Buyer’s guide to real estate terms
Buying your first home involves a number of steps. There’s saving the deposit and hunting for the best home loan just for starters. And then as soon as you’ve started looking for a property, you come across terms the likes of which you’ve never seen - it might as well be a foreign language. What on earth is a covenant, you wonder, and what does group title mean?
And while Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) accredited agencies can explain industry terminology, sometimes it’s also a good idea to know your caveats from your community titles before you start looking for your new home.
Often stated as a compass direction when standing on the property and facing towards the road, e.g. ‘a northerly aspect.’
A temporary loan to settle a purchase that becomes due before the date that the longer-term finance becomes available.
This is Latin for ‘beware’. Any person who has an interest in a property may lodge a caveat with the Titles Office to prevent the registration of any dealings on the property including the sale to any other person.
The document of title to land held under the Torrens Title system. It shows who owns the land and whether it is subject to a mortgage, lease, easements or any other dealings which may adversely affect a potential buyer.
These are normally removable items in a property, such as a washing machine, and are not included in the sale unless specifically listed.
This is a modern way of describing any property that has a body corporate and community assets.
A covenant is a promise executed under a seal whereby one party promises to another that something has or will be done. For example, restrictions in canal estates on the building of jetties and placement of pontoons.
An easement is a right to use the land of another. The most common of easements are usually rights of way.
An interest or right in real property which may diminish the value of the land but does not prevent transfer or ownership. Encumbrances include covenants, easements or caveats.
An order issued over a property by a local or state authority banning any works or any clearing of the land.
Owners of property have a fee simple or freehold estate which is the highest form of ownership. An owner can use the land in any way desired subject to the usual environmental, building zoning, mining and other controls.
A system of land title similar to freehold title except the title also includes an element of common property owned jointly and therefore must involve a body corporate.
This is a plan number in the Titles Office and includes the dimensions and details of a particular parcel of land.
Settlement: Settlement occurs when the buyer becomes entitled to possession of the property. A formal settlement occurs when the owners hand to the buyer the executed transfer documents and the Certificate of Title in exchange for payment of the balance of the purchase monies.
A system of land title based on the horizontal subdivision of air space. The most common form of strata title is home units.
The legal control of the use of land as prescribed by the local government or any other planning authority. In Queensland, zoning or legal land use is regulated by the Integrated Planning Act.
It is important for consumers to be aware that not all real estate agents are REIQ accredited agencies.