A is for Apple – Why Are There So Many Words That Start with A in Real Estate?

So many words starting with ‘A’ to learn in real estate pre-licensing. Here are some of my favorites and a few easy ways to remember them.

  • Appraisal – Estimating property value by an individual who is state licensed in appraising
  • Agricultural – farms, ranches – places where you grow things
  • Accession – transistion of trade fixtures to real property of the owner if not removed prior to end of lease
  • Annexation – addition, personal to real – plant the tree “When the tree was in the root ball in the driveway it was personal property, when you planted i int h front yard it became real property.”
  • Appurtenance – right or privilege that runs with the land. “My right of way to the boat dock”
  • Agency – relationship of trust between principal & agent, it’s so special
  • Accretion – increases the land by the slow and gentle action of water
  • Alluvium – the actual deposited soil or silt
  • Avulsion – sudden removal of soil – act of Mother Nature – flood, earthquake, mudslide
  • Ad Valorem – according to value, how we tax property
  • Assessment – property value for tax purposes
  • Appropriation – authorizes the taxation of property
  • Attachment – court order to control property
  • Assignment – transfer of right but original party remains liable
  • Acknowledgement – notarized, sealed
  • Adverse Possession – open, notorious, continuous, hostile and adverse. 20 years. The opposite of Easement by Prescription.
  • Abstract of Title – Title search of public record, not an Attorney’s Opinion of Title
  • Actual Notice – Given the information directly, I KNOW IT.
  • Acceleration clause– Makes entire debt due immediately. If you don’t pay, you don’t stay.
  • Alienation clause – Prevents borrower from assigning the debt. Must pay off the mortgage first if sold.
  • Assume – Becoming personally liable for existing mortgage including payments
  • ARM – Adjustable Rate Mortgage
  • Amortize – “To kill off slowly”
  • Amendment – to ‘mend’ – change something in the contract
  • Addendum – to ‘add’ – something to the contract

Passing the pre-licensing examination for real estate is mostly about learning a new and very subtle language. Mastering the vocabulary is key to mastering the test.


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