Real Estate FAQs

What is difference between property and real estate?

Property and real estate are closely related terms but have slightly different meanings in the context of the housing market. Here’s a breakdown of their definitions:

Property: The term “property” refers to any tangible asset that is owned by an individual or entity. It can encompass a wide range of possessions, including land, buildings, houses, vehicles, and personal belongings. In a broader sense, property refers to any asset that has value and can be owned or controlled by someone.

Real Estate: Real estate specifically refers to land and any structures or improvements (such as buildings, houses, or commercial properties) that are permanently attached to it. Real estate is a specific subset of property that deals with the physical land and the assets built on it. It encompasses both residential and commercial properties.

How do I buy a house?

The process of buying a house typically involves finding a real estate agent, getting pre-approved for a mortgage, searching for a house, making an offer, and closing the deal.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan used to purchase a house, typically with the house serving as collateral. The borrower makes regular payments to the lender, paying both the principal and interest over time, until the loan is fully repaid. Mortgages typically have a term of 15 or 30 years.

What is a real estate agent?

A real estate agent is a professional who helps individuals buy, sell, and rent properties. They typically have knowledge of the local real estate market and can help guide clients through the buying or selling process.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a thorough examination of a house and its systems to determine its condition and identify any potential problems. It is typically performed before a sale is finalized, to ensure that the buyer is fully aware of the condition of the property.

What is the difference between a real estate agent and a broker?

A real estate agent is a licensed professional who helps clients buy, sell, and rent properties. A broker, on the other hand, is a step up in licensing and education, and typically has more experience and training. A broker may also supervise real estate agents.

What is a real estate investment trust (REIT)?

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a type of investment that allows individuals to invest in a portfolio of real estate properties. REITs are required by law to distribute a certain percentage of their income to shareholders, making them a popular investment option for those looking for a steady stream of income from their real estate investments.

What is a short sale in real estate?

A short sale in real estate is a sale of a property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage. It occurs when the homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments and is unable to sell the property for enough to pay off the mortgage. In a short sale, the lender agrees to accept less than the full amount owed on the mortgage.

What is a foreclosed property?

A foreclosed property is a property that has been taken back by the lender after the homeowner has defaulted on their mortgage. Foreclosures typically occur when a homeowner is unable to make their mortgage payments and the lender takes possession of the property to recoup their losses.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a type of insurance that covers the repair or replacement of certain systems and appliances in a home. Home warranties typically cover items such as the HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as appliances like the refrigerator and dishwasher.

What is a landlord-tenant dispute?

A landlord-tenant dispute is a disagreement between a landlord and a tenant over a rental issue, such as the condition of the property, the amount of rent owed, or the terms of the lease agreement. Landlord-tenant disputes can be resolved through negotiation, mediation, or the court system.

What is a real estate license?

A real estate license is a license issued by a state government that allows individuals to legally practice real estate. In order to obtain a real estate license, individuals must meet certain educational and experience requirements and pass a licensing exam.

What is a title?

A title is a document that proves ownership of a property. It includes information about the property, such as its location, size, and any restrictions or encumbrances.

What is a closing?

Closing, also known as settlement, is the final step in the process of buying or selling a property. During the closing, the buyer and seller sign the necessary paperwork, transfer ownership of the property, and exchange funds.

What is a zoning ordinance?

A zoning ordinance is a local law that regulates the use of land in a specific area. It sets limits on the type of buildings that can be built on a property, the size of buildings, and the density of development.

What is a property appraisal?

A property appraisal is an assessment of a property’s value, typically conducted by a licensed appraiser. It is used to determine the market value of a property for purposes such as selling, lending, or settling an estate.

What is a property tax?

A property tax is a tax levied by local governments on real estate property. The amount of tax owed is typically based on the value of the property.

What is a landlord?

A landlord is a person who owns or manages rental property and rents it to tenants. The landlord is responsible for maintaining the property and collecting rent.

What is a tenant?

A tenant is a person who rents a property from a landlord and lives in the property. The tenant is responsible for paying rent and taking care of the property while they live there.

What is a lease?

A lease is a legal agreement between a landlord and a tenant that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. It includes details such as the rental amount, the length of the lease, and the responsibilities of each party.

What is a commission in real estate?

A commission in real estate is a fee that is paid to a real estate agent for their services. Commission fees are typically a percentage of the sale price of a property and are paid by either the buyer or the seller, depending on the agreement.

What is a down payment in real estate?

A down payment in real estate is the initial payment made by the buyer towards the purchase of a property. Down payments are typically a percentage of the total purchase price and are paid upfront before the closing.

What is a contingency in real estate?

A contingency in real estate is a condition that must be met before a sale can be completed. For example, a buyer may include a contingency in their offer that states that the sale is contingent on the successful inspection of the property.

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