Real Estate Terms
Damper A movable plate in a fireplace that allows smoke and fumes to travel up the chimney’s flue.
Days on the market The period of time a property is listed for sale until it is sold or taken off the market
Deadbolt lock Locks that require a key to open from the outside and a turn button from the inside.
Debt Any amount one person owes to another.
Deck A roofless, floored area that adjoins a house.
Deed The legal document that transfers ownership of a piece of property.
Deed of trust A document that gives a lender the right to foreclose on a piece of property if the borrower defaults on the loan.
Deep-seal floor drain A drain used to dispose of water from the basement floor to a sewer line.
Default The failure to fulfill a duty or promise or discharge an obligation, such as making monthly mortgage payments.
Deferred maintenance Any repair or maintenance of a piece of property that has been postponed, resulting in a decline in property value.
Delinquent mortgage A mortgage that involves a borrower who is behind on payments. If the borrower cannot bring the payments up to date within a specified number of days, the lender may begin foreclosure proceedings.
Density test An analysis of soil to determine if the surface can support the foundation of a house.
Dentils Small rectangular blocks that project from a building, usually under cornices or along rooflines.
Deposit Money given by the buyer with an offer to purchase property. Also called earnest money.
Depreciation The decline in value of a piece of property.
Design/build A project in which the owner contracts directly with an individual or company to perform design and construction.
Designer Unlike architects, designers are limited to drawing blueprints.
Digital images Images that are incorporated into house listings to give potential buyers a view of the property.
Dimension plans Plans which show the layout of a house but are less detailed than full blueprints.
Disability insurance An insurance policy which covers an individual’s ability to produce income.
Disclosure A statement to a potential buyer listing information relevant to a piece of property, such as the presence of radon or lead paint.
Discount points Fees that a borrower pays at the time the lender makes the loan. A point equals 1 percent of the total loan amount.
Distressed property Property that is in poor physical or financial condition.
Document needs list A list of documents a lender requires when a potential submits a loan application.. The required documents range from paycheck stubs to credit card statements.
Domed ceiling A hemispherical ceiling that projects upward without support.
Domicile A person’s primary or permanent home.
Dormer A window set upright in a sloping roof.
Double-hung window A window that consists of two sashes that slide up and down.
Dovetail joints Joints that lock two pieces of wood together with meshed teeth.
Down payment The amount of money a buyer agrees to give the seller when a sales agreement is signed. Complete financing is later secured with a lender.
Down spouts A vertical gutter that empties water from the roof to the ground.
Drainage A system of gutters and drainpipes that carry water away from the foundation of a house.
Draw A payment made to subcontractors or suppliers from a construction loan.
Dropped ceiling A flat ceiling built lower than the original ceiling.
Dry rot A fungal decay that causes wood to become brittle and crumble.
Drywall A construction material composed of gypsum or plaster wrapped in paper and produced in large sheets that can be nailed to wall studs.
Dual agency A relationship in which a real estate agent or broker represents both parties in a transaction.
Duct Any kind of pipe or channel that carries water, wiring or conditioned air through a house.
Due-on-sale clause Standard language in a mortgage which states that the loan must be paid when a house is sold.
Duplex A structure that consists of two separate family units.
Dutch colonial style A design that features barn-like gambrel roof, a ground-level front porch, and dormers.