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Real Estate Glossary

ALTA: Abbreviation for American Land Title Association.

Assignment of Deed of Trust: Document used when a beneficiary (or lender) transfers their interest under a Deed of Trust.

Conditions: The specific terms used under which a policy of title insurance will be issued.

Deed of Trust: A voluntary lien on a specific piece of property given for the purpose of securing a debt or other obligation.

Easement: The right of someone else to use your land for a special purpose, such as to place utility lines, access, etc.

Encroachment: The extension of an improvement onto an easement or adjoining land, without an easement to do so.

Encumbrance: Deed of Trust or any document, which specifies a lien against a property.

Endorsement: The approval for any change on a commitment or policy which has been or will be issued by a title insurance company, such as amount of insurance, effective date of insurance, lender, etc.

Escrow: The state of a written agreement, such as a deed, put into the custody of a third part until certain conditions are fulfilled.

Exceptions: Conditions that are unable to be insured, such as encumbrances or liens.

Exclusions: Similar to exceptions, but rather than making exceptions for such things as liens or encumbrances, certain conditions are excluded from insured coverage.

Gap Time: The period of time between when the closing takes place and the time of recording the documents in the county clerk and recorder's office.

Mechanic's Lien: Lien to secure the compensation of those who have done work on a property or have been directly instrumental to its' improvement.

Metes and Bounds: A way of describing real estate in directional terms. A compass heading is given in degrees, minutes, seconds, and the distance.

Partial Release: When an encumbering instrument has been partially paid.

Quit Claim Deed: Deed that is used where a party quits any claim to the property without guaranteeing ownership.

Release: When an encumbering instrument such as a Deed of Trust has been paid in full.

STR: Section, Township and Range. Method of measuring and locating land.

Vesting Deed: Deed that conveys ownership.

Warranty Deed: Deed that guarantees ownership of a property.