Property Jargon Explained

March 17th, 2022

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Learn what all the property jargon actually means.\r\nA\r\n

What is an AIP?\r\nAn AIP or agreement in principle is a certificate from a lender or financial advisor qualifying you for a purchase up to a maximum figure. Having an AIP prior to viewing properties will show the estate agent and the seller that your ready to purchase and that your financially prepared to make offers. An agreement in principle can also be referred to as a decision in principle (DIP). To get an agreement in principle for your purchase today click here. \r\n

What is an APR?\r\nAn APR is the annual percentage cost of the loan. The lower this is the cheaper the loan will cost you.\r\n

What is a market appraisal?\r\nA market appraisal is a term used when an estate agent gives a valuation on a property and outlines marketing strategies. To book a free market appraisal for your property click here. Or for an instant online valuation click here.\r\n

What is an asking price?\r\nAn asking price is the price a property is advertised for sale at. This does not indefinitely mean the property will sell at this price. It could eventually sell for less or more depending on what a buyer is prepared to pay for the property.\r\n

What is an auction?\r\nAn auction is a method of sale. In a traditional method of auction a property is sold to the highest bidder in an auction room. A more modern method of auction is now also used where a property is sold at an online auction.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nB\r\n

What is a bank rate?\r\nA bank rate is the interest rate decided by the Bank of England every month (also referred to as base rate or interest rate). The bank rate will have a direct impact to the cost of a mortgage and if your mortgage is a variable rate mortgage your monthly payments will be determined by this.\r\n

What is a bridging loan?\r\nA bridging loan offers an alternative to a mortgage or personal loan. It is a short term loan that is often expensive. It is used in circumstances where a personal loan doesn’t lend enough and the individual is looking to pay back the loan very quickly. For example, buying a new build property without having to sell your existing so that you can secure the new home. Then once you have sold your existing home you pay the bridging loan off. Another example is an investor would like to buy an investment property that requires renovation. Once renovated the investor re-mortgages the property at it’s now higher value in order to pay off the bridging loan.\r\n

What is buildings insurance?\r\nIf you are the owner of a property then it is recommended you insure the building to cover you for any damage such as flooding or a fire. If you are an owner with a mortgage then a condition of the loan will be for the building to be insured. To compare or renew your buildings insurance click here. \r\n

What is a building survey?\r\nA building survey is also referred to as a structural survey. It is the most in depth type of survey you can have carried out on a property. It is extremely detailed and recommended for properties built over 100 years ago, listed buildings or those that are in a bad state of repair. To arrange a building survey for a property you’re buying click here. \r\n

What is buy-to-let? (BTL)\r\nBuying to let simply means you are buying a property to let out to a tenant. Also known as an investment property.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nC\r\n

What is capital?\r\nCapital is the amount of cash you are investing in a property or putting down as a deposit.\r\n

What is a chain?\r\nA chain is the length of the properties involved in a transaction. If a buyer has no chain then they can purchase non-dependent of selling a property. If a seller has no chain then they are non-dependent on purchasing a property. If that owner does need to purchase a property they are involved in a chain and the chain will continue to grow until it is complete. A transaction cannot complete until the chain has a bottom and a top.\r\n

What is a chartered surveyor?\r\nA chartered surveyor is a qualified individual accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) They are employed to carry out surveys on a property. For example, a mortgage valuation, homebuyers report and building survey. To instruct a chartered surveyor click here.\r\n

What is commission?\r\nCommission is the fee payable to the selling agent of a property for introducing a buyer to the property and their services to broker the transaction. This can sometimes be an up-front non-refundable fee or paid on completion on a no sale no fee basis.\r\n

What is completion?\r\nCompletion is when the monies are transferred and the keys can be released for the new owners to move in. Legal ownership is transferred and the sale is finalised.\r\n

What is a compulsory purchase order? (CPO)\r\nA compulsory purchase order (CPO) is a term used when a local authority has the power to take ownership of a property whether the owner wants to sell or not. This is often done for a significant change to the area and very favourable terms are offered to the current owner.\r\n

What is a condition report?\r\nA condition report is a basic level survey that gives a brief overview of a properties condition. Recommended for new build properties. To arrange a condition report for a property you’re buying click here. \r\n

What is contents insurance?\r\nContents insurance is an insurance policy which covers the damage or loss of anything lying within a property. Expensive unique items must be listed with the insurance company. To compare or renew your contents insurance click here. \r\n

What is conversion?\r\nA conversion is when you change the use of a room or building for use of a different purpose. For example, changing a loft into a bedroom, or a garage into a dining room or converting a shop into flats.\r\n

Who is a conveyancer?\r\nA conveyancer is a solicitor\/lawyer who acts on behalf of the seller and buyer. (difference representation for each) They will deal with the legal side of the sale or purchase and transfer the ownership from one owner to another. To arrange for a conveyancing quote from trust hand picked solicitors click here. \r\n

What is conveyancing?\r\nConveyancing is the name for the work that solicitors carry out in respect of a sale or purchase.\r\n

What is a covenant?\r\nA covenant is found in a properties title deed or it’s lease. It is information relating to something the owner can or cannot do whilst in ownership of the property.\r\n

What is a credit report?\r\nA credit report is individual to a person and is an overview of their financial situation. A credit report often provides a credit score. The aim is to increase your credit score as high as possible. A credit report can help you improve your financial situation by correcting things. Mortgage lenders will be taking your credit report and credit score into consideration when offering you a mortgage.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nD\r\n

What is a declaration of trust?\r\nA declaration of trust is created and signed off by a solicitor. It includes terms of what an individual will receive if the property is sold or one party buys the other out of their share. It is often used if friends are buying a property together.\r\n

What are deeds?\r\nDeeds are the legal confirmation proving ownership of a pr
operty or land by an individual. Also referred to as title deeds.\r\n

What is a deposit?\r\nA deposit is the cash required by you to put towards the purchase of the property. This will be determined by the lender when offering you a mortgage. It can be 5% or more. The higher deposit you have the cheaper your monthly mortgage payments will be as you will owe less against the property. A deposit is paid before exchange of contracts.\r\n

What is a detached property?\r\nA detached property is when all walls of a building are detached from any neighbouring buildings.\r\n

What are disbursements?\r\nDisbursements is the term used for the fees a buyer or seller will need to pay their solicitor to carry things out for them. For example, local authority searches.\r\n

What is a doer-upper?\r\nThe term doer-upper is used to describe a property that needs renovation work doing to it.\r\n

What is a duplex?\r\nA duplex is a flat or maisonette that has living space over 2 floors or more.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nE\r\n

What is an early redemption charge? (ERC)\r\nIf you choose to terminate a mortgage deal earlier than the fixed term agreed at the beginning the lender will charge you a sum for doing so. This can be if you were to switch your mortgage to another bank before the end of the fixed term, usually 2 or 5 year fixed. It can also be charged if you wanted to pay the entire balance of your mortgage off.\r\n

What is an easement?\r\nAn easement is a permission given to someone other than the property owner. For example, a right of way over a piece of land.\r\n

What is an Edwardian Property?\r\nA property is classed as Edwardian if the property was built between 1901 and 1910. It gets it’s name from King Edward VII. Noticeable features include red brickwork, wooden doors with stained glass windows and sash windows.\r\n

What is an end-of-terrace?\r\nAn end-of-terrace is a property that is positioned at the end of a row of houses that are attached together. There must be 3 or more properties in the row. If there are just 2 then it would be a semi-detached.\r\n

What is an energy performance certificate? (EPC)\r\nAn energy performance certificate (EPC) is an energy assessment of a property to determine how energy efficient it is. Rated between A and G with A being the most efficient. It also suggests improvements that can be made and the approximate running costs for the property. To check a properties energy performance certificate click here. \r\n

What is equity?\r\nEquity is the amount of free cash you hold in a property versus the amount of mortgage is held.\r\n

What is equity release?\r\nEquity release is a scheme which allows you to release some of the equity in your property through either a lifetime mortgage (where you borrow against a percentage but the loan’s not repaid until you die) or a home reversion plan (where you sell a percentage). This is only available to the over-55s.\r\n

What is an exchange?\r\nThe exchange is the point where the signed contracts from the buyer and the seller are exchanged to confirm the transfer of ownership of the property. This is the point where the buyer and seller become legally bound to the transaction. The buyer pays their deposit at this point and if the transaction wasn’t to complete for any reason then this deposit will be lost.\r\n

What is an EWS1?\r\nAn EWS1 is an external wall survey. Since the Grenfell Tower disaster where the unsafe cladding caused the extent of the fire. Unless a building has an EWS1 form it is very difficult to get a mortgage on.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nF\r\n

What is a first-time buyer? (FTB)\r\nA first-time buyer (FTB) is a buyer of a property that is buying a property for the first time.\r\n

What is a fixed rate mortgage?\r\nA fixed rate mortgage is what you will sign into at the start of your mortgage. What it means is that you will pay a fixed amount per month until this particular fixed period ends. Usually 2 or 5 years.\r\n

What are fixtures and fittings?\r\nFixtures and fittings are the belongings of the property owner that they are prepared to leave behind for the new buyer. They could be leaving this for free or will charge for them. The solicitor will advise you of this once the fixtures and fittings form has been completed by the seller. For example, washing machine, wardrobe or fridge freezer.\r\n

What is flying freehold?\r\nFlying freehold is when a part of one freehold property underlies or overhangs another freehold property. For example, a bedroom of a property is above a shared pathway leading to the rear of the properties.\r\n

What does freehold mean?\r\nFreehold means that an induvial owns a building and also the land that it sits on. Most houses are freehold.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nG\r\n

What is gazumping?\r\nGazumping is when the a seller has accepted an offer and then a higher offer is presented which they alternatively accept.\r\n

What is gazundering?\r\nGazundering is when a buyer has secured a property off the market by having their offer accepted and then they reduce that offer and expect the seller to carry on with them as a buyer at a lower price.\r\n

What is a Georgian home?\r\nA Georgian home is one that was built between 1714 and 1830 during the reigns of King George (I to IV). It has features such as large sash windows, high ceilings with decorative plaster and stucco fronts.\r\n

What is ground rent?\r\nGround rent is a fee paid annually by the leaseholder to the freeholder.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nH\r\n

What is a homebuyer report?\r\nA homebuyer report is a survey carried out on a property on behalf of the buyer. It highlights any major defects to the property and comments on it’s condition and value. It’s not as detailed as a building survey but more comprehensive than a condition report or mortgage valuation. To arrange a homebuyer report for a property you’re buying click here. \r\n

What are houses of multiple occupation? (HMO)\r\nA house of multiple occupation (HMO) is a property that houses three or more tenants that are not from the same household. Bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nI\r\n

What is an improvement grant?\r\nAn improvement grant is money given by the council towards to cost of improving a property.\r\n

What is an independent financial adviser? (IFA)\r\nAn independent financial adviser (IFA) is a qualified individual to give you advice on your financial position and borrowing power. They are independent so are not tied to one individual lender. Giving whole of market advice. To arrange to speak with an independent financial advisor click here. \r\n

What is an interest only mortgage?\r\nAn interest only mortgage is a loan where you pay the interest only, therefore the balance of the loan is not being repaid or reduced. Monthly payments will subsequently be lower. The full balance will still need to be repaid at the end of the loan term.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nJ\r\n

What is joint agency?\r\nJoint agency is when two agents are instructed to market a property for sale.\r\n

What is joint tenants or joint tenancy?\r\nJoin tenants or tenancy refers to the ownership of a property where 2 people own an equal share. If one party dies, their share automatically passes onto the other person.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nL\r\n

What is the land registry?\r\nThe land registry is the Government department that records property ownership in England and Wales.\r\n

What are land registry fee’s?\r\nLand registry fee’s are paid to your solicitor for them to register your ownership on the property.\r\n

What does leasehold mean?\r\n
Leasehold is the term used to describe a flat or house where the owner of the flat owns the property in the form of a lease agreement from the freeholder. They legally own the dwelling for the term of that lease but not the land it sits on. The leaseholder will pay a service charge and ground rent to the freeholder for the maintenance of the building and it’s grounds.\r\n

What is a lender?\r\nA lender is a company that gives money in the form of a loan to assist with the purchase of a property.\r\n

What is a listed building?\r\nA listed building is a property that has been registered and protected. This will prevent them from being altered or extended without permission from the council. Usually buildings associated with significant history are listed.\r\n

What is loan to value? (LTV)\r\nLoan to value (LTV) is the amount of money you are intending to borrow against the purchase price of the property. If a property was worth £300,000 and you needed to get a mortgage for £270,000 this would be a 90% LTV as you already have 10% of the purchase price. The lower your loan to value the cheaper your mortgage monthly payments will be.\r\n

What is a local authority search?\r\nA local authority search are checks completed by your solicitor to give you information on the property and the surrounding area.\r\n

What is a link-detached?\r\nA link-detached property is when two properties are connected by only a small proportion of the properties footprint. For example, when two garages meet but the rest of the property is completely detached.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nM\r\n

What is maintenance charge?\r\nMaintenance charge is paid by the leaseholder (owner) of a property to the freeholder (owner of the building and the land it sits on) It is also known as service charge. The money paid will contribute towards maintenance of communal areas and can include buildings insurance and window cleaning.\r\n

What is a maisonette?\r\nA maisonette is a flat that has it’s own private front door. There are no communal areas and the owner has direct access to their property from the street.\r\n

What is a mortgage?\r\nA mortgage is a long term loan taken out to purchase a property.\r\n

What is a mortgage deed?\r\nA mortgage deed are the terms and conditions of the loan (mortgage) outlining the length of the loan, the interest and the payments.\r\n

What is a mortgage valuation?\r\nA mortgage valuation is a report carried out by the mortgage company to ensure the correct price is being paid for a property. They do this to ensure their money is protected.\r\n

What is multiple agency?\r\nMultiple agency is when two or more estate agents are actively marketing a property for sale. The seller pays the fee to the estate agent that introduces the buyer who completes the transaction.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nN\r\n

What is negative equity?\r\nNegative equity is when the market value of a property is less than what is remaining on the mortgage.\r\n

Who are the National House Building Council? (NHBC)\r\nThe National House Building Council? (NHBC) issue a guarantee on most new build properties to protect the new owner from any structural defects occurring within a specific time after construction. This time period is usually 10 years.\r\n

What does NAEA mean?\r\nNAEA stands for National Association of Estate Agents by Propertymark. Propertmark are the leading membership body. Using a Propertymark agent ensures you are working that a professional agent that can provide up to date advice and guidance. To find a property expert through Propertymark click here. \r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nO\r\n

What does OIEO mean?\r\nOIEO is an abbreviation of offers in excess of. Used as a qualifier before a properties marketing price. Stating to the buyer that the owner is looking for offers in excess of a certain figure. Also used as offers over.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nP\r\n

What is private treaty?\r\nPrivate treaty is the name used to describe the most common method of sale of property in the UK. This is where the sale is negotiated between the seller and buyer via their estate agent. Example of other methods of sale is an Auction.\r\n

Who are Propertymark?\r\nPropertmark are the largest membership body for estate and letting agents. To find a property expert through Propertymark click here. \r\n

What is probate?\r\nProbate is needed when an owner of a property dies. A solicitor will look at the will and officiate a grant of probate document allowing the property to be sold.\r\n

What is peppercorn rent?\r\nThe term peppercorn rent is used to describe a minimal ground rent payment. Often £1 per annum.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nR\r\n

What is redemption?\r\nRedemption is the term used to describe the amount that is left outstanding on a mortgage.\r\n

What is a repayment mortgage?\r\nA repayment mortgage is when the monthly payments you make contribute to reduce the amount borrowed and the interest as well. A repayment mortgage is one of the most common mortgages.\r\n

What is a repossession?\r\nA repossession happens if you fail to pay your mortgage for a significant amount of time. The lender will repossess the property from you and you will be evicted.\r\n

What is return on investment?\r\nThe return on an investment is calculated by the amount of money you receive back versus the amount of money you put in.\r\n

What is a residential property?\r\nA residential property is bought by for the purpose of the owner occupying the property and living in it themselves.\r\n

What is right to buy?\r\nRight to buy is a scheme by the government allowing council tenants to purchase the property they live in for a reduced price.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nS\r\n

What are searches?\r\nSearches are carried out by a solicitor to provide information on the property in question and it’s surrounding area. For example, the flood risk for that area. Or to check that a property doesn’t have any historical outstanding charges on it from a previous owner.\r\n

What is a self-build?\r\nA self-build is when an owner of a property or land builds a new home. Either by employing builders to do so or doing so themselves.\r\n

What is a semi-detached?\r\nA semi-detached property is where only one side of the building is attached to another. Only 2 properties attached can be called a semi-detached.\r\n

What is share of freehold?\r\nShare of freehold is a term used when you are buying a flat or maisonette of which you share the freehold with other property owners within the building. It means you have a say and can make decisions regarding the maintenance of the building.\r\n

What is share ownership?\r\nShared ownership is when you are given the opportunity to own a share of the property and the housing association also retains ownership of a share. You will get a mortgage for your share and pay the housing association a proportion of rent based upon the share you own. If you own 50% your rental payment will be higher than if you own 75%. In most cases, these properties are offered to first time buyers and must be mortgaged and not bought with cash.\r\n

What is sole agency?\r\nSole agency means a seller has given the sole selling rights to one estate agent for an agreed period of time. During this sole agency period the seller must not market the property with another agent otherwise they will be liable to pay two fee’s.\r\n

What is sole selling rights?\r\nSole selling rights means one estate agent has exclusive marketing rights to a property for a certain period of time. Also known as sole agency.\r\n

What is stamp duty?\r\nStamp duty is a tax paid to the government upon the purchase of a property. The amount
will vary depending on the purchase price and also the buyers status. (i.e. first time buyer) Stamp duty is paid on properties purchase for £125,000 or more. To calculate the stamp duty costs on a potential purchase
click here. \r\n

What is a structural survey?\r\nA structural survey is the new name used for a Building Survey. To arrange a structural survey for a property you’re buying click here. \r\n

What is a studio flat or apartment?\r\nA studio flat or apartment is where a property does not have a separate bedroom. The cooking, living and sleeping areas are all within one room.\r\n

What does subject to contract mean? (STC)\r\nSubject to contract (STC) is the term used to label an initial agreement which is yet to be officially formalised or completed. For example, an offer has been agreed but the legal part of the transaction is yet to be completed. Often seen as sold subject to contract (SSTC)\r\n

What is service charge?\r\nService charge is an agreed fee paid to the freeholder by the leaseholder to contribute towards the cost of servicing the building and the land it sits on.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nT\r\n

What does tenants in common mean?\r\nTenants in common is a term used describe a selected type of ownership of a property. If an owner was to die, their share of ownership in the property is given to their elected person often stated in a will. This will mean it doesn’t automatically belong to the other owner of the property.\r\n

What is a terraced property?\r\nA terraced property is one which both sides are attached to neighbouring walls.\r\n

What are title deeds?\r\nTitle deeds are the documents outlining the legal ownership rights to a property.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nU\r\n

What does under offer mean?\r\nUnder offer is used to describe the status of a property when the seller accepts an offer from a buyer.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nV\r\n

What is vacant possession?\r\nVacant possession is when all former occupants of a property must vacate the premises upon completion of the sale.\r\n

What is a vendor?\r\nA vendor is the seller of a property.\r\n

What is a Victorian house?\r\nA Victorian house is one which was built between 1837 and 1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria. During the industrial revolution many were built making them the most common type of property. They are famous for bay windows, cast iron fireplaces and bay windows.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nY\r\n

What is a yield?\r\nA yield is calculated as a percentage. It’s used the calculate the return on investment of a property which is rented out. The higher yield the better the investment. To calculate a yield you times the monthly rent by 12. Divided by the purchase price times 100.\r\n\r\n \r\n

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