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Real Estate Dictionary



FACE VALUE - The value of notes, mortgages, etc., as stated on the face of the instrument, without considering any discount.  
FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT -  Federal law protecting consumers by establishing procedures to correct errors on credit reports. Gives consumers specific rights in dealing with credit reporting agencies.
FAIR MARKET VALUE -  Price that probably would be negotiated between a willing seller and a willing buyer in a reasonable time. Typically arrived at by comparable sales in the area. 
FANNIE MAE  (FNMA) - The Federal National Mortgage Association. It purchases, sells and guarantees conventional, VA or FHA mortgages.
FEASIBILITY SURVEY - A study of an area before construction of a project to determine the probable financial success of the project.
FEDERAL FAIR HOUSING LAW - Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act which forbids discrimination in the sale or rental of residential property because of race, color, sex, religion or national origin. 
FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION (FHLMC) - Known as Freddie Mac.  Purchases conventional mortgages loans in the secondary mortgage market. 
FEDERAL REVENUE STAMPS - Also called IRS stamps. A transfer tax on the sale of real estate that has ended at the Federal level and has been taken up by most states. Most commonly known as a transfer tax. 
FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN INSURANCE CORPORATION (FSLIC) - A federally charted institution for savings and home mortgag4es, under the regulation of the Federal Home Loan Bank.
FEDERAL TRUTH IN LENDING ACT -  Requires disclosures about terms and costs intended to give consumers cost vs. credit comparisons. 
FEE SIMPLE - An estate under which the owner is entitled to unrestricted powers to dispose of the property, and which can be left by will or inherited. Commonly, a synonym for ownership. 
FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) - A federal agency that purchases first mortgages, both conventional and federally insured, from members of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Home Loan Bank system.
FICO SCORE - Enables a credit grantor to score borrowers using a system that measures ones historic credit history.
FICTITIOUS  DOCUMENT - A document containing general provisions but not regarding a specific property. The fictitious document is recorded in all counties of a state. Whenever the same type of document is recorded regarding a specific property, the provisions of the fictitious document are incorporated by reference, saving the cost of printing and recording extra pages. 
FIDUCIARY - One acting in a relationship of trust, regarding financial transactions.
FINAL DECREE - A decree completely deciding all pending matters before a court thus eliminating the need for further litigation. 
FINANCING COSTS - The cost of interest and other charges involved in borrowing money to build or purchase real estate. 
FIRST MORTGAGE - A mortgage having priority over all other voluntary liens against certain property. 
FIXTURES - Personal property which is attached to real property, and is legally treated as real property while it is so attached. Fixtures, not specifically exempted from an accepted offer to purchase, pass with the real estate.  
FLOOD INSURANCE - Insurance indemnifying against loss by flood damages. Required by lenders (usually banks) in areas designated (federally) as potential flood areas. The insurance is written by private insurance companies, but is federally subsidized. 
FLOOR PLAN -  The layout of a building or portion of a building showing the size of the rooms and the purpose of each. 
FORCED-AIR FURNACE - A furnace with a fan or blower which forces hot air through the ducts. 
FORCED SALE - A sale which is not voluntary on the part of the owner, such as to satisfy a debt. The selling price under such a sale would not be considered market value.
FORECLOSURE - A proceeding in or out of court, to extinguish all rights, title, and interest, of the owner(s) of the property in order to sell the property to satisfy a lien against it. 
FORECLOSURE SALE - A sale of property used as security for a debt, to satisfy the debt.
FORFEITURE - The taking of an individual's property by a government because the individual has committed a crime. In the United States, private property cannot be taken, except by eminent domain upon payment of just compensation, or for nonpayment of taxes.
FREE AND CLEAN - Real property against which there are no liens, especially voluntary liens such as mortgages. 
FREEHOLD - An estate, at least of duration of a lifetime, or of fee. 
FROST LINE - The depth to which the soil freezes. 
FULL DISCLOSURE - In real estate, revealing all the known facts which may affect the decision of a buyer or tenant. A broker must disclose known defects in the property for sale or lease. A builder must give to a potential buyer the facts of his new development. A broker cannot charge a fee to buyer and seller unless both know and agree. 
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