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Premier Title Group, LLC

Title Insurance & Escrow Services

Real Estate Terms


206 North Rolla St.  Rolla, Missouri 65401

Phone: 573-426-4569

Fax: 573-426-4869

Office Location:

206 North Rolla St.

Rolla, MO 65401

Phone: 573-426-4569

Fax: 573-426-4869

Abstract of Title - A condensed history or summary of all transactions affecting a particular tract of land.

Access - The right to enter and leave a tract of land from a public way. Oftentimes the right to enter and leave over the lands of another."

Accretion - The slow build up of lands by natural forces such as wind, wave or water.

Acknowledgement - The act by which a party executing a legal document goes before an authorized officer or notary public and declares the same to be his voluntary act and deed.

Acre - A tract of land 208.71 feet square and containing 43,560 square feet of land.

Administrator - A person appointed by a probate court to settle the affairs of an individual dying without a will. The term is administratrix if such a person is a woman.

AdversePossession - A claim made against the lands of another by virtue of open and notorious possession of said lands by the claimant.

Affidavit - A sworn statement in writing.

AirRights - The right to ownership of everything above the physical surface of the land.

ALTA - American Land Title Association, a national association of title insurance companies, abstractors and attorneys specializing in real property law which speaks for the title insurance and abstracting industry and establishes standard title policies and procedures, with headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Appurtenance - Anything so annexed to land or used with it that it will pass with the conveyance of the land.

Assessment - The imposition of a tax, charge or levy, usually according to established rates.

Assessor - A public official who evaluates property for the purpose of taxation.

Assignee - One to whom a transfer of interest is made. For example, the assignee of a mortgage or contract.

Assignor - One who makes an assignment. For example, the assignor of a mortgage or contract.

Attachment - Legal seizure of property to force payment of a debt.

Attorneyin Fact - One who holds a power of attorney from another allowing him to execute legal documents such as deeds. mortgages, etc. on behalf of the grantor of the power.

Bankrupt - A person who, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the payment of all his debts after surrender of all his assets to a court appointed trustee.

Bench Mark - A mark on a permanent object indicating elevation and serving as a reference in land surveys.

Chain of Title - A term applied to the past series of transactions and documents affecting the title to a particular parcel of land.

Clear Title - One which is not encumbered or burdened with defects.

Clouded Title - An encumbered title.

Commitment to Insure - A report issued by a title insurance company, or its agent, showing the condition of the title and committing the title insurance company to issue a form policy as designated in the commitment upon compliance with and satisfaction of requirements set forth in the commitment.

Condemnation - Taking private property for public use through court proceedings.

Condition or Conditions - A proviso in a deed or a will that upon the happening or failure to happen of a certain event, the title of the purchaser or devisee will be limited, enlarged, changed or terminated.

Conditions and Restrictions - A common term used to designate the uses to which land may not be put and providing penalties for failure to comply. Commonly used by land subdividers on newly platted areas.

Condominium - A system of individual fee obligation paid or duo. "For example, a pro rate of real property taxes or fire insurance.

Contract - An agreement to sell and purchase under which title is withheld from the purchaser until such time as the required payments, to the seller have been completed.

Conveyance - An instrument by which title to property is transferred; a deed.

Cooperative - A residential multi-unit building owned by and operated for the benefit of persons living within.

Covenant - An agreement written into deeds and other instruments promising performance or non-performance of certain acts, or stipulating certain uses or non-uses of the property.

Deed - A written document by which the ownership of land is transferred from one person to another.

Delivery - The final and absolute transfer of a deed from seller to buyer in such a manner that it cannot be recalled by the seller. A necessary requisite to the transfer of title.

Earnest Money - Advance payment of part of the purchase price to bind a contract for property.

Easement - An interest in land owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use, such as laying a sewer, putting up electric power lines, or crossing the property.

Egress - The right to leave a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with access. (See Access)

Eminent Domain - The power of the state to take private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.

Encroachment - A fixture, such as a house, wall or fence, which intrudes upon anothers property.

Encumbrance - A lien, liability or charge upon a parcel of land.

Escrow - A procedure whereby a disinterested third party handles legal documents and funds on behalf of a seller and buyer.

Examination of Title - The interpretation of the record title to real property based on the title search or abstract.

Exception - In legal descriptions that portion of lands to be deleted or excluded. The term is often used in a different sense to mean an objection to title or encumbrance on title.

Executor - A person appointed by the probate court to carry out the terms of a will. The term is executrix if such person be a woman.

Fee Simple Estate - The greatest interest in a parcel of land that it is possible to own. Sometimes designated simply as Fee.

Financing Statement - A document prepared for filing with the Register of Deeds or Secretary of State indicating that personal property or fixtures in encumbered with a debt.

Fixtures - Any item of personal property so attached to real property that it becomes a part of the real property.

Grantee - A person who acquires an interest in land by deed, grant, or other written instrument.

Grantor - A person who, by a written instrument, transfers to another an interest in land.

Guardian - One appointed by the court to administer the affairs of an individual not capable of administering his own affairs.

Heir - One who might inherit or succeed to an interest in lands under the rules of law applicable where an individual dies without leaving a will.

Hiatus - A gap or space unintentionally left between, when attempting to describe adjacent parcels of land.

Improvements - Those additions to raw lands tending to increase value such as buildings, streets, sewer, etc.

Indemnify - To make payment for a loss.

Ingress - The right to enter a tract of land. Often used interchangeably with access. (See Access)

Insurance - A contract of indemnity against specified perils.

Insurance of Title - Insurance as to who owns a specified interest in designated real estate, and showing as exceptions to the insured interest the defects, liens and encumbrances which exist as against that insured interest.

Intestate - Designates the estate or condition of failing to leave a will at death. To die intestate.

Joint Tenancy - Where two or more persons hold real estate jointly for life, the survivors to take the interest of the one who dies.

Judgment - A decree of a court. In practice this is the lien or charge upon the lands of a debtor resulting from the Courts award of money to a creditor. (See Judgment Lien)

Judgment Docket - The record book of a County Clerk where a judgment is entered in order that it may become a lien upon the property of the debtor.

Judgment Lien - The charge upon the lands of a debtor resulting from the decree of a court properly entered in the judgment docket.

Landmark - Any conspicuous object that helps establish land boundaries.

Lease - A grant of the use of lands for a term of years in consideration of the payment of a monthly or annual rental.

Lessee - One who takes lands upon a lease. Lessor - One who grants lands under a lease.

Lien - A hold, a claim or a charge allowed a creditor upon the lands of a debtor. Some examples are mortgage liens, judgment liens, mechanics liens.

Life Estate - A grant of reservation of the right of use, occupancy and ownership for the life of an individual.

Lis Pendens - A notice recorded in the official records of a county to indicate that a suit is pending affecting the lands where the notice is recorded.

Lot - A measured parcel of and having fixed boundaries.

Majority - The age at which a person is entitled to handle his own affairs.

Marketable Title - A good title about which there is no fair or reasonable doubt.

Mechanics Lien - A lien allowed by statute to contractors, laborers and material-men on buildings, or other structures upon which work has been performed or materials supplied.

Metes and Bounds - A description of land by courses and distances.

Monument of Survey - Visible marks or indications left on natural or other objects indicating the lines and boundaries of a survey. May be posts, pillars, stones, cairns, and other such objects but may also be fixed natural objects, blazed trees, roads and even a water course.

Mortgage - An instrument used to encumber land as security for a debt.

Mortgagee - A designation for the mortgage lender on lands.

Mortgagor - A designation for the mortgage borrower on lands.

Notary - One authorized to take acknowledgments.

Ownership - The right to possess and use property to the exclusion of others.

Patent - A document issued for the purpose of granting public lands to an individual.

Plat or Plot - A map representing a piece of land subdivided into lots with streets shown thereon.

Policy - A written contract of title insurance policy.

Power of Attorney - An instrument authorizing another to act on ones behalf as his agent or attorney.

Power of Sale - A clause inserted in a will, deed of trust or trust agreement authorizing the sale or transfer of land in accordance with the terms of the clause.

Pro-Rate - To allocate between seller and buyer their proportionate share of an ownership of units in a multi-unit structure, combined with joint ownership of common areas of structure and land.

Quiet Title - An action in District Court to remove record defects.

Range - A part of tile government survey, being a strip of land 6 miles in width, and numbered east or west of the principal meridian.

Real Property - Land and that which is affixed to it.

Redeem - Literally to buy back. The act of buying back lands after a mortgage foreclosure, tax foreclosure, or other execution sale.

Reinsurance - To insure again by transferring to another insurance company all or part of an assumed liability, thus spreading the loss risk any one company has to carry.

Right-of-Way - The right which one has to pass across the lands of another. An easement.

Riparian - Rights to use of water in lakes or rivers.

Section or Section of Land - A parcel of land comprising one square mile or 640 acres.

Set Back Lines - Those lines which delineate the required distances for the location of structure in relation to the perimeter of the property.

Sub-surface Right - The right to ownership of everything beneath the physical surface of the property.

Survey - The process of measuring land to determine its size, location and physical description.

Tenancy in Common - An estate or interest in land held by two or more persons each having equal rights of possession and enjoyment but without any right of survivorship between the owners.

Tenant - Any person in possession of real property with the owners permission.

Testate - The estate or condition of leaving a will at death, To die testate.

Testator - A man who makes or has made a testament or will.

Testatrix - A woman who makes or has made a testament or will.

Thence - In surveying and in metes and bounds descriptions, the term designates that the course and distance given there after is a continuation of the course and distance given before.

Title - The evidence or right which a person has to the ownership and possession of land. Commonly considered as a bundle or history of rights.

Title Defect - Any legal right held by others to claim property or to make demands upon the owner.

Title Insurance - Insurance against loss or damage resulting from defects or failure of title to a particular parcel of real property.

Title Search - An examination of public records, laws and court decisions to disclose the current facts regarding ownership of real estate.

Township - A division of territory 6 miles square, containing 36 sections or 36 square miles.

Tract - An area of land.

Trust - A right of property held by one for the benefit of another.

Trustee - A person holding property in trust.

Vendee - A purchaser of real property.

Vendor - A seller of real property.

Vest - To pass to a person an immediate right. Title may be said to vest in John Brown.

Warranty - An agreement and assurance by the grantor-of real property for himself and his heirs, to the effect that he is the owner and will be responsible.

Will - A written document properly witnessed, providing for the distribution of property owned by the deceased.

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