The Complete Glossary of Real Estate Terms
One of the things that makes real estate investing so fascinating is that there's always something new to learn. There are many ways for you to evolve as a real estate investor. That's one of the reasons we put out not just world-class wholesaling, house flipping and real estate development software but also continuous education.
And that's why we created this real estate glossary. It’s chock full of real estate terms that we hear all the time in this industry and you should know!
You can expand each term to find it’s definition by clicking the “+” sign on the right. Within each term box will a definition for the term, as well as links to relevant articles, videos, files, and tutorials we’ve created that involve the defined term. Happy Investing!
The Rehab Valuator Team
An accredited investor is an individual or a business entity that is allowed to trade securities that may not be registered with financial authorities. They are entitled to this privileged access by satisfying at least one requirement regarding their income, net worth, asset size, governance status or professional experience.
Amortization is the schedule of your monthly mortgage loan payments. An amortization schedule shows you how much of your monthly mortgage payment goes to interest and how much to principal. As you continue to make your payments, the interest amount will decrease and more of the payment will be put towards the mortgage balance.
Real estate appraisal, property valuation, or land valuation is the process of developing an opinion of value, for real property.
Process of building income property ground up, leasing it out, and then refinancing in order to recoup your capital. This is a wealth-building technique that real estate developers employ on a regular basis to grow their portfolios.
Process of renovating an existing property and repositioning it in the market. Value is added through a renovation, after which the property is leased. The investor then re-appraises the property higher and refinances, pulling out the original capital investment. This allows the investor to then deploy that original capital investment into additional deals.
A buyer's agent is a real estate professional who guides a buyer through the process of purchasing a home. As a representative of a purchaser in a real estate transaction, a buyer's agent has a legal obligation to protect the interests of the buyer and work to ensure they're getting the best deal possible.
The rate of return expected to be generated on a property. It is computed based on the net income which the property is expected to generate. It's calculated by dividing net operating income by the total cost basis of the property. The number is then expressed as a percentage.
The rate of return expected to be generated on a property. It is computed based on the net income which the property is expected to generate. It is calculated by dividing net operating income by the After Repair Value of the property. The number is then expressed as a percentage.
This is a term typically used to define investors who buy properties from wholesalers. Even though these investors are termed "cash buyers", they do not necessarily have to close with cash in order to be considered "cash buyers". Often times they buy via hard money loans, private money, or even regular financing.
This is the rate of return generated on the actual cash invested into the deal. This metric is affected by the amount of leverage you employ. The more leverage, the lower the cash in, and (in a profitable deal) the higher the cash on cash return.
A refinancing of a property that results in cash in your pocket. This can be a free & clear property that is refinanced with a new loan or it can mean a mortgaged property that is refinanced with a higher mortgage amount.
Cash flow is the amount of profit you bring in each month after collecting all income, paying all operating expenses, and setting aside cash reserves for future repairs.
Closing costs are fees and charges due at the closing of a real estate transaction, in excess of the purchase price of the property.
Comps that are used to assess the fair value of a home. Generally, comps are sales records of recently sold homes that are similar to the property you are analyzing.
Cost basis can be defined a number of different ways, but in a renovation or new construction project, this typically refers to every aspect of the project added up together: purchase, closing costs, holding costs, rehab costs, financing costs, etc.
Calculated as monthly Net Operating Income (NOI) divided by monthly debt service. This is a standard measure of risk that every lender uses to evaluate loan limits. It tells the lender how much income the property will bring in vs. the mortgage payment. Lenders will typically require a bare minimum of 1.2 DCR (usually 1.25 or higher).
A multi-family home that has two units in one building — regardless of how those homes are arranged. Units can be side-by-side or stacked on top of each other. Duplex buildings also have two separate entrances for each unit.
The length of time required for an investment to recover its initial outlay in terms of profits or savings. For real estate investments, this is typically computed by taking total cash invested into the deal and dividing by net annual cashflow.
The process of executing a real estate project including budgeting, bidding, scheduling, tracking and reporting.
ROE = Net Income / Equity. A measure of financial performance calculated by dividing net income by current equity. This is a great alternate measure of return to Cash on Cash because as your equity in a property grows, your ROE will decline vs. your Cash on Cash. ROE is helpful in determining, among other things, optimal times to refinance or sell a property.
A real estate agreement in which the seller handles the mortgage process instead of a financial institution.
In real estate wholesaling, a wholesaler contracts a home with a seller, then finds an interested party to buy it. The wholesaler contracts the home with a buyer at a higher price than with the seller, and keeps the difference as profit. A contract is typically assigned to the buyer, though double closings are also common.
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Get Rich Slow (a blog post):
ARV Calculator: Comps, ARV & Offers
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How to Analyze Land & Offers
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