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Real Estate Dictionary



DAMAGES - 1) Money recoverable by one suffering a loss or injury. 2) The loss of value to property adjourning a property taken in condemnation proceedings, rather than the value of the property taken.
DEBIT - Term used to designate a payment or amount owning, as opposed to a credit which is an amount received or owed.
DEBTOR - One who owes a debt.
DEBTOR'S POSITION -  Refers to the value over and above the amount owned. Also known as equity.
DECK - Any flat surface on a roof or porch that is not enclosed.
DECLARATION OF RESTRICTION -  A set of restrictions (rules) filed by a subdivide to cover an entire tract or subdivision. 
DEED - Actually, any one of many conveyance or financing instruments, but generally a conveyance instrument, given to pass fee title to property upon sale.
DEED OF TRUST - An instrument used in many states in place of a mortgage. Property is transferred to a trustee by the borrower (trustor), in favor of the lender (beneficiary), and reconveyed upon payment in full.
DEFEASIBLE TITLE - Title which is not absolute but possible may be annulled or voided at a later time. For example, Title conveyed to A with the condition that A marries before age 21, or title will go to B. 
DEFECTIVE TITLE - 1) Title to a negotiable instrument obtained by fraud. 2) Title to real property which lacks some of the elements necessary to transfer good title.
DEMAND NOTE - A note having no date for repayment, but due on demand of the lender.
DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE - That department of the state government responsible for the licensing and regulation of persons engaged in the real estate business. The person heading the department is usually called The Real Estate Commissioner. Other names for the department are The Division of Real Estate and The Real Estate Commission.
DEPOSIT -  Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase. Show good faith. Commonly referred to as Ernest Money.
DEPRECIABLE LIFE - A tax term meaning the number of years used to determine depreciation of an asset. The useful life is defined by the IRS.
DEVELOPER - 1) a Builder, 2) One who prepares the raw land for construction and then sells the lots to one or more builders.
DEVELOPMENT -  A planned construction project - includes land and buildings.
DEVELOPMENT LOAN - A loan for the purchase of land or off-site improvements other than building costs. The land involved is used to secure the loan.
DEVISE - Real estate left by will.
DEVISEE - One to whom real estate is given by will.
DEVISOR -  A testator who leaves real estate.
DISINTERESTED APPRAISAL - An estimate of value of real estate by one having no personal interest in the property.
DISTRESS SALE - A sale of property when the seller is under extreme pressure to sell. Generally the property is sold for less than market value.
DIVIDED INTEREST - Different estates in the same property, such as the interest of the owner, lessee, mortgage holder, etc.
DOCUMENTARY TAX STAMPS - Stamps affixed to a deed showing the amount of transfer tax paid. In most states a stamp in now used instead of actual stamps.
DOCUMENTARY TRANSFER TAX - A state tax on the sale of real property (real estate) based on the sale price or equity transferred. Most states quote the rate as X per thousand.
DOWN PAYMENT - Cash portion paid by a buyer from his own funds, as opposed to that portion of the purchase price which is financed.
DRIVEWAY - 1) Commonly, a private road, paved or unpaved leading from a public street or road to a private property. 2) The entrance to private land for any purpose.
DUAL AGENCY - The representation of opposing principals (buyer and seller) at the same time. Some states have declared that the real estate agent aids the buyer but is the agent of the seller. In real estate it means that both the buyer and seller are represented by the same real estate brokerage company. A problem arises when both buyer and seller pay the broker. Full disclosure must be made. An escrow agent is the agent of the buyer and the seller and is usually paid by both. This is why an escrow agent must be neutral. 
DUE-ON-SALE-CLAUSE - same as Alienation Clause.
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