Real Estate Glossary

Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.
Ca - Cal - Car - Cas - Ce - Cen - Ch - Cho - Cle - Co
Col - Com - Con - Cond - Cont - Coo - Cos - Cr - Cro - Cu
Someone who signs a promissory note, along with the borrower, assuming responsibility for a debt.
Someone who signs a promissory note, along with the borrower, assuming responsibility for a debt.
Combed Plywood
Plywood whose surface is given parallel grooves or scratches in the manufacturing process to provide increased bond to adhesives, mortar, plaster or stucco in addition to giving a grain impression for painting.
Combined wye, which is a Y-shaped plumbing fitting used where a branch line joins the main line at a 45-degree angle, with a 1/8 bend.
Combination Chuck
The adjustable, clamp-like device, as on the end of a drill or lathe, by which the tool or work to be turned is held, the combination chuck has three jaws that move simultaneously to lock the item into place.
Combination Door
A door with glass and screen panels that are interchangeable.
Combination Faucet
Sink faucet in which both the hot and cold valves discharge into a single spout.
Combination Pressure and Temperature Relief Valve
Hot water heater valve that opens when the pressure or the temperature rises above a certain level.
Combination Saw Blade
Blade for a power or handsaw that can be used for both ripping and crosscut woodwork.
Combination Square
Adjustable square which can be used to check level, square, plumb or angles in carpentry or in making cabinets with the level protractor which is part of its sliding head. Sliding the head to a certain dimension, then locking it into place and holding a pencil at the end of the tongue while sliding the square along the edge, makes it useful for drawing a line parallel to an edge.
Combination Switch and Receptacle
One unit containing both an electrical switch and a receptacle.
Combination Window
A window with glass and screen panels that are interchangeable.
Combination Wrench
Wrench that has both an open end and a box end.
Combined Building Sewer
Sewage disposal system that carries both water drainage and sanitary waste away from a building.
Comb Swirl
This textured wall finish can be used with plaster, concrete or stucco and is fashioned of random semi-circular swirls, which are done with the teeth of a hair comb.
Combustion Air
Necessary air needed for combustion in a fuel-burning furnace.
Combustion Analyzer
Instrument used to test the fuel-air mixture in a fuel burning furnace, boiler, etc., by measuring the contents of flue gas, to assure that the device is working correctly.
Combustion Analyzer
Instrument used to test the fuel-air mixture in a fuel burning furnace, boiler, etc., by measuring the contents of flue gas, to assure that the device is working correctly.
Comfort Ventilation
Amount of ventilation needed to create a comfortable humidity level and temperature for an area.
Commercial Acre
An acre of property zoned for business income-producing purposes.
Commercial Bank
A financial institution, providing business loans, credit cards, checking and saving accounts, etc. Commercial banks are the largest financial intermediaries directly involved in the financing of real estate.
Commercial Broker
Real estate broker who specializes in the listing and selling of commercial property such as businesses, industrial, apartments, office buildings, etc.
Commercial Listing
Lists of business properties.
Commercial Property
Business property, such as office buildings, medical centers, hotels, stores, etc., which are intended to operate with a profit.
Commercial Real Estate
Real estate usable in a trade or business.
Mixing together of money, held in trust for one reason, with other money.
Money paid to real estate agents on the sale of a home, usually a negotiable percentage of the sale price.
Commission Split
The method for dividing a commission between a registered real estate person and the sponsoring real estate broker and between the listing broker and the selling broker.
An administrator appointed by the courts to administer the laws relating to a government agency or court.
A written promise issued by a lender. It outlines the specific terms for a specific period of time.
Commitment Fee
The fee charged by the lender to guarantee that the commitment, with its terms intact, is available for a certain period of time.
Committee Deed
A deed in which two or more people in an indenture agreement have reciprocity and obligations toward each other.
Any article bought and sold. Basic items or staple products.
Common Area
The area in a housing or condominium development that is owned by all residents.
Common Area Assessments
Fees paid by a housing or condominium development, which are used to maintain, operate or repair common areas.
Common Area Charges
Fees that all tenants or owners must pay for the cost of maintaining common areas.
Common Bond
Brickwork design using stretchers with either full headers or Flemish headers every sixth course.
Common Brick
The standard clay brick, which is made of, burned clay, shale or clinker.
Common Elements
The parts of a condominium that are owned by all of the unit owners.
Common Law
Laws based on custom, usage and rulings of courts in various jurisdictions.
Common Lumber
Usually used in areas where perfection of appearance is not very important, these boards have some imperfections and knots.
Common Nail
Used for general carpentry, common nails have a smooth shank with a flat head and are available in a variety of lengths.
Common Rafter
Rafter reaching the top wall plate to the roof ridge.
Common Vent
Building drain system vertical vent, which connects to two or more fixture branches on the same level.
Common Wall
Wall that is between two living spaces.
Community Association
A name given to any association of property owners sharing an interest in commonly owned property, which may be developed in condominiums, cooperatives, or housing subdivisions.
Community Property
A classification of property peculiar to certain states and referring to property accumulated through the efforts of both husband and wife.
Community Property Laws
Statutes stipulating that the property accumulated during a marriage, belong equally to each spouse, irrespective of how much each contributed.
Community Reinvestment Act Federal
Law which encourages the loaning of money in neighborhoods where minority depositors live.
Device used to change the direction of an electrical current. Alternately, a revolving part in a motor or dynamo that collects the current from or distributes it to the brushes.
Distance and time between a person's workplace and home.
Two or more parties sharing a joint financial obligation for a mortgage.
The use of weights or water to firmly pack fill, such as dirt. The constant mixing, turning or vibrating of a mixture of cement or mortar which is done to eliminate the spaces between the solid fragments during the mixing process which results in a smoother consistent mixture which is stronger and more easily troweled.
Machine that packs down soil by using a motor driven weighted flat plate, which rests on the ground and vibrates.
Comparable Sales
Widely used by real estate brokers where sales of similar properties in proximate neighborhoods are used to estimate value.
Recently sold properties that are used to determine the value of a similar property.
Comparative Market Analysis
The estimated value of property based on the comparison of like properties.
  1. An instrument which consists of two pointed legs which are connected at one end by a pivot with the other end of one of the legs having a sharp pointed end and the other leg holding a pencil, which is used for drawing arcs or circles or for taking measurements.
  2. Any of various instruments, especially one that consists of a magnetic needle, which swings freely on a pivot and points to magnetic north.
Compass Brick
Curved, factory made brick, usually used for arches.
Money and non-monetary consideration given in return for work performed.
Term for an individual legally fit and able to undertake an activity, function or conduct business.
Competent Parties
Persons considered legally capable of entering into a binding contract.
Competitive Bid
Bidding which is done to ascertain the best bid for work to be done.
Complete Fusion
Materials fused over the complete welded area.
Complete Joint Penetration
Weld penetration to the root of the weld with full fusion.
Completion Bond
Legal instrument used to guarantee the completion of a development according to specifications and is more encompassing than a performance bond, which assures that one party will perform under a contract on the condition that the other party performs. A completion bond assures production of the development without reference to any contract and without the requirement of payment to the developer.
Completion of Contract Accounting
Accounting method where any cash received is not considered income until a contract is totally completed.
One of the parts of a whole. Part of something, for example the units making up heating systems.
Component Building
Structure of prefabricated units.
Component Depreciation
Accounting method for separately depreciating individual parts or elements of a building or improvement qualifying as business use or depreciable asset under the IRS tax code. In component depreciation, each component has its own class life and recovery period.
Formed of distinct parts. A compound.
Composite Electrode
Filler metal welding electrode, which is composed of a variety of materials.
Composite Joint
Joint that is created by both welding and other means of connection.
Composite Panel
Brand name used for a plywood panel with a veneer face and a core of reconstituted wood.
Composite Wall
Walls with more than one type of masonry material.
The makeup of a thing or person; aggregate of ingredients or qualities and manner of their combination that makes the whole.
Composition Shingle
Bond of asphalt and structural fiber in a shingle, which is covered with a granular coating.
Compound Circuit
Electrical circuit with both parallel and series segments.
Compound Interest
The interest paid on the principal amount plus interest which has accrued and been added to the total.
Compound Sum
Total amount, consisting of both principal and compound interest, due at maturity.
The process of adding earned interest to the principal so that the interest is figured on a progressively larger amount. Paying interest on interest.
Making something more compact. Force that places inward pressure on an object.
Compression Coupler
Repair clamp that joins two sections of pipe together once the damaged piece is removed. The spanning screw clamp exerts compressive force as it's tightened around each end of the coupler. This force makes a tight seal around the outside diameter of the pipe. A compression coupler can be used as a permanent or temporary repair to fix a leak or a crimped section of pipe. Since compression couplers cannot take much stress, the pipe must be well supported on both sides.
Compression Fitting
Tube fitting using a nut with wrench flats a mated fitting with male threads and an internal taper and a compression ring which is a sleeve that is thicker in the middle but tapered toward the ends. A tight seal is made when the nut is tightened on the male threads of the mated fitting, the compression ring is squeezed between the nut and the fitting and pressed against the outside diameter of the tubing. Compression fitting as used for smaller diameter tubing.
Compression Valve
A type of valve that is often used for water faucets, it can be opened or closed by the raising or lowering of a horizontal disc by a threaded stem.
Compressive Fracture Test
Casting of a concrete cylinder under exact conditions with a specific level of comprehensive load applied, after the concrete has cured, to test its strength.
Compressive Strength
A material's ability to withstand downward force or to sustain a heavy weight.
Mechanical device which stores pressurized gas in tanks for use on powering air-driven tools by decreasing the volume of a gas by increasing pressure on the gas.
Compressor, Centrifugal
Compressor that compresses gas by use of speed and centrifugal force.
Compressor, Reciprocating
Compressor that compresses gas by use of a moving piston in a cylinder.
Compressor, Roots Type
Positive displacement compressor of gas, comprised of a tight-fitting housing around two spiral intermeshed rotors .
Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
Also referred to as CADD, it is a graphics program used on computers so that drawing can be done in two or three dimensions with the three dimensional designs able to be animated to be viewed from different angles, including from the inside of the drawing. Installation or maintenance can be simulated by the movement of various parts during animation. Animation can be used for simulations, situation re-enactments demonstrations and education. CADD programs can be used to design items, systems and structures of all sizes and complexities and are increasingly used for designing or planning construction sequences and logistics for building projects as well as landscaping designs. Drawn to scale with dimensions shown by computer the measurements can be taken electronically.

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