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Real Estate Glossary - S

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  • 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.
  • Sweat equity The non-cash value put into a piece of property by the owner, such as do-it-yourself home improvements.

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