Dictionary of Terms - T

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Tacking: Adding or combining successive periods of continuous occupation of real property by adverse possessors. This concept enables someone who has not been in possession for the entire statutory period to establish a claim of adverse possession.
Taking: A concept which comes from the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and means that when land is taken for public use through the government's power of eminent domain or condemnation the owner must be compensated.
Tangible Value: The value assigned to the physical portion of property, such as land, building, machinery, furnishings, merchandise, cash and other items which are perceptible by the senses.
Tax Credit: An amount by which tax owed is reduced directly.
Tax Deed: The instrument used to convey legal title to property sold by a governmental unit for nonpayment of taxes.
Tax Lien: A lien placed against a property for nonpayment of taxes (property and/or personal)
Tax Rate: An amount derived by dividing the total government budget by the total assessed value of real estate in the taxing district.
Tax Roll: A list of all properties subject to tax in a particular jurisdiction. The tax roll sets forth every property subject to tax and lists each property's assessed value.
Tax Sale: A court ordered sale of real property to raise money to cover delinquent taxes.
Tax Service Fee: A fee collected to set up third-party monitoring of the borrower's property tax payments. This is done to ensure that the payments are made on time and to prevent tax liens from occurring to the detriment of the lender.
Taxation: The process by which a government or municipal quasi-public body raises monies to fund its operation.
Taxing Entity:
Tax-stop Clause: A clause in a lease providing that the lessee will pay any increase in taxes over a base or an initial year's taxes.
Teaser Rate: A low, short-term interest rate offered on a mortgage to entice the borrower.
Tenancy By The Entirety: The joint ownership, recognized in some states, of property acquired by husband and wife during marriage. On the death of one spouse the survivor becomes the owner of the property.
Tenancy In Common: A form of co-ownership by which each owner holds an undivided interest in real property as if he or she were sole owner. Each individual owner has the right to partition. Unlike joint tenants, tenants in common have the right of inheritance.
Tenancy In Severalty: (See ownership in severalty
Tenant Improvement: Alterations to the interior of a building to meet the functional demands of the tenant.
Tenant: One who has possession of real estate; an occupant, not necessarily a renter; the lessee under a lease. The estate or interest held is called a tenancy.
Testate: Having made and left a valid will.
Testator: A person who has made a valid will. A woman often is referred to as a testatrix although testator can be used for either gender.
Tier (township Strip): A strip of land six miles wide extending east and west and numbered north and south according to its distance from the base line in the rectangular (government) survey system of legal description.
Time Is Of The Essence: A phrase in a contract that requires the performance of a certain act within a stated period of time.
Time-share: A form of ownership interest that may include an estate interest in property and that allows use of the property for a fixed or variable time period.
Title Company: A firm that ensures that the property title is clear and provides title insurance.
Title Exam: An examination of the public record to determine that the seller is the legal owner and there are no encumbrances (such as claims or liens) affecting the property.
Title Insurance Binder: A title insurance company's written commitment to insure title to the property subject to the conditions and exclusions shown on the binder.
Title Insurance: A policy insuring the owner or mortgagee against loss by reason of defects in the title to a parcel of real estate other than encumbrances defect sand matters specifically excluded by the policy.
Title Risk: Possible impediments to the transfer of a title from one owner to another.
Title Search: The process of reviewing all recorded transactions in the public record to determine whether any title defects exist that could interfere with the clear transfer of ownership of the property.
Title Theory: Some states interpret a mortgage to mean that the lender is the owner of mortgaged land. Upon full payment of the mortgage debt the borrower becomes the landowner.
Title VIII Of Civil Rights Act Of 1968: (called the federal Fair Housing Act) Prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion or national origin.
Title XI: In 1989 Congress passed the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIIRREA), more commonly known as the Savings and Loan Bailout Bill. Title XI of FIIIRREA set out a real estate appraiser regulatory system involving the Federal Government, the states and The Appraisal Foundation. The purpose of Title XI is to provide that federal financial and public policy interests in real estate related transactions will be protected by requiring that real estate appraisals utilized in connection with federally related transactions are performed in writing, in accordance with uniform standards, by individuals whose competency has been demonstrated and whose professional conduct will be subject to effective supervision.
Title: (1) The right to or ownership of land. (2) The evidence of ownership of land.
Topography: Surface features of land; elevation, ridges, slope, contour.
Torrens System: A method of evidencing title by registration with the proper public authority generally called the registrar named for its founder, Sir Robert Torrens.
Total Expense Ratio: The percentage of monthly debt obligations relative to gross monthly income.
Total Lender Fees: Fees required by the lender to obtain the loan, apart from other fees associated with transferring a property between buyer and seller.
Total Loan Amount: The base loan amount plus any financed closing costs.
Total Monthly Housing Costs: The sum of principal, interest, property taxes and, if applicable, private mortgage insurance (PMI) and either hazard insurance or homeowners' association dues.
Total Of All Payments: The total cost of the loan including repayment of the principal amount and the sum of monthly interest payments.
Town House: A dwelling unit usually with two or three floors, and shared walls. It can be individually owned, a condominium, a cooperative, or rental property.
Township Lines: All the lines in a rectangular survey system that run east and west parallel to the base line six miles apart.
Township Strips: See tier.
Township Tiers: Township lines that form strips of land and are designated by consecutive numbers north or south of the base line.
Township: The principal unit of the rectangular (government) survey system. A township is a square with six-mile sides and an area of 36 square miles.
Trade Fixtures: Articles of personal property installed by a commercial tenant under the terms of a lease, Trade fixtures are removable by the tenant before the lease expires and are not true fixtures.
Trading Down: Buying a home that is less expensive than the one's current house.
Trading Up: Buying a home that is more expensive than one's current house.
Trans Union Corporation: One of the major credit reporting bureaus.
Transactional Broker: Helps both the buyer and seller with paperwork and formalities in transferring ownership of real property but is not an agent of either party.
Transfer Tax: Tax stamps required to be affixed to a deed by state and/or local law.
Treasury Index: An index used to determine interest rate changes for adjustable rate mortgages.
Trend Analysis: A study of changes in the environment of a property; it is used particularly in the income approach to help forecast future changes in property income, sale price and occupancy rates.
Trended Cost: Original, historic or appraised cost adjusted by index factors to estimate cost at another date under similar conditions of acquisition, construction and installation.
Trigger Terms: Specific credit terms such as down payment monthly payment and amount of finance charge or term of loan.
Triple Net Lease: (See net lease.)
True Market Value: Actual selling price if offered for sale in the open market and sold on the valuation date.
Trust Deed Lien: A lien on the property of a trustor that secures a deed of trust loan.
Trust Deed: An instrument used to create a mortgage lien by which the borrower conveys title to a trustee who holds it as security for the benefit of the note holder (the lender); also called a deed of trust.
Trust: A fiduciary arrangement whereby property is conveyed to a person or an institution, called a trustee, to be held and administered on behalf of another person or entity, called a beneficiary. The one who conveys the trust is called the trustor.
Trustee: The holder of bare legal title in a deed of trust loan transaction.
Trustee's Deed: A deed executed by a trustee conveying land held in a trust.
Trustor: The borrower in a deed of trust loan transaction.
Truth-in-Lending Act: Federal government regulates the lending practices of mortgage lenders through this Act.
Two-step Mortgage: An adjustable mortgage with two interest rates: one for the first five or seven years of the loan, and the other for the remainder of the loan term.

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