Real Estate Glossary

Following is a listing of commonly used terms:

Abandonment
To give up ownership of an interest (such as an easement) by failure to use the property, along with an interest to abandon (give up interest).
Adverse Possession
A method of obtaining ownership rights by the open, notorious, exclusive, and hostile possession of private real property for a statutory period of ten years in Arizona. (For more information regarding adverse possession see the Arizona State Legislature search page).
Annexation
Permanently incorporating real property, (i.e., such as a city adding additional land to increase its size).
Chain of Title
The chronological order of conveyance of a parcel of land, from the original owner to the current owner.
Common Area
the area owned in common by the owners of a planned unit development (PAD) or homes in a subdivision (i.e., retention basin).
Easement
an interest in land, owned by another that entitles its holder to a specific limited use or enjoyment.
Eminent Domain
a right of a government to take private property for public use by authority of the superior dominion of the sovereign power over all lands within its jurisdiction.
Encroachment
entering onto the property of another (i.e., construction of a wall or sign on another property owner's land).
Encumbrance
a claim against a property (i.e., lien), which prohibits the transfer of property.
Escrow
funds or a piece of property held by a third party until certain conditions are met by both buyer and seller.
Fee Simple
estate under which an owner is entitled to without limitation unrestricted powers to a piece of property (this is used commonly as a synonym for ownership).
Grantee
party to whom property or property rights are given.
Grantor
party who gives property or property rights.
Ingress/Egress
a right to enter upon and pass through land.
Lessee
party to whom a lease is given in return for a consideration (rent).
Lessor
party who gives the lease in return for a consideration (rent).
Lien
an encumbrance against a property for the satisfaction of a debt, either voluntary or involuntary (all liens are encumbrances but not all encumbrances are liens).
Lis Pendens
a legal document recorded to show pending legal action relating to real property. This gives notice that anyone acquiring an interest in the property after the date of the notice may be bound bye the outcome of the legal action.
Metes and Bounds
legal description of a piece of land by boundary lines including terminal points and angles.
Public Utility Easement (PUE)
an easement for public utilities which may include electric, water, sewer, irrigation, etc.
Public Utility and Facilities Easement (PUFE)
an easement for public utilities and public facilities, including but not limited to irrigation, fire hydrants, street lights, street pavement, curbs, sidewalks, traffic signs/signals and equipment, and all appurtenances.
Quit-Claim Deed
a deed releasing any title, interest, or claim, but doesn't warrant title in the grantor.
Real Property
land or property and anything permanently affixed to the land or property.
Special Warranty Deed
a deed, warranting the current owner only, good title, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and will defend the grantee against all claims.
Taking
describes an acquisition of real property.
Warranty Deed
a deed warranting that the grantor has a good title, free and clear of all liens and encumbrances and will defend the grantee against all claims.