Real Estate Definitions - L


land sales contract
A sales contract for real property by which the seller (Vendor) is carrying the loan for the buyer (Vendee) instead of having the buyer arrange for a loan with a lending institution. It is also called a Land Contract, Contract for Deed or Installment Contract. In Washington the preferred term is a Real Estate Contract. It differs from a mortgage/trust deed in that title does not pass until the contract is fully paid.
latches
Failure to assert one's rights in a timely manner. If the delay is dilatory or unwarranted the claimant could lose his right to act.
Either the buyer or the seller delays performance of the contract.
If either party drags their feet in performance, we call this an "undue period of time" OR "latches".
lease
A written agreement between the property owner and a tenant that stipulates the payment and conditions under which the tenant may possess the real estate for a specified period of time.
leasehold estate
A way of holding title to a property wherein the mortgagor does not actually own the property but rather has a recorded long-term lease on it.
lease option
An alternative financing option that allows home buyers to lease a home with an option to buy. Each month's rent payment may consist of not only the rent, but an additional amount which can be applied toward the down payment on an already specified price.
legal description
A property description, recognized by law, that is sufficient to locate and identify the property without oral testimony.
lender
A term which can refer to the institution making the loan or to the individual representing the firm. For example, loan officers are often referred to as "lenders."
Less-Than-Freehold Estate:
A rental estate or leasehold estate. The possessory right of a tenant in a landlord's real property. Also called Rental Estate, Leasehold Estate, or Chattels Real.
liabilities
A person's financial obligations. Liabilities include long-term and short-term debt, as well as any other amounts that are owed to others.
liability insurance
Insurance coverage that offers protection against claims alleging that a property owner's negligence or inappropriate action resulted in bodily injury or property damage to another party. It is usually part of a homeowner's insurance policy.
lien
A legal claim against a property that must be paid off when the property is sold. A mortgage or first trust deed is considered a lien.
Lien Theory States:
The mortgage theory in Oregon and Washington. When you borrow money on your property, the lender is only entitled to a lien on your property, you do not have to convey title to him.
life cap
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount that the enterest rate can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.
line of credit
An agreement by a commercial bank or other financial institution to extend credit up to a certain amount for a certain time to a specified borrower.
liquid asset
A cash asset or an asset that is easily converted into cash.
Listing Agreement:
A written contract entitling a Broker to seek a "willing, capable purchaser for terms equal to the listed sale terms and to accept earnest money deposits on pending sales" in exchange for the possibility of earning a commission.
loan
A sum of borrowed money (principal) that is generally repaid with interest.
loan officer
Also referred to by a variety of other terms, such as lender, loan representative, loan "rep," account executive, and others. The loan officer serves several functions and has various responsibilities: they solicit loans, they are the representative of the lending institution, and they represent the borrower to the lending institution.
loan origination
How a lender refers to the process of obtaining new loans.
loan servicing
After you obtain a loan, the company you make the payments to is "servicing" your loan. They process payments, send statements, manage the escrow/impound account, provide collection efforts on delinquent loans, ensure that insurance and property taxes are made on the property, handle pay-offs and assumptions, and provide a variety of other services.
loan-to-value (LTV)
The percentage relationship between the amount of the loan and the appraised value or sales price (whichever is lower).
lock-in
An agreement in which the lender guarantees a specified interest rate for a certain amount of time at a certain cost.
lock-in period
The time period during which the lender has guaranteed an interest rate to a borrower.