Earnest Money

Advance payment of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for property.


An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power lines, or crossing the property.


The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with "access."

Eminent Domain

The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.


A trespass or intrusion onto another's property, usually by a structure, wall or fence.


To burden a parcel of land with a lien or charge. Example: A mortgage.


A lien, liability or charge upon a parcel of land.


A reversion of property to the state in those cases where an individual dies without heirs or devisees, and, in some states, without a will.


A procedure whereby a disinterested third party handles legal documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer, and delivers them upon performance by the parties.


A person's possessions. The extent of a person's interest in real property.

Examination of Title

The investigation and interpretation of the record title to real property based on the title search or abstract.


In legal descriptions, that portion of land to be deleted or excluded. The term often is used in a different sense to mean an objection to title or encumbrance on title.


A person appointed by the probate court to carry out the terms of a will. The term is "executrix" if that person is a woman.

Extended Mortgage

One in which the due date of a mortgage is extended for a longer period, often at a higher interest rate than the original mortgage.

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