Western Kentucky Real Estate

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How to Understand Real Estate Terms

Understanding Real Estate Terms

After you read through a few real estate property listings, you’ll find there are some terms you recognize. But, do you always understand them?  

It’s important to have an understanding of certain terms so you can narrow down your home search. Without a basic knowledge of these terms, you could easily waste time looking at a home that doesn’t fit your needs.

Here are some commonly misunderstood real estate terms to know for your home search. You may hear your agent say some of these or read them in property descriptions. So, increase your knowledge before continuing your search!  

-Active vs. Contingent vs. Pending: An active listing means you still have the opportunity to submit an offer on the home. Contingent means there is an accepted offer, but it’s contingent on something else happening or not happening. If it’s at a contingent status, you might still be able to submit your own offer. If it’s a pending status, then the offer has been accepted and is expected to close. The property, at this point, is no longer on the market. But, you should check back, because not all pending offers go through. Learn more about status listings here.

-Master Suite: This is the largest bedroom in the home that features additional amenities. Master suites have at least a private bathroom, but many feature a walk-in closet as well.

-Split Floor Plan: This type of floor plan is where the master bedroom or suite is on the opposite side of the home from the rest of the bedrooms.  

-HVAC: This is short for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Always ask what type of unit(s) a home has, how old it is, and the date of its last service.  

-Concrete Block Foundation vs. Concrete Slab: These are both sturdy, acceptable foundation types and the contractor should have picked the one that is best for your property. For instance, if your lot is more than a 90 minute drive for a concrete truck, then they would have had to pick concrete block foundation. If the home does have a block foundation, this usually means there will be a crawl space accessible if there are any pipe or floor issues down the road. A concrete slab foundation is where you build up from a level slab of concrete.  

-Convey: You may see this term used like this, “The washer and dryer convey with sale of home.” This is simply a fancy way of saying it comes with the house. The owner is willing to transfer ownership, legally, of the appliance or larger ticket item in the home.  

Fixed Rate Mortgage: This mortgage never changes. Your interest rate stays the same during the entire term of the loan. Get more of your mortgage questions answered!

-Appraisal: Homeowners and buyers will normally have separate appraisals done.  This just gives an estimate of the worth of the home. Most home loan officers will require it before they’re willing to lend you the money.  For homeowners, this helps determine how much you should ask for your home. Learn more about the process here.  

The best way to fully understand real estate terms is to talk with your real estate agent. It’s important to find an agent who you know you can trust and work alongside throughout the home buying process. Here are some great tips on how to hire the right real estate agent for you!

If you’re looking for the right fit, contact me today! I’d be glad to help you find the right home or assist you in selling your current house.