Real Estate Glossary

Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.
 
Aa - Ac - Ad - Ae - Ak - Am - Ann - Ar - As - At
Amalgam
Mixture of different elements. An alloy of mercury with other metal or metals. The amount of mercury it contains determines the hardness of the alloy. Containing enough mercury, the amalgam may be liquid at room temperature.
Amalgamate
To combine into a single body. To combine in an amalgam.
Ambient
Surrounding on all sides.
Ambient Temperature
Air temperature in a particular location.
Amenities
Desirable items offered by builders as enticements to potential purchasers.
American Bond
Pattern of brick laying with five layers of stretcher and one course of alternating headers. Alternately referred to as common bond.
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
A professional society of architects founded in 1857 an located in Washington, D.C. with 301 local groups in all 50 states and over 54,000 members, it promotes excellence and professionalism in the field.
American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers (AIREA)
Appraisal group, which merged with Appraisal Institute (AI) in 1991.
American Land Title Association (ALTA)
Organization located in Washington, D.C. with over 2,400 members in 40 states was founded in 1906 and fosters uniformity and quality in title abstract ad insurance policies. Its publications are the monthly Capital Comment, the bi-monthly Title News, and the annual Directory of Members.
American National Standards Institute
Non-profit group that tests building materials.
American Planning Association (APA)
Founded in 1978 to encourage the best techniques and decisions for the planned development of communities and regions. Located in Washington, D.C., it has 26,000 members with 45 regional groups in the U.S.
American Plywood Association (APA)
The grading standards for plywood are set by this association of plywood manufacturers.
American Real Estate Society (ARES)
ARES has 950 members who are interested in real estate finance, investment, valuation, marketing, development, etc. Founded in 1985, it is located at Cleveland State University in the College of Business, Cleveland, Ohio.
American Society of Appraisers (ASA)
This society is primarily concerned with the advancement of the appraisal profession including teaching, certifying and testing. Located in Washington, D.C., it was founded in 1952 and has 6,000 members.
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
Professional association of independent home inspectors. These members must meet the group's education and performance requirements. For a list of ASHI-certified inspectors, call (800) 743-2744.
American Society of Real Estate Counselors (ASREC)
Real Estate professionals who provide counseling on real estate purchases and investment decisions through a negotiated fee rather than a commission. Founded in 1953 with 850 members, it is located in Chicago, Illinois.
American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM)
American Society for Testing Materials is a non-profit organization of a variety of qualified professionals who decide the level of quality that must be used in building materials for a particular job. A standard is proposed and these professionals either approve it or suggest changes. There is a vote to decide on approval and then it is published and manufacturers are expected to comply. If they do not, they are not given an ASTM number and cannot be used for jobs that require ASTM approved products.
American Standard for Testing Materials Standard Index
American Society for Testing Materials Standards Index is the list, by subject and number, of published standards that have been approved by the Society.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII)
Computer code used to represent letters, symbols, and use instructions.
American Wire Gauge (AWG)
Identification of the diameters of electrical wire made in the U.S. is made by this series of numbers. Gauge designations range from 46 to 4/0 (0000), 46 smallest and 4/0 largest. Larger sized wires (4 though 4/0), are stranded to be flexible. Larger sizes than 4/0 are marked by cross-sectional area in circular mils. 250MCM, then 300MCM are the sizes following 4/0, with the larger sized designated by larger numbers as the sizes increase since the numbers now equal the cross sectional area of the wire.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
A law that makes it illegal to discriminate against a person with a disability in housing, public accommodations, transportation, employment, government services and telecommunications. Amide Agent used for curing epoxy resin.
Ammeter
The current flow in an electrical circuit is measured by this electrical meter. It is connected in series with power going into the circuit so that the electricity flows through the meter. An indicating needle deflects an amount proportion to the current that flows through. The amount of electrical current flowing through the circuit in amperes, or amps is shown by the needle's position on a graduated scale.
Ammeter, Clamp-on Type
An ammeter that can read current flow through a conductor though measurement of the strength of the magnetic field around the conductor. The current flow through a conductor creates the magnetic field. This conductor is placed between the jaws of the meter; the magnetic field produced by the current is translated by the meter into amperage that can be red on the dial on the meter. Because it does not need to be connected to the circuit in order to measure the current flow, it is convenient to use.
Ammonia
A colorless, pungent chemical compound (NH3), which is used in cleaning solutions, manufacturing of chemicals. The gaseous form is used as a refrigerant in refrigeration systems, much the same as Freon. Freon is preferred because it is more stable and less corrosive.
Amorphous
Without defined form. Shapeless.
Amortization
Regular payment of both principal and interest on a loan. Early in the loan, most of the payment is applied toward interest with increasing amounts paid toward principal and the loan moves toward maturity.
Amortization Schedule
The schedule, which shows the breakdown of each loan payment that consists partly of principal and partly of interest.
Amortization Tables
Mathematical tables used to calculate a monthly payment on a loan.
Amortize
Gradual elimination of a financial obligation through periodic payments.
Amortized Mortgage
Mortgage where the interest and principal have been fully repaid by the mortgagee.
Ampacity
Capacity for current-carrying of an electrical conductor.
Amp
Ampere. The basic unit used to measure electric current.
Amperage
The strength of an electrical current measured in amperes.
Ampere
The basic unit used to measure electric current. Rate of flow, though a wire, of charge in a conductor or conducting medium of one coulomb per second. This push is referred to as voltage. If too much amperage is pushed through the wire, loss of power can result. If the wire heats up it can damage the insulation or cause a fire.
Ampere-Hour
Standard unit for measuring the quantity of electricity; equal to the flow of a current of one ampere for on hour or to an elapsed current drain of 3,600 coulombs.
Ampere-Turn
Amount of magnetomotive force produced by an electric current of one ampere flowing around one turn of a wire coil.
Amphitheater
Round or oval building with open space surrounded by rising rows of seats, which is often used for shows, lectures and other activities performed for an audience.
Amplidyne
Direct-current generator which using a small amount of direct current (DC) power applied to its field windings to control the generator's output.
Amplifier
Device with electron tubes or semiconductors, which is used to increase the strength of an electrical signal.
Amplify
To increase in power or amplitude. To increase the strength of an electrical signal by means of an amplifier.
Amplitude
Maximum value of an alternating current (AC).
Anaerobic
Able to live and grow without air or free oxygen, such as bacteria, some types of which break down the waste in a septic tank.
Analysis
Examination of parts to investigate the nature of something. Analyses can be made by chemical and mathematical means as well as in other ways.
Anchor
Any device that holds something secure. A sturdy attachment point.
Anchor Blocks
Wooden blocks secured to masonry structures to provide a nailing surface for the attachment of wood structural members to the masonry wall.
Anchor Bolt
Large steel bolt attached to a building and then anchored in concrete. This is done to prevent the structure from moving.
Anchor Post
A post anchor is preformed of galvanized sheet metal with vertical sections, which are bent up to fit around the bottom of the post being anchored, slightly above the foundation so that it won't rot by coming into contact with ground moisture. Fasteners hold the post in place.
Anchor Strap
Metal strap with holes, which is embedded in a concrete pour allowing the framing to be fastened securely to the concrete.
Anchor Tenant
Major tenant in a shopping center that helps the center attract shoppers that benefit the other tenants as well; often a supermarket.
Anchorage
Point where something is held secure by anchoring.
Ancillary
Subsidiary building in a structural complex.
Ancillary Administrator
Out-of-state or out of jurisdiction administrator who is appointed to probate a decedent's property when there is no executor/executrix.
Ancon
Bracketlike projection that supports a cornice. Curved support between a cornice and a wall.
Andiron
Metal supports with ornamented front uprights, used to support logs in a fireplace at an elevated position, which permits air to flow freely around the logs.
Anemometer
Device used for measurement of airflow velocity.
Anemometer, Hot Wire
Measuring of the resistance change of a heated wire; resistance changes with temperature and the temperature changes with air flow velocity by use of this device.
Anemometer, Rotating Vane
Propeller-type, lightweight vane that is rotated by airflow with its rotational speed being proportional to the air velocity.
Anemometer, Swinging Vane
Spring-loaded, light weight metal van which is held in a housing that is deflected by air flow to move a pointer on a scale which then indicates the amount of flow.
Angle
Shape made by two straight lines meeting in a point; the space between those lines and surfaces; the amount of difference in direction between them measured in degrees. Two straight lines that diverge from the same point.
Angle Bay Window
Windows, consisting of many parts, which projects from the wall in the shape of a multi-sided polygon.
Angle Bead
Metal or wooden strip which is installed in a corner and then plastered, to protect the corner against damage or to serve as a guide to plaster placement.
Angle Bonds
Metal ties which re used to hold masonry corners together.
Angle Brace
Support brace, which spans the angle formed by two other members.
Angle Bracket
Right-angle-shaped piece of metal used to reinforce jointed boards.
Angle Dozer
Piece of earth moving equipment used to scrape soil off of an excavation site, to move dirt, or smoothing and leveling a building site. An angle dozer blade is mounted at an angle to the direction of travel so that the earth is moved at an angle to the vehicle and does not pile up in front of the blade which delays forward movement.
Angle Dozing
The movement of earth with a blade set at an angle that allows the earth to be moved forward and off to one side.
Angle Iron
Metal strip of structural iron or steel bent to form a right angle. Used to join and reinforce joints and used to support masonry over openings.
Angle of Attack
The acute angle between the chord of an airfoil and the line of relative airflow.
Angle of Incidence
Angle that a light ray or electromagnetic wave striking a surface makes with a line perpendicular to the reflecting surface.
Angle of Repose
The maximum angle of slope at which a given soil type will remain in place without sliding.
Angle of View
The angle subtended by two lines drawn from the corners of the objective to the center of a lens.
Angle Paddle
Plastering tool which is implemented to finish a corner once the plaster has been floated.
Angle Plane
Multi-bladed scraping tool used to remove high spots on plaster before a finish coat is applied.
Angle Valve
Globe valve with the inlet and outlet at right angles to each other.
Angles, Adjacent
Two angles which share a common side and have a common intersection point.
Angular
Having or forming an angle, composed of angles.
Anhydrous
Without water content.
Aniline Dye
Nitrobenzine, a derivative of coal tar, is used to make this blue dye for fabrics.
Anion
The negatively charged atom or radical in an ionic compound; an atom or ion with a negative charge.

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Landmark Realty
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