Abstract of Title

The summary that provides a detailed list of all transactions and other records that have taken place regarding a tract of land which would impair the title of the property


The agreement to enter into a binding contract


The right to enter a land through public route; also may include entering the land from another private land.


The natural process of wind and water slowly building and shaping up land


The party overseeing and executing a contract or other legal document going before a public authority and claiming the deed to be of his voluntary decree.


The unit of land area that measures approximately 43,560 square feet.

Ad valorem taxes

The tax that is calculated based on the assessed value of the property


A change made to a contract after it

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Also known as variable rate mortgage, this interest rate in a mortgage loan fluctuates over time, usually according to a prescribed formula that was agreed upon at the start of the loan.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A loan rate that changes as the cost of funds changes. This rate can also change due to another financial index plus a margin.


A person appointed by the court who settles the affairs of an individual who passes without a proper legal will.

Adverse Possession

The attainment of a property through open repossession.


A statement that is sworn in writing.


Formed through a written contract, this is the binding trust established between sellers and buyers and their agent where an entity agrees to represent their client

Agency Disclosure

In Texas, it is required by law for agents who are representing a buyer or seller to disclose the information in a real estate transaction at the first meeting.


A person or company that represents and acts on the behalf of their client in a buying or selling transaction.

Air Rights

Having ownership of everything above the physical surface of land.

Allowance for Repairs

The allowance agreed upon in the contract that designates the amount of money the seller will allocate towards repairs the buyer requests.

American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)

A national organization of home inspectors that uphold high work standards and a code of ethics.


Paying interest and the principal on a loan in regular, scheduled installments.

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