Real Estate Terms

Early occupancy The condition in which buyers can occupy the property before the sale is completed.
Earnest money Money a buyer gives with an offer to purchase a property. Also called a deposit.
Earthquake insurance A policy that provides coverage against damage to a home from an earthquake.
Easement A right given to a third party to use a portion of the property for certain purposes, such as power lines or water mains.
Eaves The projecting overhang at the lower edge of a roof.
Effective age The age of a structure estimated by its condition rather than its actual age.
Effective gross income Additional income that a lender considers when assessing the loan application of a potential borrower.
Electric service panel A panel that transfers power from the utility line into a house to be distributed through fuses or circuit breakers.
Elevations The exterior view of a home design that shows the position of the house relative to the grade of the land.
Ell An extension or wing of a house that is at right angles to the main structure.
Eminent domain The government’s right to condemn private land for public use, such as the routing of a public highway.
Employer-assisted housing Programs which help employees purchase homes through special plans developed with lenders.
Empty nesters Potential buyers who have raised their families and want to move into a smaller home.
Encroachment Fences or other structures that extend into the property of another owner.
Encumbrance A claim or lien on a property which complicates the title process.
End loan The conversion from a construction loan to permanent financing a condominium buyer secures after all units in a project have been completed.
Endorser A person who signs over ownership of property to another party.
English Tudor style An architectural design that features stone or brick exterior walls and exposed beams.
Environmental impact statement A government-mandated evaluation of all aspects and effects a development will have on the environment of a proposed site.
Environmentally friendly home construction A method of construction that utilizes recycled materials.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act. A federal law that prohibits a lender or other creditor from refusing to grant credit based on the applicant’s sex, marital status, race, religion, national origin or age. The law also prohibits a creditor from refusing to grant credit because the applicant receives public assistance.
Equifax Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc., is one of the “Big Three” credit-reporting bureaus that operate nationwide. Address: P.O. Box 740249, Atlanta, GA 30374.
Equity A determination of the value of a property after existing liens are deducted.
Errors and omissions insurance A policy that pays for any mistakes a builder or architect makes in a project.
Escrow A neutral third party holds the documents and money involved in a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met.. Escrow also refers to a special account that a lender establishes to hold monthly installments from the borrower to cover property taxes and insurance.
Escrow account An account that a lender or mortgage servicer establishes to hold funds for the payment of expenses such as homeowners insurance and property taxes. Also known as an impound account.
Escrow agent A neutral third party who ensures that all conditions of a real estate transaction are met.
Escrow analysis A lender’s periodic examination of an escrow account to determine if the lender is withholding enough funds from a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment to pay for expenses such as property taxes and insurance.
Escrow closing Escrow closes when all conditions of a real estate transaction are met and the title of the property is transferred to the buyer.
Escrow company Firms that act as neutral third parties to ensure that all conditions that the buyer, seller and lender establish in a real estate transaction are met.
Escrow payment Funds that a mortgage servicer withdraws from a borrower’s escrow account to pay property taxes and insurance.
Estate The total assets of a person, including real property, at the time of death.
Eviction A legal procedure to remove a tenant for reasons including failure to pay rent.
Examination of title An inspection by a title company of public records and other documents to determine the chain of ownership of a property.
Excavation The process of clearing trees, removing topsoil and grading land before the foundation is laid.
Exclusive listing A contract that gives an agent the exclusive right to market a property for a specific period of time.
Executor A person appointed to carry out the instructions in a will. If there is no will, a probate court will appoint an executor.
Exhaust fan Ventilating devices that remove water vapor, undesired smells or smoke.
Experian Experian, formerly known as TRW Information Systems & Services, is one of the “Big Three” credit-reporting bureaus.. Address: 505 City Parkway West, Orange, CA 92868.