Dictionary P





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A section or division of a wall, ceiling, or flat piece of building material that forms part of the surface of a wall, door, or cabinet.
Electrical distribution box with circuit breakers, fuses, and terminals, to which household wiring is connected.
panel door
A door with a frame of horizontal rails and vertical stiles that surround raised or recessed panels-a type of construction that allows a door to expand and contract with changes in moisture and weather without cracking or warping.
Strips of wood or wood-like material applied as a finish to a wall.
An officially described piece of land.
A coating applied to a foundation wall to prevent water leakage.
parking strip
The strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of a house.
A board composed of wood chips glued together under pressure. It is similar to chipboard, but has a higher density.
Any kind of structure dividing one room or space from another.
Unmarried individuals who buy a piece of property have several options, such as a live-in partnership (in which both buyers share the residence) or a shared-equity partnership (one buyer lives in the home and the other is an investor in the property).
party wall
A wall built along the boundary between two properties.
An opening in a wall between the kitchen and breakfast or dining room used to pass dishes.
passive loss
A tax term that refers to any loss from a passive activity, such as the ownership but not the operation of a piece of rental real estate.
passive solar system
class=normal>A system that supplies solar heat without the use of electric fans or pumps.
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patent defect
A visible deficiency in a piece of property, such as a cracked basement slab or a sagging porch.
An interior courtyard or a paved backyard area.
payment cap
A legal limit on the amount a monthly payment can increase on an adjustable rate mortgage.
Peaked, rounded, or other decorative panel above a doorway.
per-diem interest
class=normal>Interest charged or accrued daily.
percolation test
A test used to determine the ability of soil to accommodate a septic system.
Any plant that produces leaves, flowers, and seeds from year to year, such as an iris or peony.
An arbor with an open roof of rafters supported by posts or columns.
personal property
Any movable property in a house such as furniture or appliances.
pest-control inspection
class=normal>A common pest-control inspection is a termite inspection, which is required in some states, such as California.
photoelectric switch
class=normal>A switch that turns lights or other electrical devices on or off depending upon the light. An example of a photoelectric switch is a switch that turns on outdoor lights at dusk.
A rectangular masonry support column.
A short wire connected to another wire, usually with a wire nut. Normally two or more pigtails are connected to a single wire for the purpose of making connections to multiple objects (two sockets, two switches, etc.).
pigtail cord
A short electrical cord with an integral plug, designed to be attached to an appliance.
Decorative vertical columns attached to the wall or frame at each side of a doorway.
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The flame or electronic control that ignites gas or oil burners.
pilot light
A small, continually burning gas flame inside a gas-fired water heater, dryer, range, or similar appliance. This flame ignites the appliance's gas burner.
pipestem lot
A lot connected to the street by a narrow strip of land.
The slope of a roof. Pitch is the ratio of vertical rise to horizontal run.
PITI (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance)
A payment amount calculated by the lender to include the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance on an amortizing loan. The figure is designed to represent the borrower's actual monthly mortgage-related expenses.
pivot rod
On a sink or tub pop-up assembly, a rod that runs through a rubber pivot ball and that slopes slightly uphill to the tailpiece of the stopper. Pushing the knob and the lift rod down causes the pivot rod to push the stopper up; pulling the knob causes the pivot rod to pull the stopper down.
A woodworker's tool designed for shaving off small amounts of wood. Several different types are available. The longer the plane, the more evenly it will flatten a surface.
planned community
A concept dating back to the 19th century that describes any town or neighborhood built with certain guidelines or goals in mind.
planned unit development (PUD)
class=normal>A highly designed residential project that features relatively dense clusters of houses, which are usually surrounded by areas of commonly owned open space maintained by a nonprofit community association.
A labor-intensive wall finish consisting primarily of lime, sand, and water.
plat book
A public record containing maps showing the division of streets, blocks, and lots, and indicating the measurements of the individual parcels.
The bottom or top piece of a wall.
Heat distribution box on a furnace or central air-handling unit. The ductwork that delivers heated or cooled air to the home connects to this.
PMI (private mortgage insurance)
class=normal>A form of insurance required by a lender when the borrower's down payment or home equity percentage is less than 20 percent of the home value. This insurance partially protects the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan.
pocket door
A type of interior door that slides into a pocket in a wall.
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pocket door
A sliding door that recesses into the wall when opened.
An amount equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. Points may be paid by the borrower at the time the loan is made to get a lower interest rate. Lenders offer various rate/point combinations.
A structure that can be a simple covered entrance to a home or a fully enclosed room on the outside of a residence.
A porch-like roof extending over a driveway.
portfolio lender
A lender that makes loans with its own funds and keeps the loans on the company's books-in other words, inside the institution's portfolio-rather than selling loans on the secondary market.
A porch supported by a row of columns.
A buyer officially takes possession of a house upon signing the closing papers and receiving the keys.
power of attorney
A document that authorizes an individual to act on behalf of someone else.
A thorough assessment made by a lender of a potential borrower's ability to pay for a home, and a confirmation of the amount to be borrowed. The completion of a loan application is necessary to close the loan.
pre-approval letter
class=normal>A letter from a lender that states the amount of money a potential buyer can obtain.
pre-sold home
A home that is sold before it is built.
prepaid expenses
class=normal>Expenses including taxes, insurance, and assessments that are paid before the due date.
prepaid fees
Funds collected by the lender from the borrower to pay certain recurring items in advance, including interest, property taxes, hazard insurance, and, if applicable, private mortgage insurance (PMI).
prepaid interest
class=normal>Interest paid before it is due. For example, at the close of a real estate transaction the borrower may prepay interest that will accrue between closing and the first monthly payment.
prepayment penalty
A penalty that a lender may impose on a borrower who pays a loan off before its expected end date.
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class=normal>A lender's preliminary assessment of a buyer's ability to pay for a home, and an estimate of how much the buyer may borrow.
pressure relief valve
class=normal>A safety vent that relieves excess pressure in a water heater.
price range
The upper and lower limit of what a buyer is willing to pay for a home.
prime lending rate
class=normal>The minimum short-term interest rate charged by commercial banks to their most creditworthy clients. Home loan rates typically are several points above the prime rate, which is also used as the basis for mortgages, business loans, and personal loans.
The initial coat of paint or sealant applied to a surface to prepare it for painting.
The amount of money originally borrowed in a mortgage, minus any payments made subsequently.
The seller, the broker, or the agent's client.
principal and interest
class=normal>Principal (the capital sum) and interest on the principal are combined in the mortgage payment to result in full repayment at the end of the loan's term (except in the case of balloon loans).
principal paid over life of loan
class=normal>The sum of scheduled principal payments are calculated by the lender to equal the face amount of the loan.
principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI)
A payment amount calculated by the lender to include the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance on an amortizing loan. The figure is designed to represent the borrower's actual monthly mortgage-related expenses.
principle of conformity
class=normal>The idea that a house will more likely appreciate in value if its size, age, condition, and style are similar to (or conform to) other houses in the neighborhood.
principle of progression
class=normal>An appraisal term which states that real estate of lower value is enhanced by the proximity of higher-end properties.
principle of regression
class=normal>An appraisal term which states that the value of higher-end real estate can be brought down by the proximity of lower-end properties.
privacy fence
A structure erected between two pieces of property.
private mortgage insurance (PMI)
class=normal>A form of insurance required by a lender when the borrower's down payment or home equity percentage is less than 20 percent of the home value. This insurance partially protects the lender if the borrower defaults on the loan.
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The process of establishing the validity of a will before a duly authorized court or person. Once validity is confirmed, the probate court then administers the sale of property as directed by the will or as authorized by the court to settle any financial obligations.
processing fee
A fee charged by some lenders for gathering information necessary to process the loan.
procuring cause
Legal term used to determine whether a broker is entitled to a commission.
production home
class=normal>Homes that are mass-produced by one builder.
A written summation by an architect of a project's design objectives, constraints, and criteria.
project budget
A fiscal outline that includes the construction budget and all costs for land, furniture, equipment, financing, professional services, contingencies, and owner-furnished goods and services.
property line
The official dividing line between properties.
property report
A disclosure filed with the state when a time-share project or subdivision is sold.
property tax
Tax paid on privately owned property. Property taxes are usually paid semiannually, or monthly if the lender requires. The amount is based on local tax rates and assessed property value.
property tax deduction
class=normal>The U.S. tax code allows homeowners to deduct the amount they have paid in property taxes.
property value
The value of a piece of property, based on the price a buyer will pay at a given time.
To allocate percentages of certain expenses to be paid by the buyer and seller at the time of closing.

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