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
Super Regional Center
Shopping center larger than a typical regional mall.
Superadequacy
A component of real estate that is beyond what is needed in the structure.
Superfund
The commonly used name for CERCLA, the federal environmental cleanup law. If a site is on the Superfund list, it is required to be cleaned up by any and all previous owners, operators, transporters and disposers of waste to the site. The federal government will clean such sites, requiring the responsible parties to pay the cleanup costs. Imposes strict liability.
Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA)
Law hat confirmed the continued existence of superfund. SARA put more teeth into CERCLA, though SARA provides an innocent landowner defense, for a buyer who conducted a Phase I environmental study before the acquisition, with negative results.
Superheated Steam
Increased thermal efficiency is raised by boilers that are used for steam-driven turbine-generators units, which incorporate superheaters to raise steam to a higher temperature than its saturation temperature.
Superimpose
To put, lay or stack on top of something else.
Superintendent
Person who oversees work.
Superior Screed Joint
Trade name given to a combination screed and expansion joint for concrete slabs, which stays in place after the concrete is poured and is not removed. It comes in ten-foot lengths for four, five and six inch thick slabs.
Supermarket
Large, high-volume food store where customers serve themselves by going through the aisles and selecting their groceries, which are paid at the cash register, on the way out.
Support
  1. To carry or bear a specified weight, strain or pressure.
  2. A device used to hold or restrain items.
Supporting Valley Rafter
Rafter which strengthens a roof by running at an angle from eave to ridge and which gives support to cripple rafters, valley jack rafters and the shortened valley rafter adjacent to the same hip.
Surety
One who guarantees the performance of another, such as agreeing to pay the debts of another if that person does not.
Surface
The top level of an object or structure.
Surface Gauge
Gauge, consisting of a base with an adjustable vertical rod that projects from it and holds the scribe that is used for scribing lines at a given height. The gauge base is put on a level surface with two pieces to be scribed. When the gauge base is slid on the surface and the scribe is adjusted to the proper height, two pieces of work at identical heights can be marked.
Surface Rights
The right to use and modify the surface area of real estate. In Texas, surface rights are subservient to mineral rights. In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, an oil driller who owns the mineral rights may operate anywhere on the surface of the property.
Surface Preparation
Anything done to prepare a surface for some type of work.
Surface Raceway
Preformed grouping of rectangular tubing which can route electrical wire in its interior as it is mounted on a wall or ceiling and blended in with the surroundings. It is used when running wiring inside of the wall is not possible.
Surface Testing
Determining soil characteristics by performing tests at a sight prior to construction.
Surfacing
Adding the finish coat to a surface.
Surrender
The cancellation of a lease by mutual consent of the lessor and the lessee.
Surround
Material surrounding a bathtub or shower. Alternately, the material surrounding a fireplace opening.
Survey
Accurate measurement of land for the purpose of determining the boundaries of its perimeter, its contours and area. Surveys are generally required by banks and other lending institutions as part of making mortgage secured loans.
Survey Stakes
Stakes that define and mark the boundaries outlined in the survey.
Surveying Tools
Devices used by surveyors to determine angles and elevations and to take distance measurements for a survey. Includes transit, compass, and measuring rod.
Surveyor
One who is trained in the measurement of land for the purpose of determining its perimeter boundaries, contours and area.
Survivorship
The right of a joint tenant or tenants to maintain ownership rights following the death of another joint tenant. Survivorship prevents heirs of the deceased from making claims against the property.
Survivorship Benefit (on an annuity)
Part of the premiums and interest that have not been returned to the annuitant before his death.
Suspend
To hand by a support from above as to allow free movement.
Suspended Ceiling
Flat ceiling, of lightweight panels, which is built lower than the original ceiling by being supported by metal framework and suspended by wires from the ceiling joists.
Suspended Diaphragm
Structural decking system, which provides a strong surface for roofs and floors.
Swale
Wide, shallow depression in the ground designed to channel drainage of rainwater.
Sweat Equity
Value added to a piece of property, by virtue of the work done by the owner, such as in a do-it-yourself improvement.
Sweat Equity Loan
Loan given on the premise that the purchaser provide some work done on the property.
Sweding
Placement of two lath stakes at a correct elevation with a third lath placed in the center and moved until it reaches the same elevation when sighting is done across the three tops to set earthmoving grades.
Sweep
Ell plumbing fixture with a long-radius.
Sweetener
Something included in a transaction to make it more acceptable.
Swell
The growth in volume of soil that has been excavated since loose soil has more volume than compacted soil.
Swing Check Valve
Valve which has a disc on a hinged swing arm, which allows flow to go in only one direction. When the fluid flows, the disc raises off of its seat. When the flow reverses, gravity and reverse pressure force the disc back into the seat, blocking the flow.
Swing Loan
A short-term loan that allows a homeowner to purchase a home before selling the former residence. Also called a Bridge Loan or Gap Loan.
Swinging Door
Door that is installed on hinges so that it can swing both ways in the doorway.
Swiss Chalet
A Swiss-style 1-½ to 2-½ story, gable roof house with extensive natural decorative woodwork on the exterior.
Switch
Electrical device used to turn a light on or off by opening or closing a circuit.
Switch, Double Pole, Double Through
Switch which is able to connect or interrupt two electrical conductors simultaneously.
Switch, Knife
Knife switches were more commonly used in electrical panels in prior years and are electrical switches that open or close a circuit when one or more of the blades come into contact with one or more clips as the switch is manually raised or lowered to activate contact.
Switch, Light Handle
Electrical switch which contains a small neon light in the toggle part, which is easily seen in a dark room.
Switch, Loop
Electrical wiring that is run to a light through a switch, which causes the light to be the last electrical load of the circuit.
Switch, Single Pole, Single Throw
Electrical switch, the most common one used in buildings, which controls the outlet or light from only one place.
Switch, Snap
Electrical switch, which can open or close contracts quickly with its spring mechanism, so that arcing can be avoided between contacts and is implemented in household switches and circuit breakers.
Switch, Weatherproof
Electrical switch which has a cover to protect it from moisture when it is used outside.
Switchboard
Panel that houses the devices that control the electrical circuits.
Switchbox
Electrical box with the switch and conductors that connect the switch to the electrical system, which is normally mounted on a wall.
Switchgear
Device that completes or breaks the circuit to control that electrical circuit.
Switchgear, Metal Clad
Single metal cubicle type switch, which holds all the necessary equipment to control a circuit.
Swivel
Connection that allows the connected parts to rotate freely so that they do not become twisted together.
SYD
Sum-of-Years Digits, a method of depreciation.
Symbol
Mark designating a specific item and representing that item.
Symbol Schedule
Legend that defines the symbols on a construction drawing, with their meanings.
Symmetrical
Something that is evenly proportioned with each side having similar characteristics.
Synchronous
Occurring together, simultaneous.
Syndicate
A group of investment bankers underwriting and distributing a new or outstanding issue of securities of a real estate business. Alternately, a professionally managed limited partnership investing in different types of real estate.
Syndication
A method of selling property whereby a sponsor or syndicator, sells interests to investors. It may take the form of a partnership, limited partnership, tenancy in common, corporation or subchapter S corporation.
Syndicator
Sponsor of a syndicate involving people or companies buying an interest in a real estate investment or unit. The group of investors are in effect engaged in a joint venture for profit.
System
A set or arrangement of things connected or related to form a unity that will work together to perform a function.
System Curve
HVAC graph showing the system pressures at different flow rates. The system is balanced by using this information so that the proper temperatures are in each area.
System Ground
Grounding of the white neural wire of an electrical circuit at the service entrance into a building.

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Landmark Realty
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