SHERRI RUSSELL - Broker / Owner

Real Estate Glossary
Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.

Sa - San - Sav - Sc - Scre - Se - Secu - Sem
Set - Sh - Shel - Si - Sim - Sl - Sm - Sol - Sp - Spi
Spr - St - Stap - Step - Str - Stri - Su - Sup
An agent who assists another agent in representing a principal in a transaction.
The compacted soil which forms the base for the base of a paved road.
Subchapter S Corporation
Corporation with a limited number of stockholders (35 or less) that elects not to be taxed as a regular corporation and meets certain other requirements. Income is taxed as direct income to the shareholders. Shareholders include, in their personal tax returns, their pro-rata share of capital gains, ordinary income, tax preference items, etc.
Work done for the general contractor or owner by specialists in certain fields, such as plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc.
Subcontract Bids
Bids that are given in an effort to obtain a job doing work for the general contractor or owner by specialists in certain fields, such as plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc.
Specialists in the construction business who are hired by the general contractor. These would include roofers, plumbers, electricians, etc.
One who partitions a tract of land for the purpose of selling the individual plots. If the land is improved in any way, the subdivider becomes a developer.
The act of dividing a tract of land into smaller tracts.
Property that is divided, from a large parcel, into smaller pieces.
The first flooring that is nailed to joists.
Plywood sheathing that is placed on top of floor joists before being covered by flooring, which could be hardwood, tile, etc.
  1. Compacted soil that is ready for a structure or slab.
  2. The elevation found at the bottom of a pipe trench.
  3. Below grade soil level.
Subject Property
Appraisal term for the property that is being appraised.
Subject To
Property that is purchased with conditions to be met, such as "subject to being allowed to subdivided into a certain amount of lots".
Subject To Mortgage
Circumstance in which a buyer takes title to mortgaged real property but is not personally liable for the payment of the amount due. The buyer must make payments in order to keep the property; however, with default, only the buyer's equity in that property is lost. The buyer is not liable for the amount due to the lender.
Lease agreement between the lessee (one who leases property from another) of an original lease and a new lessee. The new lessee is the subtenant because he is renting from the original tenant rather than the owner.
The initial lessee of rented property who then leases it to a subtenant.
Process by which a lessee leases he property to another lessee.
Accumulation of housing units deemed substitutable by homogeneous households, such as those having comparable attractiveness and usefulness.
To reduce the priority of payment of a debt or lien as when a first lien becomes a second lien because it allowed another debt to become a first lien in its place.
Subordinate Ground Lease
A lease where the mortgage has priority over the ground lease.
Subordinate Loan
A second or third mortgage on a piece of property, which already has a first mortgage.
Subordinate Mortgage
One having a lower priority than another; the subordinate mortgage has a claim in foreclosure only after satisfaction of mortgages with priority.
Moving to a lower priority, as a lien would if it changes from a first mortgage to a second mortgage.
Subordination Agreement
An agreement by which a mortgage is made subject (junior) to a junior mortgage.
Subordination Clause
Clause or document that permits a mortgage recorded at a later date to take priority over an existing mortgage.
Writ issued by the court requiring a person to appear as a witness or to provide written information in a case. Failure to observe the subpoena may result in a contempt of court citation.
Subpoena Duces Tecum
Legal order for a person to present at a deposition or trial documents in his possession, such as related to a real estate transaction.
Process by which a lessee rents his apartment to another. Sublease.
The substitution of one person for another with the substituted person acquiring all rights.
Subrogation Rights
Rights allowing an insurer to act against a negligent third party (including its insurance company) to receive reimbursement for payments made to an insured.
Something which occurs at a later date. It follows a prior occurrence.
Subsequent Rate Adjustments
The period for rate adjustment on an adjustable rate loan (ARM), after the initial adjustment period. It could differ, in time, from the original duration period.
Subsequent Rate Cap
Specific limit for the maximum amount the interest rate may increase at each regularly scheduled rate adjustment date, which could differ from the original rate cap.
  1. Being in a secondary or subordinate relationship.
  2. Of lesser importance.
Subsidized Housing
Housing whose rental payments are reduced because of aid granted by the government, private enterprises or individuals.
A grant of money made by the government to private enterprise or another government.
In valuing real estate, substitution is the principle that the market value of a property can be relatively accurately estimated by determining market value of similar properties in the general vicinity. By substitution, an appraiser can ascertain the market value of a piece of real estate by analyzing the sales prices of comparable units in the neighborhood sold in the recent past.
The supporting or underlying material.
Subsurface Drain
Underground drain which collects subsurface water and disposes of it at a proper location.
Subsurface Easement
Owner of land allowing another to use space under the ground, such as to install a sewer or gas line.
Subsurface Exploration
Engineering tests performed on soils to determine conditions and ground stability prior to building.
Subsurface Rights
The owner of real estate generally has exclusive rights to the soil and minerals underneath the land. Significant limitations on subsurface rights have to be disclosed in the title deed at the time of acquisition. If no restrictions are indicated, the buyer can expect to exercise full rights to the property. It is important to note, however, that in some states, the owner of land is not automatically assumed to also be the owner of the subsurface. That is, land ownership may be separated. In many areas subsurface rights can be extremely valuable because of the existence of oil, natural gas and minerals, and those must be acquired separately.
A town or unincorporated developed are in close proximity to a city. Suburbs, largely residential, are often dependent on the city for employment and support services; generally characterized by low-density development relative to the city.
Transfer of real estate by legal means such as through inheritance.
Individual coming later in a sequence.
The production of a vacuum or partial vacuum, in a cavity or over a surface, so that the external atmospheric pressure forces the surrounding fluid into the cavity or causes something to adhere to the surface.
Sui Juris
Latin term meaning legal capacity to act on behalf of oneself.
Suitability Standards
Financial characteristics or standards that a potential investor is evaluated on to judge his or her suitability for a particular investment program.
Summary Appraisal Report
A written appraisal report that contains a moderate amount of detail.
Summary Possession
Eviction. The act of removing or dispossessing or expulsion of an individual from a premises by force or by law.
Summary Proceeding
Way to obtain a faster decision in a legal case than going to a trial. Procedural rules are followed so there is less time involved in gathering the facts of the dispute and in questioning.
The highest point, peak or elevation.
Notice sent from a plaintiff to a defendant requiring the defendant to appear before a court or judge.
Pit built into the basement of a building to void or minimize flooding. It allows for the drainage of excess water and moisture.
Sump Pump
Electric pump that removes water which collects in a sump pit in the basement.
Room in a building, usually with glass walls and roof, designed to collect solar heat.

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