaining the common areas of the condominium.
Homestead Cap: A limitation on the increase in assessed value, but not market value, for homesteads. The limitation is 10% per year, times the number of years since the property was last reappraised, plus the market value of improvements added since the property was la
Homestead Exemption: (i) A partial exemption of property taxes for owners of a residence. Qualifications include owning and living in the house on January 1 of the tax year in question. In many jurisdictions, the benefit of a homestead exemption is property taxes are reduced by approximately 20%; however this varies from tax entity to tax entity. Homeowners need not reapply once the homestead exemption has been approved, unless the chief appraiser requests a new application. (ii) A homestead is property used by a husband and wife as their primary residence. A homestead exemption allows a husband and wife a reduction in assessed value in some jurisdictions.
Homestead: A parcel of land used by the owner as a primary residence.
Horizontal Property Acts: The laws governing condominiums and similar estates. They are typically enacted at the state level and sometimes include the laws that regulate timeshare ownerships.
Hoskold Sinking Fund Table: A table that supplies a factor by which a property's annual net income may be multiplied to find the present worth of the property over a given period at a given rate of interest.
Housing Expense Ratio: The percentage of gross monthly income devoted to housing costs.
HUD: Abbreviation of (the U.S. Department of) Housing and Urban Development. HUD is a federal agency that oversees the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and a variety of housing and community development programs.
HUD-1 Uniform Settlement Statement: A closing statement or settlement sheet that outlines all closing costs on a real estate transaction or refinancing for the buyer and seller.
Hypothecate: To pledge property as security for an obligation or loan without giving up possession of it.
Hypothetical Condition (USPAP): That which is contrary to what exists, but is supposed for the purpose of analysis. Comment: Hypothetical conditions assume conditions contrary to known facts about physical, legal or economic characteristics of the subject property or about conditions external to the property, such as market conditions or trends, or the integrity of data used in an analysis.|05

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