June 2nd, 2017 at 2:00 pm


In a world of Google and autocorrect, more and more people are relying on technology to tell us when we’ve spelled a word wrong, which is why it’s so impressive that a six-year-old can correctly spell the word “nyctinasty” on national television.

Though we won’t ask you obscure words that you may not know the definition to, we thought it would be fun to test your knowledge of real estate terms and their spelling.

As a homebuyer, home seller, REALTOR®, or resident of Southern California, lots of these are words you should know! (Others are just really hard to spell, and your agent can help you with the definitions).


An amount deducted or subtracted, as from the usual price or the full tax.


An accounting term that refers to the process of allocating the cost of an intangible asset over a period of time. It also refers to the repayment of loan principal over time.


An estimate of value, as for sale, assessment, or taxation; valuation.


City in Los Angeles County.

Caveat emptor

Let the buyer beware: The principle that the seller of a product cannot be held responsible for its quality unless it is guaranteed in a warranty.


Security pledged for the payment of a loan. 


A fee paid to a broker or other financial agent for negotiating a sale. The fee is based on a percentage of the sale price.


An apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex, the units of which are individually owned, each owner receiving recordable deed to the individual unit purchased, including the right to sell, mortgage, etc., that unit and sharing in joint ownership of any common grounds, passageways, etc.


A provision that specifies the contract would cease to exist upon the occurrence of a certain event.

Defeasance clause

A mortgage provision indicating that the borrower will be given the title to the property once all mortgage terms are met.

Eminent domain

The power the government has to obtain the property of an individual even without the person’s full consent.


The reverting of property to the state or some agency of the state.


The area facing the outside of a soffit in house construction.


City in Santa Barbara County.

La Jolla

Community in San Diego County.


The legal claim of one person upon the property of another person to secure the payment of a debt or the satisfaction of an obligation.


City in Santa Barbara County.

Mission Viejo

City in Orange County.


Community in Santa Barbara County.


A city, town, or other district possessing corporate existence and usually its own local government.


A person who borrows money by mortgaging his property to the lender as security. 

Percolation test

A test of the soil to determine if it will absorb and drain water adequately to use a septic system for sewage disposal.


An apartment with four levels.

Rancho Penasquitos

Community in San Diego County.


The underside of an architectural feature, such as a beam, arch, ceiling, vault, or cornice.

Unencumbered property

Property that is free of any lien.


formal assessment of the worth of property. 

Vicarious liability

When one person is responsible for the actions of another.


A covenant in a deed to land by which the party conveying assures the grantee that he or she will enjoy the premises free from interference by any person claiming under a superior title.

Which words were hardest for you? Tell us in the comments! 

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