written approval of a buyer’s offer.
Accessibility: The degree to which a building has access
to handicapped people.
Acre: A measurement of land. Approximately 43,560 square
Active Solar System: A system that transfers solar energy
for storage or direct use through the utilization of electric
pumps or fans.
Add-on Interest: The interest a borrower pays on the
principal for the duration of the loan.
Agent: A person licensed by the province to conduct real
Agreement of Sale: A document that details the price, and
terms of the transaction, as approved by both the buyer and
Alley: A lane behind, or between, a building or
Amenities: Parks, swimming pools, health-club facilities,
churches, schools, bike paths, community centers as well as
other services offered by community, or builder.
Apartment: A room or a group of rooms, among similar sets
in one building, designed for use as a dwelling.
Appraisal: An assessment to determine the value of a
property, at any give point in time.
Appraised Value: The current market value of a property.
Appreciation: An increase in the value of a home or other
As-is Condition: The purchase or sale of a property in
its existing condition.
Asking Price: The initial price the seller asks for a
piece of property.
Assessed Value: A determination of the value of a home in
order to calculate a tax base.
Assets: Items of value which include securities, real
estate, investments, and cash.
Assumable Mortgage: A mortgage that can be transferred to
Average Price: Determined by totalling the sales prices of
all houses sold in an area, and dividing by the total number of
Awning Windows: Single windows that tilt outward and up.
Backup Offer: A secondary offer for a property that is
offered to the seller if the first offer fails.
Bankruptcy: A proceeding in which a debtor can obtain
relief from the payment of certain obligations. They can
severely limit a person's ability to borrow, and remain on their
credit record for seven years.
Baseboard: Any board or moulding found at the bottom of an
Basement: An area of a home below ground level.
Bay Window: A window that projects outward from the
house, often in a curve.
Bearing Wall: A wall that supports the weight of other
parts of a structure, in addition to its own.
Bidding War: Often occurs when there are multiple offers
from buyers for a piece of property.
Bi-Level: Home consists of one main floor above ground,
as well as a second level of which half a storey is above
ground, while half is underground.
Blind Nailing: Nails driven into a wall, and then
concealed with putty to hide from view.
Bill of Sale: A document that transfers ownership of
personal property from one person to another.
Blueprint: The building plan for a home, or other
Book Value: The value of a property plus any additions,
Boundary: The dividing line between two or more adjacent
Breach of Contract: Occurs when there is a failure to
perform provisions of a contract, without a legal excuse.
Breach of Warranty: Occurs when a seller is unable to
pass clear title to a buyer.
Brokerage: The act of bringing together two or more
parties in exchange for a commission or fee.
Broker: A person, or business licensed by the province to
deal in real estate.
Building Code: A comprehensive set of laws that controls
the construction or remodelling of a home or other structure.
Building Inspector: A city or county employee who
enforces the building code and ensure that work is correctly
Building Permit: A permit issued by a local government
agency that allows the construction of home or renovation of a
Building Restrictions: Regulations that place limits on
the manner in which property can be used.
Built-ins: Appliances or other items that are framed, or
permanently attached to a home.
Bungalow: Home consists of one main floor above ground.
Butterfly Roof: Resembling a butterfly's wings, a roof
formed by two gables that dip in the middle.
Buyer’s Market: A slow real estate market in which
buyers have the advantage over sellers.
Buyer’s Remorse: An emotion felt by first-time
homebuyers after signing a sales contract or closing the
purchase of a home.
Bylaws: The rules and regulations that a town, city,
homeowners association, or corporation adopts to govern
Carport: A roof that
covers a parking area, or driveway.
Casement Widow: A window hinged on its sides that swings
Cathedral Ceiling: A high ceiling formed by or suggesting
an open-timbered roof, or a ceiling, as in a living room, higher
than that of other rooms in a house.
Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware: the principle that
the seller of a product cannot be held responsible for its
quality unless it is guaranteed in a warranty.
Ceiling Height: The standard height of ceilings in most
homes is eight feet.
Central Air Conditioning: A system or process for
controlling the temperature, humidity, and sometimes the purity
of the air within the house, or building.
Cinder Block: A concrete building block made up of ash and
cement, used in construction.
Closing: The final procedure in which all documents are
signed and recorded by the both the buyer and seller, and thus
the property is transferred.
Combination Door: A door with interchangeable screen and
Commercial Property: An area that is designated for
businesses to build on.
Condominium: An apartment house, or other multiple-unit
complex, of which the units are individually owned, including
the right to sell, mortgage etc. Joint ownership of any common
Contingency Listing: A property listing having a special
condition attached to its being sold.
Contract: An agreement, enforceable by law, between two
or more parties that binds them to perform, or refrain from
performing something. In particular, a contract to buy/sell a
Contract to Purchase: A contract the buyer produces,
which details the purchase price of the home, and conditions of
the sale, which is then accepted by the seller. Also known as an
agreement of sale.
Contractor: A person who contracts to perform work at a
certain price or rate.
Co-signer: A second party who agrees to sign a loan, and
takes responsibility for the debt if borrower cannot make
Crawl Space: The space between the first floor of a home
and the ground.
Credit: Granting of goods, services, or money in return
for a promise of future payment within a timeframe. Most credit
is accompanied by an interest charge, which usually makes the
future payment greater than an immediate payment would have
Creditor: A person, or institution to whom money is due.
Credit Rating: A classification of credit risk based on
investigation of a customer's or potential customer's financial
resources, prior payment pattern, and personal history or degree
of personal responsibility for debts incurred.
Cul-de-sac: A street or alley that is closed at one end.
Curb Appeal: The impression of a house that an individual
gets, as seen from the street.
Curtain Wall: An exterior wall that does not provide any
structural support to a home.
Custom Home: A home designed by an architect or builder,
hired by the owner.
movable plate in a fireplace which allows smoke and other fumes
to travel up the chimney.
Deadbolt Lock: Locks that require a key to open from the
outside, and a turn knob from the inside.
Deck: An open, unroofed porch or platform extending from
a house or other building.
Deed: The legal document that transfers the ownership of
a home, or other piece of property.
Deposit: Money given by the buyer, alongside an offer to
purchase a piece of property. Also called earnest money.
Depreciation: The decline in value of a piece of
Dimension Plans: Plans which resemble blueprints, but
with less detail.
Domed Ceiling: A hemispherical ceiling that projects
upward from the home, without support.
Double Hung Window: A window that consists of two panes
of windows, that slide up and down.
Down Payment: The amount of money a buyer agrees to give
the seller, when a sales agreement is signed.
Drainage: A system of gutters and drainpipes, artificial
or natural, that carry water away from the foundation of a home.
Dropped Ceiling: A flat ceiling which is built lower than
the original ceiling.
Dry rot: A fungus decay that attacks both softwood and
hardwood timber, causing it to become brittle and crumble.
Drywall: Produced in large sheets, they are composed of
gypsum or plaster, wrapped in paper, and can be nailed to wall
Duct: Any kind of tube, pipe or channel that carries
wiring, water, or conditioned air through a home.
Duplex: A house having separate apartments for two
families, esp. a two-story house having a complete apartment on
each floor and two separate entrances, or side by side.
Early Occupancy: The
condition in which buyers can obtain occupancy of the property
before the actual sale is completed.
Earnest Money: Money a buyer gives the seller, with an
offer to purchase a property. Also called a deposit.
Eaves Drop: A projecting overhang at the lower edge of
the roof of a house.
Elevations: The exterior view of a home design, which
shows the position of the house, relative to the grade of land
on which it sits.
Encroachment: Can occur when fences, or other structures,
extend into the property of another owner.
Equity: The monetary value of a property or business
beyond any amounts owed on it in mortgages, claims, liens, etc.
Escrow: A neutral third party holds the money, and
documents involved in a real estate transaction, and ensures
that all conditions of the sale are met.
Estate: The total assets of a person, at the time of
thier death. Includes real estate.
Exclusive Listing: A contract between the seller and a
realtor, that gives the realtor the exclusive right to market a
property for a specific period of time.
Exhaust Fan: Ventilating devices which remove water
vapor, undesired smells or smoke.
part of a home, or building, which faces the street, or a
Feng Shui: An ancient Chinese belief that the physical
characteristics of a house and the positioning of the home will
affect the fortunes of the owner.
Fire Wall: A buffer composed of fire-resistant materials.
Fixture: Something securely, and usually permanently
attached to a house.
Flat Roof: A roof having a level surface.
Floating Wall: Walls which are built to withstand any
movement of the basement floor.
Foreclosure: The legal process reserved by a lender, to
terminate a borrowers title to a piece of property, after the
loan has been defaulted. Upon completion, the lender may sell
the property, and keep the proceeds to satisfy its mortgage and
legal costs. Any excess proceeds may be used to satisfy other
liens or be returned to the borrower.
Foundation: The support structure of a house.
Foyer: The entrance hall to a home or building.
Framing: The process of building a frame, or system of
frames resulting in the framework of a house.
French Doors: Two adjoining doors, opening from the
middle, inlaid with glass.
Full Bath: Full-baths contain a toilet and a sink, as
well as a bathtub or shower stall.
Furnace: An enclosed heating device powered by propane,
natural gas, and sometimes oil or coal.
Gag Rules: Often a
provision in contracts, when signed by a new buyer, it prohibits
them from publicizing complaints about the builder.
Gambrel Roof: A roof in which a shallower slope lies
above a steeper one.
Girders: A principal beam of wood, or steel, supporting
the ends of joists.
Grade: The elevation of the land, above level ground.
Grade Level: A flat or sloping surface, upon which a
home, or building is built.
Greenbelt: Any stretch of open space, parks, or other
natural setting within a community.
Gross Income: The total income of a household before
Gutters: Horizontal channels placed at the edge of a
roof, to carry rainwater or melted snow away from the house.
Half-baths contain a toilet and a sink, but no bathtub or shower
Heat Pump: An electric heating and cooling system.
Hectare: The equivalent of 2.471 acres.
High Rise: Any building higher than six stories above
Hip Roof: A roof with sloping ends and sides.
Home Inspection: An examination of a home's construction,
by an inspector or contractor, prior to purchase.
Hopper Window: A window that contains a single pain of
glass that tilts inward.
Infill Development: The
planned conversion of empty lots, underused or rundown
buildings, and other available space for use as sites for
Inflation: A persistent, substantial rise in the general
level of prices related to an increase in the volume of money
and resulting in the loss of value of currency.
Infrastructure: Consist fo the roads, schools, parks,
utilities, bridges and communications systems within a
Insulation: Use of materials or devices to inhibit or
prevent the loss of heat.
Interest: A charge for the use of credit or money,
usually figured as a percentage of the principal and computed
Investment Property: Real estate property that generates
income, such as an apartment building.
A window, blind or shutter that consists of vertical, or
horizontal rows of glass, connected together, that can be
adjusted to admit light and air but exclude rain, and sun rays.
Joist: Any of a number of small, parallel beams of
timber, steel, reinforced concrete, for supporting floors,
ceilings, or the like.
structure that is designed to support roof rafters.
Landscape: A major
component of curb appeal. To improve the appearance of a
property by planting trees, shrubs, or grass, or altering the
contours of the ground
Lease: A binding agreement which contains the terms and
conditions of the occupancy of a renter.
Letter of Intent: A formal statement from a buyer that
they intend to purchase a piece of property for a certain price
on a certain date.
Leverage: The use of a small initial investment, credit,
or cash in order to buy a piece of property, or to reduce one's
own liability for any loss.
Liabilities: A borrower's debts, financial obligations,
or money owed.
Lien: A claim or charge held by one party, on property
owned by a second party, as security for payment of some debt,
obligation, or duty owed by that second party.
Listing: A piece of property placed on the market by a
Load-bearing Wall: A wall that supports the weight of
other parts of the home, as well as its own. Also called a
Loan Application: The first step toward a home loan. It
requires the borrower to specify all of their personal financial
Loan Officer: An official representative of a lending
institution, who acts on behalf of the lender.
Loan Term: The amount of a time, set by the lender, for a
buyer to pay back a mortgage.
Loft: A living space built above a larger room.
Low-ball Offer: An offer made to a seller that is below
market value. The longer a property stays on the market, the
more likely these offers will occur.
Mansard Roof: A roof with
four sides, that slope upward from the roof edge to a square
Mantel: A construction framing the opening of a
fireplace, and usually covering part of the chimney breast.
Market Conditions: Factors which affect the sale, and
purchase of home at any particular point in time.
Market Value: The price that a piece of property sells
for at any particular point in time.
Mint Condition: Mint condition refers to a house that
looks as close to new as possible.
Mortgage: A legal document which specifies a certain
amount of money to purchase a home, at a certain interest rate,
and using the property as collateral.
Mortgage Broker: A company that combines lenders with
prospective borrowers. The mortgage broker does not make the
loan, but receives payment from the lender for services.
Move-in Condition: A house that is ready for a new
The worth of a person, or company, based on the difference
between their total assets, minus their total liabilities.
tool in which a listing agent opens a house for viewing by
Open Listing: A property given to a number of realtors to
market at the same time.
Overhang: A protruding structural feature.
distinct portion or tract of land.
Partition: An interior wall.
Panel: A section of a wall, fence, door, or ceiling sunk
below, or raised above the general level, or enclosed by a frame
Parking Strip: The strip of grass between the sidewalk
and the street in front of a house.
Passive Solar System: A system that supplies solar energy
without the use of electric fans or pumps.
Patio: An area, usually paved, adjoining a house and used
as an area for outdoor lounging.
Pier: A term applied to a mass of reinforced concrete or
masonry supporting a large structure.
Planned Communities: Any town, community, or
neighbourhood built with certain guidelines and goals.
Pocket Door: A sliding door which can retreat within the
wall when opened.
Porch: An exterior appendage to a building, forming a
covered approach or vestibule to a doorway.
Possession: When a buyer signs the papers and then
receives the keys to the house, they officially take possession
of the home from the seller.
Price Range: The price range in which a buyer is willing
to pay for a home.
Principal: The amount of money that the borrower owes on
Privacy Fence: A structure erected between two or more
pieces of property.
Property Line: The official dividing line between two or
Property Value: The value of property is based on the
price in which buyer will pay at any certain time.
Consists of the land and anything permanently attached to it.
Includes buildings, fences as well as other items attached to
Real Estate Agent: A real estate agent has a license to
represent a buyer or a seller, in exchange for a fee or
commission, with any real estate transactions. Usually work for
Realtor: A designation for an agent or broker who works
in the real estate business.
Refinancing: The process in which a borrower can replace
an older mortgage with a new mortgage, consisting of better
Repossession: When the lender holding the mortgage takes
back the property.
Resale Value: The future value of a piece of property. It
can be affected by many factors, including crime, economic
conditions, the housing market, as well as the community it is
Right of First Refusal: An agreement made by the property
owner, to give another person the right to buy or rent the
property, before it gets placed on the open market.
Rough-in: The installation of plumbing, electrical and
other mechanical systems.
Sanitary Sewer: A drain
line within a house that carries away waste to a municipal sewer
or septic system.
Second Mortgage: Another mortgage, with better terms,
placed upon a piece of property which already has an existing
Seller’s Market: A real estate market in which sellers
have the advantage over buyers.
Septic System: A self-contained sewage treatment system
that distributes wastewater to an underground storage area. It
relies upon bacterial action to decompose solid waste matter.
Setback: The minimum distance a house must be from the
Shed Ceiling: A ceiling which pitches upward at one end.
Shed Roof: A roof which pitches up longer on one side
than the other side.
Shingles: Thin pieces of overlapping wood, metal, or the
like, installed on a roof to prevent water seepage.
Skylight: A window installed in a roof that allows
natural light to illuminate the room.
Slider Window: Windows that are composed of two window
panes, that glide open and closed on metal tracks.
Specifications: Written requirements for materials,
equipment, and construction systems which are necessary to build
Split-Level: Home consists of a room or rooms that are
somewhat above or below adjacent rooms, with the floor levels
usually differing by approximately half a storey.
Square Footage: The number of square feet of livable
space within a home or building.
Starter Home: A home which is usually purchased by a
first time home buyer. Usually boughten with the intent of
renovating and then selling a few years later for a higher price
then what it was purchased for.
Storm Sewers: A drain line, which is not connected to the
sewer line. It removes all other wastewater from a home.
Storm Windows: A supplementary window pane for protecting
a window against drafts, wind, and storms.
Stucco: An exterior finish for masonry or frame walls.
Often used to cover the exterior surface or interior walls of a
home or building.
Studs: The upright pieces of lumber or steel within a
wall. Panels, siding, drywall or other coverings are attached to
Subdivision: The process in which the owner of a large
piece of property divides it into smaller parcels. Usually
designated for housing development.
Terrace: A roofed balcony, or veranda.
Title: The legal document showing ownership of a piece of
Tray Ceiling: A ceiling in which its edges slant toward
the middle from the walls.
Trim Work: The finishing of doors, doorways, window
frames and floors.
Two Storey: Home consists of one main floor above ground
as well as an upper floor above the main floor.
Underlayment: Material laid between a subfloor and a
Upgrades: To improve or enhance the quality or value of a
piece of propert. Includes landscaping, above standard
carpeting, lighting, painting, as well as many others.
Vaulted Ceiling: A ceiling formed in any variety of
curved shape, which arches above the floor within a home.
Veranda: A large, open porch, usually roofed and partly
enclosed, often extending across the front and sometimes sides
of the house.
Vestibule: A passage, or hall between the outer door, and
the interior parts of the home.
Walk-out Basement: A feature that allows a door from the
basement to open onto ground level.
Window Well: A curved, corrugated steel insert used to
isolate basement windows below the soil line from moisture.
control the use of land within a jurisdiction.