Real Estate Glossary F

Facade - The part of a building facing the street or a courtyard.

Fair credit billing act - A federal law that governs credit and charge card billing errors. If a credit or charge card company violates any provision, consumers can sue to recover damages.

Fair credit reporting act - A federal law passed in 1971 that regulates the activity of credit bureaus. It is designed to prevent inaccurate or obsolete information from staying in a consumer's credit file and requires credit bureaus to have reasonable procedures for gathering, maintaining and disseminating credit information. The act also requires credit bureaus to show a consumer their credit file if the consumer presents proper identification, although the bureau reserves the right to charge a fee for doing so.

Fair debt collection practices act - A federal law passed in 1977, which outlaws debtor harassment and other types of collection practices. The act regulates collection agencies, original creditors who set up a separate office to collect debts, and lawyers hired by the creditor to help collect overdue bills. An original creditor the company or individual that originally granted the credit is not covered by the act, but may be covered by similar measures approved by state governments.

Fair housing act - Landmark federal law passed in 1965 and amended in 1988 that makes it illegal to deny rent or refuse to sell to anyone based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The 1988 amendment expanded the protections to include family status and disability.

Fair market value - The highest monetary price which a property would bring, if offered for sale for a reasonable period of time in a competitive market, to a seller who is willing but not compelled to sell, from a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, both parties being fully informed of all the purposes to which the property is best adapted and is capable of being used.

Fannie mae - The official name of the Federal National Mortgage Association, it is a congressionally chartered, shareholder owned company that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market. owned company that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.

Farm area - A selected geographical area or one specific building to which a real estate salesperson devotes special attention and study.

Farmer's home administration - A U.S. Department of Agriculture agency that provides credit to farmers and rural residents.

Fascia - A board that connects the ends of the roof rafters and provides a surface to support gutters.

Feasibility study - An analysis of a proposed project with emphasis on the attainable income, probable expenses, and most advantageous use and design.

Federal home loan mortgage corporation, law  - The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac. The company buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and then sells shares to investors.

Federal national mortgage association - Now officially dubbed Fannie Mae, this federally chartered agency buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and sells shares to investors.

Federal reserve board - A group of economists and other experts who set the nation's monetary policy. Its chief tool to control inflation is the power to control interest rates.

Federal style  - American home architecture style that evolved after the Revolutionary War. Details include bigger windows and a front doorway surrounded by glass and topped with an arched window.

Federal tax lien - A federal lien which attaches to real property, either if the federal estate tax is not paid, or if the taxpayer has violated the federal income tax or payroll tax laws.

Federal trade commission - The government agency responsible for regulating a variety of companies and industries, from credit bureaus and collection agencies to timeshare operators and certain types of creditors. National headquarters: Sixth and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20580. Phone: (202) 326-2222-2222

Fee simple defeasible - The owner of the property holds a fee simple title contingent upon certain conditions.

Feng Shui - An ancient Chinese belief that the physical characteristics of a house and the positioning of the home will affect the fortunes of the owner.

FHA loans  - Mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA's 203(b) loan program provides low rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent. The agency also operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property. rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent. The agency also operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property.

Fiduciary - A relationship, which implies a position of trust or confidence wherein one, is usually entrusted to hold or manage property or money for another. Among the obligations a fiduciary owes to the principal are duties of loyalty; obedience; full disclosure; the duty to use skill, care and diligence; and the duty to account for all monies.

Fiduciary duty - The relationship of trust that buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent. The term also applies to legal and business relationships.

Field changes - Modifications made on the construction site that do not match blueprints.

Fill dirt - Soil brought in to solidify a finished foundation.

Finance charge - The total of all costs imposed directly or indirectly by the creditor and payable either directly or indirectly by the customer, as defined under the federal Truth-in in Lending Law.

Financial statement - A formal statement of the financial status and net worth of a person or company, setting forth and classifying assets and liabilities as of a specified date.

Finish grade  - A finish that prepares a lot for landscaping.

Fire wall - A buffer composed of fire-resistant material. resistant material.

First mortgage - The primary mortgage on a property that has priority over all other voluntary liens.

First refusal, right of - The right of a person to have the first opportunity either to purchase or lease real property.

Fiscal year - A business year used for tax, corporate or accounting purposes, as opposed to a calendar year.

Fixed installment - The monthly payment on a home loan.

Fixed time - The specific weeks in a year an owner of a timeshare arrangement has access to accommodations.

Fixed-rate mortgage - A home loan with an interest rate that will remain at a specific rate for the term of the loan. About 75 percent of all home mortgages have fixed rates.

Fixer-upper - A house that needs refurbishment or remodeling It usually sells at a below market price. market price.

Flag lot - A land parcel having the configuration of an extended flag and pole. The pole represents access to the site, which is usually located to the rear of another lot fronting a main street.

Flashing - Metal strips placed around chimneys, skylights, vents, windows, doors, beneath shingles and along seams in the roof to prevent water seepage.

Flat fee - A set fee charged by a broker instead of a commission.

Flat roof  - A roof with a level surface.

Float floor drain - A drain that diverts water from the basement to a collection area. Water is then removed with a sump pump.

Floating wall - Walls built to withstand movement in the basement floor.

Flood insurance - Hazard coverage that is required in designated flood areas.

Flood plain - Flat, flood prone areas located along waterways. prone areas located along waterways.

Florida rooms  - Enclosed porches built on the side or back of a home.

Footings - Concrete foundations that support a structure.

For sale by owner (fsbo) - The owner acts as the agent to avoid paying a sales commission.

Forbearance - A course of action a lender may pursue to delay foreclosure or legal action against a delinquent borrower.

Foreclosure - The legal proceeding in which a mortgagee, or other lienholder, usually a lender, obtains a court ordered termination of a mortgagor's equitable right of redemption. Usually a lender obtains a security interest from a borrower who mortgages or pledges an asset like a house to secure the loan. If the borrower defaults and the lender tries to repossess the property, courts of equity can grant the owner the right of redemption if the borrower repays the debt. When this equitable right exists, the lender cannot be sure that it can successfully repossess the property, thus the lender seeks to foreclose the equitable right of redemption. Other lienholders can and do use foreclosure, such as for overdue taxes, unpaid contractors' bills or overdue HOA dues or assessments.

Forfeiture - The relinquishing of property rights by a delinquent borrower.

Foundation - The support structure of a house.

Foyer - The entrance hall to a home or building.

Framing - The construction of the skeletal framework of a house.

Fraud - Any form of deceit, trickery, breach of confidence or misrepresentation by which one party attempts to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage over another.

Freddie mac - The common name for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a congressionally chartered institution that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.

Free and clear title - Title to real property, which is absolute and unencumbered by any liens, mortgages, clouds or other encumbrances.

Free-market lots - Owners of these types of lots may hire any builder to construct their home.

French doors - Two adjoining doors inlaid with glass that open from the middle.

Fully amortized adjustable rate mortgage - A mortgage that amortizes, or pays down, the balance of a loan.  A mortgage that amortizes, or pays down, the balance of a loan.

Functional obsolescence - A loss in value of an improvement due to functional inadequacies, often caused by age or poor design.

Furnace - An enclosed heating device powered by coal, oil, propane or natural gas.

Fuse - A device that allows power to be channeled into a home.

 

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