Buyer’s guide to real es­tate terms

Whitsunday Times - - DOMAIN -

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.

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