Betty Shindler

Martha Turner Sothebys Intl. Realty


Cell: 713-392-8422   
Phone: 713-392-8422 
Fax: 713-559-5789

Housing Trends

August 2017

View archives

What’s the value of
your home?

Use our tools
to find out

Neighborhood reports

Market Snapshot

Get a detailed report showing market trends in your neighborhood, including recent listings, sales prices and average time on market.

Get a report

Community reports

Powered by realtor.com®

Enter a ZIP code to create a report. Enter a second ZIP to compare two communities.

View statistics on population, education, housing, transporation, income, employment, net worth, cost of living and climate.

Compare amenities such as public services, places of worship, recreation and leisure facilitles, shopping and restaurants.

Get a report

Mortgage rates

Powered by thefinancials.com

Mortgage calculator

Market Snapshot

Get a detailed report showing market trends in your neighborhood, including recent listings, sales prices and average time on market.

Get a report

How big is an acre? What is an option?
Do I need hazard insurance?

Take a look at our real estate glossary to learn definitions of common words and phrases used in the industry.

Learn more

Real Estate Glossary

Use the real estate glossary to learn definitions of common words and phrases used in the industry.

Panel

A section or division of a wall, ceiling or a flat piece of building material that forms the part of the surface of a wall, door or cabinet.

Paneling

Strips of wood or wood material applied as a finish to a wall.

Parcel

An officially described piece of land.

Parking strip

The strip of grass between the sidewalk and the street in front of a house.

Partition

Any kind of structure dividing one room or space from another.

Partition

An interior wall.

Partnership

There are several partnership options for unmarried individuals to buy a piece of property, such as live-in partnerships (in which both buyers share the residence) or a shared-equity partnership (in which one buyer lives in the home and the other is an in

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

A system that supplies solar heat without the use of electric fans or pumps.

Patent defect

A visible deficiency in a piece of property, such as a cracked basement slab or a sagging porch.

Patio

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.

Per-diem interest

Interest charged or accrued daily.

Percolation test

A test used to determine the ability of soil to accommodate a septic system.

Perennial

Any plant that produces leaves, flowers and seeds from year to year, such as irises or peonies.

Pergola

An arbor with an open roof of rafters supported by posts or columns.

Personal property

Any moveable property in a house such as furniture or appliances.

Pest-control inspection

A common pest-control inspection is a termite inspection, which is required in some states, such as California.

Pier

A rectangular masonry support column.

PITI (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance)

When a buyer applies for a loan, the lender will calculate the principal, interest, taxes and insurance. The figure is designed to represent the borrower's actual monthly mortgage-related expenses.

Planned communities

The concept began in the 19th century and describes any town or neighborhood built with certain guidelines and goals.

Planned-unit development

Residents own the home and the land, and share the use and financial responsibility for common areas.

Plaster

A labor-intensive and more costly wall finish.

Pocket door

A sliding door that retreats into the wall when opened.

Point

Fees charged by lenders at the time a loan is originated. A point is equal to 1 percent of the total loan amount.

Porch

The structure can be a simple covered entrance to a home or a fully enclosed room on the outside of a residence.

Porte cochere

A porch-like roof extending over a driveway.

Portfolio lender

A lender who 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 the loan on the secondary market.

Portico

A porch supported by a row of columns.

Possession

When a buyer signs the papers and receives the keys to the house, the buyer officially takes possession.

Power of attorney

A document that authorizes an individual to act on behalf of someone else.

Pre-approval letter

A letter from a lender that informs a seller about the amount of money that a potential buyer can obtain.

Pre-sold home

Homes that are sold before they are built.

Prepaid expenses

The costs for taxes, insurance and assessments paid before the due date.

Prepaid interest

Interest paid before it is due. For example, at the close of a real estate transaction borrowers usually pay for the interest on their loan that falls between the closing period and the first monthly payment.

Prepayment penalty

Lenders can impose a penalty on a borrower who pays a loan off before its expected end date.

Prequalification

Many lenders will prequalify a borrower who is shopping for a loan by completing a preliminary assessment of the buyer's ability to pay for a home.

Pressure relief valve

A safety vent that relieves excess pressure in a water heater.

Price range

The range of how much a buyer is willing to pay for a home.

Primer

The initial coat of paint that is applied before the final topcoat.

Principal

The amount of money that the borrower owes on a mortgage.

Principle of conformity

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

An appraisal term which states that real estate of lower value is enhanced by the proximity of higher-end properties.

Principle of regression

An appraisal term which states that the value of higher-end real estate can be brought down by the proximity of too many lower-end properties.

Privacy fence

A structure erected between two pieces of property.

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)

A special type of loan insurance that many lenders require borrowers to purchase if the borrower's down payment is less than 20 percent of the home's purchase price.

Probate sale

A real estate sale triggered by the death of the owner, with proceeds to be divided among heirs or creditors.

Production home

Homes that are mass-produced by one builder in a project.

Programming

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 issued by the state when a time-share project is located or sold.

Property tax

Property taxes are calculated at about 1.5 percent of the current market value.

Property tax deduction

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 is based on the price a buyer will pay at a certain time.

Proration

Agreed-upon percentages of certain expenses associated with a piece of property that must be paid by the buyer or the seller at the time of closing.

Punch list

Buyers compile a punch list during the final walk-through detailing items to be fixed before closing.

Purchase agreement

A document which details the purchase price and conditions of the transaction.

Purchase-money mortgage

A mortgage that a borrower obtains to acquire a property.