Glossary of Real Estate Terms "C"

Like many other industries, the real estate industry has its own unique language and vocabulary. Without some knowledge of this specialized language, you may find yourself a bit confused if you become involved in a real estate transaction.

Whether entering the real estate market for the first time or if you have invested before, this handy reference will provide an understanding of basic real estate words and phrases.


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C

Certificate of Title – A certificate issued by a title examiner stating the condition of title.

Chain – In real estate measurements (surveying), a chain is 66 feet long or 100 links, each link being 7.92 inches. The measurement may change when used in field other than surveying.

Chain of Title – The successive ownership or transfers in the history of title to a tract of land. A “chain of title” is researched through the public records (i.e. documents recorded and related to a piece of property).

Claim – An adverse right or interest asserted by one party against another or against an insurer or indemnitor related to property. Claims may arise from unpaid debts, taxes, as well as from hidden title defects such as fraud, forgery, missing heirs, etc., or for the right or interest in property.

Clear Title – Real property ownership free of liens, defects, encumbrances or claims.

Closing – Also called “settlement”. A meeting of all parties involved in a property transaction during which documents are signed, monies are accounted for, disbursed and a real estate transaction is finalized. Could also refer to settlement of a real estate refinance.

Clouded Title – An irregularity, possible claim or encumbrance that, if valid would adversely affect or impair the title.

Coinsurance – Two or more policies of title insurance issued by different insurers (underwriters), each covering a portion of the same risk, which together provide total coverage of the risk.

Commitment – Also called “binder”. A document is issued by a title insurance company after researching the public records related to the property to be insured, that contains the conditions (also called “requirements”) under which a policy of title insurance will be issued, after receiving payment for the title insurance premium and meeting the requirements set forth, satisfactory to the title insurer.

Condemnation - (1) The taking of private property for a public purpose, with compensation to the owner under the right of eminent domain. Governmental units, railroads and utility companies have the right to condemn and take private property. (2) The destruction by government of private property that imperils the life, health or safety of the public.

Conventional Loan – A loan secured by a mortgage for which the loan-to-value ratio is within an acceptable range for a particular lending institution. The most common real estate loan program. The lender usually will lend 80%, 90% and even 95% under programs with a variety of terms, costs and conditions.

Conveyance – The transfer of title to property from one person to another.

Covenant – A formal agreement or contract between two parties in which one party gives the other certain promises and assurances, such as covenants of warranty in a warranty deed.

Curtesy – In Michigan , these rights are no longer in effect, but at one time curtesy rights were rights that a husband had in his wife's property at her death. Compare with “Dower”.




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