Sale-leaseback A transaction in which the buyer leases back the property to the seller for a specified period of time.
Sales contract A contract signed by the buyer and sellerthat details the terms of a home purchase.
Saltbox style A design that dates to colonial times and takes its name from the shape of saltboxes.
Sanitary sewer The drain line in a house that carries away food and human wastewater to a municipal sewer system or a septic system.
Sash One of two windows in a double-hung window.
Schematic designs Renderings of floor plans and the exterior of a house.
Second mortgage Another loan placed upon a piece of property.
Secondary mortgage market A market of packaged home loans that are resold as securities to investors. Major players are Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Secured loan Any loan backed by collateral.
Security Apiece of property designated as collateral.
Seller broker A seller broker represents the interest of the seller.
Seller carry-back An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
Seller take-back An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
Seller’s market A hot real estate market in which sellers have the advantage and multiple offers are common.
Semi-custom home The buyer of a semi-custom home is free to make some design changes but not to the home’s structural plan.
Septic system A self-contained sewage treatment system that distributes wastewater to an underground storage area and relies on bacterial action to decompose solid waste matter.
Servicer A firm that collects mortgage payments and manages borrowers’ escrow accounts.
Setback The minimum distance a house or buildings must be from the lot line.
Settlement statement A document that details who has paid what to whom.
Shared-appreciation mortgage A loan that allows a lender or other party to share in the borrower’s profits when the home is sold.
Shared-equity transaction A transaction in which two buyers purchase a property, one as a resident co-owner and the other as an investor co-owner.
Shed ceiling A shed ceiling pitches upward at one end.
Shed roof A shed roof pitches up longer on one side than the other.
Shingle style An alternative style of Victorian homes that evolved in the late 19th century to simplify the complexity of the traditional Victorian house.
Shingles Thin, wedge-shaped pieces of wood or flat rectangular pieces of slate, mineral fiber, glass fiber or composition asphalt installed on a roof to prevent water seepage.
Shoe molding An unobtrusive finish trim between the floor and the baseboard designed to hide any irregularities in the seam between the floor and wall or baseboard.
Sill plate A horizontal piece of wood placed on top of the foundation.
Sill cock An exterior threaded faucet connection for garden hoses that provides water outside a home.
Skylight A window in a roof that allows natural light to illuminate a room.
Slab foundation A foundation built directly on soil with no basement or crawl space.
Slider window A window that is composed of two windows, or sashes, that glide open and closed on a metal track.
Soffit An external area under the overhang of a roof.
Soils test A test of the subsoil to ensure that foundations can be safely constructed.
Spanish Mission style A design that is derived from the original missions established by the Spanish in the Southwest.
Special assessment When a homeowners’ association needs or wants extra funds, it levies a special assessment upon the owners.
Special deposit account Rehabilitation mortgages require a special deposit account from which restoration and remodeling funds included in the loan are disbursed to the appropriate contractors as work is completed.
Specifications The written requirements for materials, equipment, construction systems and standards.
Speculation home A home that has been built without a buyer.
Splash block A slanted block used to divert runoff water from a downspout away from the foundation.
Split-level style A home that is a ranch-style house stacked to fit on a smaller lot and perhaps to accommodate a garage.
Square footage The number of square feet of livable space in a home or building.
Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area Areas designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget that contain a city of 50,000 or more.
Standard payment calculation A calculation that is used to determine the monthly payment necessary to repay the balance of a home loan in equal installments.
Starter home Homes that fall within the lower price range of a typical first-time buyer.
Steel framing A construction method used by commercial and residential builders.
Step-rate mortgage A loan that allows a gradual increase in the interest rate during the first few years of the loan.
Storm sewer A drain line, which is not connected to the sewer line, removes all other wastewater from a home.
Storm windows Sets of windows and screens that are installed on older double-hung windows.
Strike plate The metal part of a lock that is anchored to the doorframe and holds the door closed.
Straight purchase A transaction in which the buyer gives a new-home builder a deposit to begin building and the balance when the sale of the house closes.
Stucco A mixture of sand and cement used to cover the exterior surface or interior walls of a home or building.
Studs The upright pieces of lumber or steel in a wall to which panels, siding, drywall or other coverings are attached.
Subagent When an agent brings a buyer to a property, they in effect act as a subagent to the listing agent.
Subcontractor Specialty construction companies hired by the general contractor to perform certain tasks.
Subdivision The process in which the owner of a large piece of property divides it into smaller parcels.
Sub-flooring The sheathing, usually made of plywood, placed on top of floor joists and covered by flooring.
Subordinate loan A second or third mortgage.
Sump pump A pump that moves water from a basement sump pit.
Survey A precise measurement of a piece of property by a licensed surveyor.