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Real Estate Legal Terms to Know

by Terry Naber 03/18/2019

Every industry has its specific vocabulary. Real estate is no exception. If you are new to the home-buying market, you may find yourself stumped by the abbreviations, lingo, acronyms, and unfamiliar jargon commonly used in real estate sales materials, online listings, contracts, and the like. Do not be confused. Learn the terms so you can read that paperwork with ease. Abatement is a real estate term with which you need to become familiar.

Abatement

In standard legal terms, abatement means the removal or diminishment of something. In residential real estate, this term usually refers to property tax in the form of a property tax abatement. Since property taxes become ongoing annual homeowner expenses even after you entirely pay off a mortgage, being able to access a property tax abatement is an asset. For example, if a municipality such as a city, county, state, or other property-tax entity offers you a tax reduction, it could reduce the monthly housing costs by up to five percent during the period of abatement.

Property tax abatement programs can make it easier to qualify for a larger mortgage by reducing your income/debt to housing cost ratio. Also, while the reduction is effective, it adds value to your home when you're ready to put it on the market. 

Certain tax abatements are for one-time improvements to an existing property. These could be for upgrades such as:

- Converting non-residential buildings to residential use
- Installing environmentally friendly additions
- Renovations that increase property value

Typically, these improvements must conform to the requirements, and follow building codes and permitting processes. If you've planned to purchase a home for renovation purposes, make sure that your agent knows so that you get advice on any reductions in effect for the houses you consider.

Along with state or local abatements, there are some federal tax incentives for restoration and preservation of homes designated as historical or with public value. Other abatements may be for qualified newly constructed homes.

Some municipalities have property tax abatements that are effective for several years. Most often these are in place to attract buyers to redeveloping neighborhoods or areas that are under renewal, in the process of revitalization, or are in lower demand. The specific qualification requirements for tax abatements differ, so be sure to talk with your agent about access to potential abatements when house-hunting.

Asbestos and Lead-Paint

Other uses for the term abatement relating to real estate include some expenses associated with buying an older property or a property's repurposing from commercial to residential. For example, when purchasing a home built prior to 1978, any renovations or improvements might need to conform to lead paint abatement requirements. A potential abatement cost is for asbestos removal. Before the 1970s, asbestos featured regularly as insulation in ducts and pipes, concrete exterior siding, floor tiles, as vermiculite attic insulation, in wall or ceiling acoustical tiles. The Environmental Protection Agency oversees asbestos removal, so if you plan to make changes to a property older than the 70s, your realtor can help you navigate all the requirements of asbestos abatement and may recommend qualified professional asbestos removal contractors. Certain older homes might be eligible for asbestos or lead paint removal grants. 

Your agent can help you determine for which programs the home you are considering buying might qualify. Be sure to ask them about both tax abatements and asbestos or lead paint abatement grant programs.

About the Author
Author

Terry Naber

Your "Good Neighbor" In Colorado Springs Real Estate Since 1990

Broker Associate (28+ years experience)

Certifications:

  • CRS
  • CDPE
  • LHP
  • MRS
  • CFE
  • MRE
  • CNE
  • IRES
  • SRES

Specializing in

Specialties:

  •  Buyer's Agent
  •  Listing Agent
  •  Relocation
  •  Foreclosure
  •  Senior Real Estate Specialist

Terry is long time resident of Colorado Springs and has been an award-winning licensed Realtor since 1990 when Colorado Springs was "Repo Capital" of the United States.  Getting into the business when most agents were getting out of the business was a challenge, but one that she eagerly embraced because she came in with a different business philosophy of putting her clients interest above all else, serving them with integrity and care, She soon had all the business she could handle from appreciative buyers and sellers.  Terry's commitment to being at the top of the profession for her clients has resulted in awards for every year of her 28 years in real estate and several prestigious designations:

  •  RE/MAX Properties 2015 Client Service Award
  •  RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award for sales surpassing $100 million
  •  RE/MAX International Hall of Fame Award
  •  The CRS (Certified Residential Specialist designation held by only about 7% of all agents); CDPE-Certified Distressed Property Expert; CNE-Certified Negotiation Expert; RFC-Residential Finance Certification; IRES-International Residential Specialist; LHP-Luxury Home Professional
  • Managing Broker's License

Terry can help you in any phase of Residential Real Estates-buying or selling single family homes; investment properties, luxury properties; town-homes/condos; income properties; new construction and resales; vacant land, short-sales; foreclosures and more.  Call her today for a free consultation 719-590-4796.

Experience, Commitment, Hard Work, Enthusiasm, Integrity, Results

When it comes to a successful real estate transaction, you should have seasoned experienced agent on your side.  Terry is experienced, confident, knowledgeable, and above all, she cares.  Whether you’re selling or buying a home, having an agent of our caliber representing you is invaluable.  She will be your advocate, your advisor and will relentlessly use her expertise to pursue your goals!

Get a positive, helpful partner for buying or selling a home:

  • Trusted resource for answers about the process
  • Innovative marketing strategies
  • Expertise about neighborhood features
  • Ability to target home searches
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Support through the closing and beyond
  • Years of Experience

Find Your Next Home

In this incredibly difficult Seller's market, you need someone who knows how to beat the other buyers to the best homes, get your offer accepted and knows the area inside and out !  Terry can work with you to find the right home at the right price for you, including the neighborhood amenities that matter - not to mention the essential criteria you have for your ideal home.

Sell a Home

When it's time to move, you need someone who will market and advertise your home, show to prospective buyers, negotiate the purchase contract, arrange financing, oversee the inspections, handle all necessary paperwork and supervise the closing.  But even more importantly, an agent who has the experience and knowledge to prevent problems from the get-go and solve the ones that can sink your real estate ship.  She can take care of everything you need, from start to close, making the difficult task of selling less stressful.

Consult on Home Selling Tactics

Often times buyers don't visualize living in your home the way you do.  Terry can help you make your home attractive to its ideal audience - which can help you get top dollar in the shortest time.  Staging and photographing your home, recommending minor repairs or improvements can make the difference between a home getting stale on the market and one that is sold quickly for the maximum net to you.