Real Estate Terms : A to Z

  • Advance Fee: A fee charged by a broker to a seller to cover all or a portion of the broker's costs of promoting the property. The fee is generally credited against commissions but is not refunded if no commissions are received. Most frequently used in connection with large offerings which require a substantial outlay of funds for promotion.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (A.P.R.): The yearly interest percentage of a loan, as expressed by the actual rate of interest paid.
  • Bi: A prefix meaning both "every two" or "twice in".
  • Biannual: Twice per year. Semiannual
  • Biennial: Once every two years.
  • Bi-Level: Two levels. Commonly refers to construction of a house. Also called "split" level.
  • Booking: A reservation form for a purchase propose which is completed by the buyer or a contract that is issued by the Broker or Developer to reserve a property where all the details for a transaction are resumed. Regularly requests a booking deposit of substantial value to the sales price.
  • Broker Fee: the broker fee usually ranges between 1% and 5 % of the sale value.
  • Completion Bond: A bond protecting against failure to complete construction. An insurance agreement by which one is insured against loss by acts or defaults of a third party. In construction, a performance bond insures that the builder will finish his project. The insured could be a lender, purchaser, or other interested party.
  • Down payment: The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage
  • Deposit: A sum of money given in advance of a larger amount being expected in the future. Often called in real estate as an "earnest money deposit
  • Exclusive listing: A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time.
  • Façade: The main face or front elevation of a building.
  • Floor Plan: The layout of a building or portion of a building (apartment, office, etc.) showing the size of the rooms and the purpose of each (bath, bedroom, etc.).
  • Freehold Properties: In May 2002, the crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoom, has set a decree allowing foreigners to buy property on freehold ownership. The purchase of property on freehold basis means that the property is put in the owner's name for life, and the owner has the right to sell, lease or rent his/her property at their own discretion.Properties on Freehold in the UAE allows foreigners to put the Property with the Title on their own Name.
  • Gross: Total, with no allowances or deductions, such as gross acre, gross lease, gross income, gross sales, etc.
  • Habitancy: A legal term meaning the place which a person inhabits (lives).
  • Installment: A method of purchasing by installment (usually monthly) payments.
  • Interest Rate: The percentage of an amount of money which is paid for its use for a specified time. Usually expressed as an annual percentage.
  • Interest Rate Cap: The maximum interest rate increase of an Adjustable Mortgage Loan. For example: a 12% loan with a 5% interest rate cap would have maximum interest for the life of the loan which would not exceed 17%.
  • Insurance: A contract under which, for a consideration, one party (the insurer) agrees to indemnify another (the insured) for a possible loss under specific conditions. May be loss of life, health, property, or property rights.
  • Insurable Value: Value of property for insurance purposes. Based on the value of the property, less indestructible parts (land) for fire insurance. For title insurance purposes, the sales price (market value) is used.
  • Joint Ownership: Property owned by more than one person or entity.
  • Key man Insurance: Insurance through loss (through death or disability) of a "key" (important) person in a company. The liability is the estimated cost of the loss (in business lost, and replacement of the individual). Some lenders require this insurance before lending to small companies which rely on one or a few "key" people.
  • Land Department: Purchased lands or Properties have to be registered at the Dubai Land Department. The fee of 1.5% for the registration is relevant for all property types and has to be paid by the buyer. Please visit following Link of the Land Department in the UAE: where all current fees are available to confirm.
  • Mortgage: A mortgage is the transfer of rights to a piece of property as security for the payment of a loan or debt that becomes void when the debt is paid. Maintenance Fee: the amount charged to each unit owner to maintain the property in condition. Usually a monthly fee paid as part of the budget.
  • Non-Freehold Property: All lands and Properties in the United Arab Emirates that are absolutely permitted to be owned by UAE and GCC nationals only.
  • Option: A right, which acts as a continuing offer, given for consideration, to purchase or lease property at an agreed upon price and terms, within a specified time.
  • Original Cost: The purchase price of property, paid by the present owner. The present owner may or may not be the first owner.
  • Premium: A premium is the difference between the original price and the selling price. The amount of money that is added on the base price, to give the investors profit.
  • Plot : Ground on which an improvement is to be built.
  • Qualifying ratios: Calculations that are used in determining whether a borrower can qualify for a mortgage.
  • Real Estate License: A state license granted to one as a broker or salesperson, after passing an examination. Some states have educational requirements before the brokers' examination may be taken.
  • Square foot: The area contained by boundaries of 1 foot long and 1 foot wide. There are 9 square feet in 1 square yard.
  • Taxes: The whole UAE is a Tax free zone .The Land Department requests a registration fee. (see Land Department)
  • Transfer: The act by which the title of the property is conveyed from one person to another
  • Transfer fee: Purchase may include a transfer fee payable to the developer, when title passes from one owner to another. Usually ranges between 1 % and 2 % of the original price.
  • Unit: a unit or units of property (such as apartment, condominium, house, etc) Unit Cost/Price - cost per square foot.
  • Visa: There is no need to be an UAE resident or to have a resident visa to purchase properties in the UAE. Yet the purchaser becomes eligible to apply for a residence visa, even so a purchase does not guarantee a resident visa Some Master Developers agree to sponsor Buyers of their Units for a UAE residential visa. The Developer should not be liable if the Immigration Department refuses to give a visa to the Buyer at any time or any reason. Find more information’s for visa applications on following Links:
  • Warranty: A legal, binding, promise, given at the time of a sale, whereby the seller gives the buyer certain assurances as to the condition of the property being sold.
  • X-BRACING: Cross bracing forming the letter X. Used in floors and partitions
  • Yard: The area between the building and property line of a residential property (back yard, side yard, front yard).
  • Zone: (1) An area of a country or city in which the use of the land is restricted by law (zoning ordinance). (2) An area designated by a number for the delivery of mail. Zip codes incorporate the zones.

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