Real Estate Terms - C


Las Vegas real estate home page

call option

A provision in the mortgage that gives the mortgagee the right to call the mortgage due and payable at the end of a specified period for any reason.


A provision of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that places a limit on how much the interest rate or mortgage payments may increase or decrease.

capital gain

The increase in value of a capital property (a property other than a principal residence) upon which tax is payable, either upon disposition of the property or the deemed disposition of the property under tax rules.

cash flow

Description of the net income from a property after all expenses of holding and carrying the property are paid.


A refinance situation in which the borrower receives additional cash that can be used for any purpose.

caveat emptor

Latin, meaning "Let the Buyer beware". Maxim which applies to real estate transactions where the onus is on the buyer to satisfy himself as to the suitability and condition of the property he is considering for purchase.


Covenants, codes and restrictions, typically found in homeowner association communities.

certificate of eligibility

A document issued by the Veterans Administration that certifies a veteran's eligibility for a VA loan.

certificate of occupancy

Document issued by a local municipality indicating that a new dwelling is suitable for occupation. Generally confirms that the dwelling complies with local building, safety and health by-laws.

certificate of reasonable value (CRV)

A document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA mortgage.


Personal property

clear title

A title that is free and clear of liens or legal obstacles to ownership of the property.


A meeting at which the buyer signs the mortgage documents and pays closing costs. Also called "settlement." In Nevada the deal is considered "closed" when the deed has been recorded at the Clark County Recorder's office.

closing costs

Expenses (over and above the price of the property) incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include a loan origination fee, taxes, an amount placed in escrow and charges for obtaining title insurance.

closing statement

A HUD-1 balance sheet showing all buyer and seller costs involved in closing

cloud (on title)

Any condition found in a title search that adversely affects the title to real estate. Usually clouds on title can only be removed by a quitclaim deed, or court action.


An asset, like a car or a home, that guarantees the repayment of a loan.

commercial real estate

Retail, office and other real estate used for commercial purposes.


The illegal act of mixing a client's funds with and agent's or broker's private accounts.


The fee charged by a broker or agent for listing and negotiating a real estate transaction. A commission is usually a percentage of the sale price of the home.

common areas

Those portions of a planned unit development or condominium project, usually managed by a homeowners' association, that are used by all of the members. Common areas include swimming pools, tennis courts and other recreational facilities, as well as common corridors of buildings, parking areas and means of ingress and egress.

community property

In Nevada, a form of ownership under which property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be owned jointly unless acquired as separate property of either spouse.

comparable sales (comps)

Properties used for comparative purposes in the appraisal process. These "comps" are properties like the property under consideration; they have reasonably the same size, location and amenities and have recently been sold. Comparables are used by an appraiser determine the approximate fair market value of a subject property.

competitive market analysis (CMA)

A type of "appraisal" offered by realtors.


The conclusion that a building is not fit for use or is dangerous and should be destroyed; the taking of private property for a public purpose through an exercise of the right of eminent domain.


A building in which each owner has title to a unit in the building, and an undivided interest in the common areas of the project.

condominium conversion

The conversion of an apartment building into a condominium.

conforming loan

Generally, a mortgage loan under $203,150. Qualifying ratios and underwriting methods are standardized to a large degree.

construction loan

A short-term loan for financing the cost of construction.  

constructive eviction

Actions of a landlord (or third party) which interfere with a tenant's use and enjoyment of the rented premises to such an extent that the tenant is, at law, considered to have been improperly forced out of the premises.

conventional mortgage

A mortgage that is not insured by the federal government. Unlike an FHA or VA mortgage.


A type of multiple ownership in which the residents of a multi-unit housing complex own shares in the "co-op" that owns the property, giving each resident the right to occupy a specific apartment or unit.

cost approach

An appraisal method where a property's value is estimated using the cost of the property plus cost of all improvements, minus depreciation.

cost of funds index

An index that is used to calculate interest rate changes for adjustable-rate mortgage. It represents the weighted-average cost of savings, borrowings and advances of the 11th District members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

counter offer

An answer to an offer. If a prospective Purchaser presents an offer to purchase a property to the owner of the property, that owner may accept the offer as it stands, reject it outright or respond with a "counteroffer" which changes certain terms of the original offer. Upon receipt of a counter offer, the buyer may answer the counteroffer with a counter offer #2, and so on.


A clause in a mortgage that, if violated, can result in foreclosure.

credit history

A history of a borower's open and repaid debts. The credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.

credit rating

A numerical rating system based on a borrower's credit history.