Luxury Collection Specialist
Towne Realty
Lynnhaven Office
301 Lynnhaven Pkwy
Virginia Beach, VA  23452

Office: 757-486-4500
Direct: 757-639-4968
Fax: 757-282-2946
Cellular: 757-639-4968

Real Estate Glossary
Our glossary is the largest dictionary of real estate and construction terms on the Internet with almost 10,000 definitions.

Aa - Ac - Ad - Ae - Ak - Am - Ann - Ar - As - At
Aaron's rod
Molding which is used as a building ornament. It is either straight or rounded molding with a scroll or leave design in the form of a serpent coiled around a rod.
A la Carte real estate service
Transactions rendered one at a time instead of a commission-based, full service relationship.
A-frame Design
A style of house incorporating a high, peaked roof. It has an open and airy interior, featuring open ceiling rafters.
Plate at the top of a column; small, thick, square or rectangle.
Thick square or rectangular plate of any size forming the top of a column.
Leaving something in a place, without the intention of returning.
The voluntary surrendering of property rights but not transferring title to someone else.
To eliminate, lessen or reduce. To hammer metal. To end or suppress. Remove or shape material to form a relief design.
The elimination or reduction of a condition. Diminishing in strength. Decreasing of strength of a timber as it is shaped to the proper size for use. Wastage of wood when lumber is planed to size. Shaping of metal by hammering.
Movable screen. Movable slat. Skylight or different means of admitting light into a building and deflecting the light downward.
Lapse in succession during which title to a piece of property is not clearly established.
Removal of material by melting and/or burning away.
Ablative Surface
Surface designed to melt or burn away at a controlled rate.
Abney Level
Hand-held level used in surveying to determine elevations and slope angles.
Home, residence.
To wear away or erode such as with sandpaper or emery board.
Wearing away.
Abrasion Soldering
An intentional mechanical abrasion of the base metal during soldering.
Material used for grinding, sanding, polishing or the wearing away of another material. Aluminum oxide, garnet and silicon-based compounds are commonly used as abrasives for sanding and smoothing wood.
Abrasive Flapper
Strips of material impregnated with an abrasive that are attached to a hub with a shank. When the shank is inserted into the chuck of a power drill, the spinning strips can be used to sand irregular surfaces.
Abrasive Stones
Grinding stones used to sharpen metal blades. The blades are either rubbed along the stone or the stone is spun and the metal held against it, wearing down the metal and creating a sharp edge.
Abrasive Wheel
Non-metallic disc that is impregnated with an abrasive, such as Carborundum and used in a power saw to cut masonry and metal.
Mortar joint between stones in a stone structure.
Acronitrile butadiene styrene. A type of plastic used to make plumbing pipe.
Absentee Owner
Landlord who lives elsewhere.
Value that won't change when other factors change, such as a constant in a mathematical equation. Something that is free from imperfection. Unconditional, without restriction, such as the power of a dictator. An exact amount.
Absolute Humidity
The mass of water in a given volume of air.
Absolute Scale
Temperature scale using absolute zero as the zero point on the scale.
Absolute Zero
The lowest temperature on the absolute or Kelvin scale, equal to -459.7 degrees F.
Fill or soak up.
Process of drawing a fluid or gas into a porous material, such as a sponge soaking up water. Masonry absorption is the weight of water that can be absorbed by a brick immersed in water.
Absorption Field
A field engineered to receive septic tank effluent. Also called a leeching or seeping field, an absorption field consists of a series of shallow trenches - parallel, round, or whatever the land allows - 18" to 24" wide, in which drain tiles (pieces of perforated pipe) are placed. If the permeability of the soil, established by a percolation test is exceptional, then the pipes can be laid directly on it. In most cases the trenches must be lined with a 6" layer of gravel to help the effluent absorb properly into the soil.
Abstract of Judgment
A court judgment filed with the county that creates a lien against a piece of property.
Abstract or title search
A review of public records to determine whether liens or defects of title exist on a piece of property, which could interfere with clear ownership transfer. Done prior to closing of title on a sale.
Boundaries of contiguous properties with no intervening land. To join or rest against another. To butt up against.
Supporting structure (column) at the end of a bridge or arch.
Abutment Piece
The bottom plate of a wall.
Property adjoining or bordering another property.

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Real Estate Glossary