Real Estate Glossary H [Part 1]

Terms Beginning With - H

Property Development & Investment Glossary, Terms & Definitions

H Clip

H-shaped metal clips connect two plywood sheets together to strengthen the junction. Mostly found on roof shingles.

Habendum clause

Clause in a deed defining or limiting the sort of interest granted.

Following the granting clause and reiterating the scope of ownership that the grantor is transferring, this section of a deed begins with the words to have and to hold. “To have and to retain unto said Jane Henley, grantee, a life estate in…” If the scope of ownership provided in the granting clause differs from that specified in the habendum clause, the granting clause takes precedence. As a result, a habendum provision is not required in the deed.


Being in a good enough state to live in. A residential landlord is responsible for keeping the rented premises in habitable condition. If any situation on the premises makes the housing unit uninhabitable or poses an imminent threat to the health or safety of any inhabitant, the tenant may terminate the rental agreement by following specified processes outlined in the state landlord and tenant code.

Courts are now enforcing implied assurances of habitability against new home builders when faults render the structure uninhabitable.

Habitable room

As opposed to a bathroom or hallway, a room used for living, like a living room, bedroom, or kitchen. The number of rooms in a house is usually just the number of rooms that can be used.


A habitat is the immediate environment from which an organism obtains its resources; a habitat is frequently varied in size, content, and location, changing with the stages of an organism’s life cycle.


The term used to describe the decline in the value assigned to an asset or debt, or the income or cash flow expected from a property, which is generally expressed as a percentage.


A type of precipitation known as hail is composed of frozen solid rain that comes down in the form of tiny balls or pellets.


A property area of 320 acres (128 hectares), constituting 122 of a township.


When building a house, the timber frame of the walls is left exposed and the space in between is filled with lath and plaster. In simulated half-timbering, boards are put on plaster walls to make them look like they are made of wood. Half-timbering is what makes the Elizabethan style of architecture stand out.


A room at the front of a building or a hallway that leads to different parts of a building. A big room where people can get together.


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Hammer price

The sum paid as the winning bid when items or real estate are auctioned off.


A protected class defined by fair housing laws and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as having a physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, learning, working), a record of having such an impairment, or being seen as having such a disability. In real life, the term disability is often used instead of handicap. Handicap (disability) does not include current illegal drug use or addiction to a controlled substance, but a person who has been rehabilitated in these areas may be protected. See the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which is a federal law about fair housing. hand cash See down payment.


When the period of a long-term loan exceeds the term of a lease for the same property, a balloon loan is created. When a lender commits to a 24-year loan on a property with a 20-year lease, the four-year discrepancy is referred to as a hangout. A balloon loan is one in which the remaining balance of the loan is due following the lease’s expiration.

Hard construction cost

The cost of erecting a building shell as well as the majority of the finishing components.

Hard costs

Amounts of capital devoted to materials, labor, and other physical or non service inputs in development initiatives.

Hard dollars

Money offered in return for increased equity or ownership in a deal, such as a down payment.

Hard finish

The final smooth coat of plaster, which is put on at the end of rough plastering.

Hard-money mortgage

Any loan made to a borrower in exchange for cash, as opposed to a loan made to finance a specific real estate acquisition. A hard money mortgage is frequently in the form of a second mortgage granted to a private mortgage firm in exchange for the funds needed to purchase personal property or resolve a personal financial crisis. Borrowers would use the equity in their home as security for a hard money mortgage in these situations.


A hardened soil layer characterized by colloidal and ionic buildup.


All of the metal fixtures in a house are referred to by this phrase.


A concrete porch or patio is supported by a knee-like extension of the foundation wall.

Hazard assessment

An assessment of the risks to land usage and people posed by environmental threats such as floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

Hazard insurance

A property insurance policy that compensates for losses caused by physical damage to property caused by disasters such as fire, flood, and windstorm.

Insurance that covers you in the event of a fire or specific climate conditions.

Fire, windstorms, and other typical threats are protected from. Borrowers are often required to keep a down payment equal to or more than the amount of their mortgage in order to qualify for a loan.

Hazardous substance

Environmentally harmful or public health hazard substance. Toxic (lead to death), corrosive (acidic), ignitable (risk from heat or smoke), or reactive are among the hundreds of hazardous compounds included in the EPA’s Superfund programme (can lead to explosions).

Hazardous waste

Materials that are dangerous to handle or throw away because of how they are made. Radioactive materials, certain chemicals, explosives, and biological waste are all examples. The EPA has rules about how to get rid of these kinds of dangerous wastes.


Hazards are thought of as potential sources of risk, danger, or damage.

Head casing

The piece of trim that goes on top of a door or window frame.

Head lease (or master lease)

A lease to a party who will thereafter give leases to tenants in possession known as sublessees.

A lease to a single entity that is meant to be the holder of future leases to sublessees who will be living in the leased property. Headlease is a common term in Australia, while master lease is more common in North America.

Head room

the distance between the floor and the ceiling


Perpendicular to the joists, a beam to which the joists of a chimney, stairwell, or other opening can be fastened. The lintel is built of wood (b) Horizontal support member over an opening.

Headline Rent

The debt-to-equity ratio of a firm is defined by this accounting phrase.

Health and safety codes

Rules and regulations aimed at promoting public health and safety during the building and/or dismantling of real estate developments.


An administrative judicial action in which definite issues of fact must be resolved and the parties have the right to be heard and have counsel present, similar to a trial. In most cases, the rules of evidence are less stringent than in a trial.

Under state license laws, a real estate licensee whose license is in danger of being suspended, revoked, or denied renewal has the right to a hearing.


The fireplace’s floor. The front hearth, which extends into the room, can be constructed of brick or ornate stone. The back hearth of a fireplace is often composed of firebrick. the heavy industry Businesses that necessitate a large amount of land to meet their nature and function, such as factories, packing plants, or mills. Noise, pollution, heavy truck traffic, vibration, and odours are all associated with the word.

A fireplace’s interior and exterior flooring. Natural stone, brick, or tile.

Heat meter

The electric metre breaker panel box was inspected by an electrical municipality.

Heat pump

Heat or cool the house by compressing and decompressing a gas supply using this apparatus.

Heat rough

After the stairs and inside walls have been constructed, the heating contractor will begin their work.

Heat trim

To prepare the home for the final heat inspection, the heating contractor performed this task.

Heating load

In the winter, regardless of the outside temperature, the amount of heat required to keep a building at a certain temperature.

Heavy industry

A zoning phrase for companies that are noisy, stinky, or otherwise unappealing.

Heavy utility needs

Energy and power needs of a company or user are taken into account when determining whether or not a given location is suitable for a particular business or activity.


10,000 square metres, or 2.47 acres, is the metric measurement of land area.

A metric land measurement unit equivalent to 2.471 acres (100 acres). An acre is equivalent to 100 square metres, and the word hect- indicates “100 times.” As a result, a hectare equals 100 acres.

A plot of land of 2.47 acres or around 1 07,637 square feet.

The metric equivalent of 10,000 square metres of land (approximately 2.47 acres).

Hedge Funds

Investment vehicles that can ‘go short,’ or sell a liability in order to pay out cash depending on the future performance of an asset or index. Hedge funds can also be investment vehicles that strive to be market-neutral, generating a positive return regardless of market performance.


A broad phrase that refers to measures designed to mitigate investment risk. Hedging can take the form of using derivative instruments to safeguard against interest rate or currency exchange rate volatility.

Taking a stake in an investment that will pay off even if the investor’s primary investment does not. Hedging minimizes the overall risk of investors.

Guarding oneself from harm.

Heel cut

Cut at the end of each rafter to make it fit into a wall and atop the doubled, outer wall plate.

Height density

Another zoning ordinance that limits the height of buildings in a specific region

Height, building

The vertical distance is measured from the curb or grade level, whichever is higher, to the highest level of a flat roof or to the average height of a pitched roof, excluding penthouses or other roof additions that take up less than 30% of the roof area.


A person who is the beneficiary of a will.

A person who gets property through a will or through the state’s laws of descent if the person who owned the property died without a will (intestate). State probate codes (laws of descent and distribution) say how to find the heirs of a person who died without a will so that their real property can be given to them. When more than one heir gets real or personal property, they take the title as “tenants in common.” No longer do the words “heirs” and “assigns” have to be used to give or pass on title in fee simple. In modern English, the word “heir” refers to anyone who gets a piece of property after the original owner dies. This could be through inheritance, a will, or a gift.

Heirs and assigns

Heirs are people who get an inheritance from a person who has died, while assigns are the new owners of a property. Usually, the words “heirs” and “assigns” are written into deeds and wills. These words are not considered to be words of purchase, but rather words of limitation. In a conveyance, the words of limitation show what kind of estate is made. The words of purchase show who gets the property. For instance, the words “to Harry Howe and his heirs” in a conveyance that says “to Harry Howe and his heirs” are words of purchase. The words “and his heirs” are limiting words that show a “fee simple estate.” They would not be used in a “life estate” transfer. Most of the time, heirs and assigns are also responsible for the leases, options, mortgages, and contracts for deed that their ancestors made.


Real, personal, corporeal, and incorporeal property; those things appurtenant to the land The entitlement to future rents or insurance proceeds would constitute an incorporeal hereditament.


  1. A break in the title chain.

  2. A space that exists between neighboring plots as a result of a flawed legal description.

Hidden risk

A title risk that cannot be determined through a search of public documents. Forgery or lack of delivery in the chain of title (forged mortgage release), corporate forgery (the execution of an instrument not authorized by the appropriate officers), minority of a party to an instrument, death of a principal prior to execution of an instrument by the attorney-in-fact, conveyance in fraud of creditors, elective share rights of the H spouse of a first party who falsely claimed to be single, and potent All of these hidden risks are covered by ordinary title insurance policies, but not by a standard certificate of title or an attorney’s opinion that verifies record title.

High order good

A product or service that must first reach a sizable number of people before it can be sold commercially. A higher order good or service needs a wider trade area and a larger customer base to be profitable.

High set

A type of house that is common in Queensland. It is usually made of wood and is built on wooden stumps, concrete, or brick piers. The area under the house is often enclosed to make room for a laundry room, a garage, a place to dry clothes, a place to store things, a shaded play area for kids, and other uses.


A skyscraper is a tall building with more than 16 stories for office buildings or ten stories for housing.

A three or four-story building that frequently necessitates the use of an elevator. It’s an amorphous term. Office high-rises typically have more than thirty stories.

A structure with more than six storeys.

A common way to describe a condo or apartment building with more than six floors. But there is no height standard for the whole country.

A vague term that usually refers to a building with more than three or four stories, a life, and heavy construction methods. Skyscraper is a better word to use when talking about very tall office buildings.

High-rise apartment buildings

Structures of at least 10 to 15 storeys.


High-tech industries are those that focus on developing and manufacturing cutting-edge technologies like electronics, optics, lasers, aerospace, computers, semiconductors, and telecommunications.

High-water mark

That line on the shore reached the shoreward limit of medium tidal rise “between spring and neap.” This mark, also known as mean high water in most states, is the seaward boundary of privately owned properties and the dividing line between public and private property. However, in a few instances, the shoreline can be identified by the high wash of the waves, as demonstrated by the vegetation line rather than the high-water mark.

Highest and best use (financial) analysis

The use of a property that has been shown to be (1) legally permitted, (2) physically practicable, (3) financially feasible, and (4) maximum productive.

The property use that, at a particular time, is regarded as likely to produce the highest net return in the foreseeable future, whether or not it is the property’s current use.

An appraisal term referring to the reasonable use that is most likely to yield the greatest net return on the land and/or building over a specific length of time at the time of the property appraisal. The usage must be authorized and in accordance with local and state regulations and ordinances, such as health restrictions, zoning ordinances, building code standards, and other regulations. The highest and best use is evaluated by comparing the amount and quality of income generated by several alternative land uses. Net return is typically expressed in terms of money, while other factors such as amenities may be taken into account.

For example, unoccupied land in a central business centre that is now used as a parking lot may or may not be put to optimum use, depending on whether the surrounding market is ready for more commercial development. A gas station location could be more effective as a fast-food restaurant or a dry cleaning.

Land is always appraised as though it were vacant and ready for development to its highest and best use. Estate taxes and real property taxes paid by unimproved real estate owners are typically based on the highest and best use of the land rather than the use to which it is actually devoted.

The use of a piece of land or property that is most likely to yield the highest return at a given period.

The most likely and lawful use of undeveloped land or an existing structure that can be demonstrated to be physically possible, adequately supported, and economically viable.

Highest and Best Use Analysis is the process of identifying the most financially viable future use of a property or set of properties (whether occupied or unoccupied) (including renovation, rehabilitation, demolition, and replacement).


A painted surface with a luminous spot, region, or streak.


A road that usually serves through traffic on a continuous route and is the main way to get from one place to another.


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With four sloping sides, this roofing is ideal. The exterior angle that is created when the slopes of two roofs meet.

Hip roof

A pitched roof has slanted sides and ends.


A vertical bar chart reflecting the project’s resource load.

Historic structure

A structure that has been formally recognized by a government body for its historic value, and which is generally given preferential tax treatment to encourage renovation.

A property listed on the National Register of Historic Places, located in a registered historic district and certified by the Secretary of the Interior as being of historic significance to the district, or designated under an appropriate state or local government statute certified by the Interior Department. The Internal Revenue Code includes tax breaks and penalties to encourage the preservation of historic buildings and structures. Approved rehabilitation expenses in qualified rehabilitated buildings and recognized historic structures are eligible for a 20% investment tax credit.

The tax code penalizes anyone who demolishes or significantly changes a historic structure. Demolition expenditures are not deductible, and considerable changes or entirely new improvements are not eligible for accelerated depreciation.

Hold harmless clause

A provision in a contract in which one party pledges to defend another against any accusations.

A clause in a contract that says one party will protect and pay for the other party if they get hurt or sued because of the transaction. Such clauses are usually found in leases where the lessee agrees to “indemnify, defend, and hold harmless” the lessor from claims and suits by third parties for damage caused by the lessee’s negligence on the leased premises. Hold-harmless clauses can also be found in property management contracts, where the owner holds the agent harmless for all damages except those caused by the agent’s own negligence or fraud.


Funds are held in reserve until specific occurrences take place.

  1. The part of a loan commitment that will not be funded until some other condition is met, such as the presale or rental of 70% of the units or the completion of all building work.

  2. In construction or interim finance, a part of the contractor’s draw is held back until the contractor’s job is completed satisfactorily and there are no mechanics’ or material men’s liens.

Holder in due course

In the regular course of business, a person obtains a negotiable instrument (a promissory note or a check) before it is due in good faith and for value, without knowing that it has been previously dishonored and without knowledge of any fault or setoff at the time it was negotiated.

Instrument holders have an advantage over their creditors because they can’t use certain “personal defenses” to refuse payment. Lack of deliberation, setoff, and deception are all examples of personal defenses.

As a result, people are more likely to accept such instruments without doing a thorough analysis of the instrument’s origin or the circumstances surrounding its construction.

Promissory note holders in due course are protected from claims by the manufacturer that the note has been paid in full, or that it has been falsified. Consequently, in order to prevent the holder of the note from negotiating the note to another holder, it is imperative that the note be stamped “paid” and returned to its originator.

A person who buys a bearer instrument in good faith and is allowed to keep it despite the fact that it may have been stolen.

Holding area

A reception area, generally in the freight-docking area, where a tenant’s deliveries are held.

Holding company

A holding company is a company that owns, directs, or controls the operations of one or more other corporations, which are usually directly owned subsidiaries. A bank holding company is an example of a holding company.

Holding costs

Costs of transportation.

Holding deposit

The money that a buyer gives to the real estate agent who is working for the seller. It shows that the buyer is serious about buying the house, but it is not required and can be returned if the offer is turned down.

Holding escrow

A contract for deed in which an escrow agency holds the final title documents. Holding escrows is frequently proposed as a remedy to complications that occur under a contract for deed when the buyer is ready to pay off the contract balance but the seller cannot be identified or is unwilling to cooperate in executing the deed. Under a holding escrow, the seller stores a completed deed or assignment of lease with the escrow agent at the time the contract for deed is signed and instructs the escrow agent to transmit the conveyance to the buyer when full payment is made under the contract. Because of the following potential issues, many escrow companies are hesitant to handle maintaining escrows, even when they are protected against loss:

  • It may be difficult for the holding escrow to determine whether the full payoff has occurred, whether the amount deposited in escrow is correct, and whether the buyer is in default under any other terms of the contract for the deed.
  • If the seller dies, complications may develop, notably in ascertaining the rights of any heirs. Other issues may develop if the seller remarries, such as a new dower, courtesy, or marital rights.

If the buyer resold the property while it was still under contract and hired a different escrow agent, the seller is required to create new documents passing ownership straight to the new buyer. As a result, there are occasionally additional fees.

While the holding escrow technique is sound in theory, practical issues may prohibit it from being used effectively. Establishing a collection account with the lending institution where the seller has the existing mortgage is a suitable solution. If the buyer wishes to rapidly pay off the outstanding sum and acquire a deed to the property, the collection agency understands how to approach the seller. Furthermore, the buyer can be certain that the seller’s mortgage payments are being made as long as he makes his contract for deed payments - and vice versa - the seller can be notified if the buyer is in payment default. This is sometimes referred to as a true escrow.

Holding over

When a lease term ends but the tenant keeps living there (usually month-to-month) under the same terms and conditions as the original lease.

Holding period

The amount of time an investment is kept before being sold or disposed of.

The period during which a person possesses a property.

The time when a person keeps ownership of a capital asset. According to federal tax law, if property is held for a defined holding period and then sold, the gain is classified as long-term gain and taxed at lower capital gains rates. If the property is not held for the specified holding time, any gain on dispose is considered short-term and is taxed at ordinary income rates. The required holding period to qualify for long-term capital gains is 12 months plus one day.

Holdover tenant

A tenant who stays in possession of real estate after the lease has expired.

After a lease has expired, a tenant who stays in possession of the rented property.

An individual who remains on the rented premises after the lease has expired. The landlord usually has the option of evicting the holdover renter or allowing the tenant to stay and pay rent. The landlord may alternatively choose to consider the lingering renter as a tenant whose lease would continue from period to period, with the same period and rent as the initial lease. The lease, however, would likely not be longer than one year, because most state fraud statutes require leases of one year or more to be in writing. A holdover renter normally has no rights to the leased property and is treated no better than a trespasser.


In Section 6103(a) of Title 5 of the United States Code, the federal government lists the legal public holidays.

Most of the time, if something needs to be done on a certain day that happens to be a holiday, it can be done on the next business day and have the same effect as if it had been done on the appointed day. Most of the time, this rule doesn’t apply when the parties have made it clear that “time is of the essence” or when they are meeting the deadlines for a 1031. In any case, a smart person writing a contract should be able to predict problems and make the necessary changes.

Holographic will

A will that is written, dated, and signed by the testator in his or her own handwriting but is not witnessed. Some governments regard a holographic will as legal even if it was not witnessed, presumably on the grounds that the handwriting may be studied to establish authenticity and indicate competency.

Home equity line-of-credit loan

A mortgage loan (typically in a subordinate position) that allows the borrower to acquire numerous advances of the loan proceeds at his or her discretion, up to a certain proportion of the borrower’s equity in a property.

Home equity loans

Having a home equity account gives you a line of credit that you can use over and over again. The value of your house is used as collateral. These funds can be used to buy a second home or invest in stocks or other things. Most of the time, the interest rate is higher than if you had a standard variable rate account. These accounts aren’t good for everyone.

Second mortgages, which are used to fund home upgrades and other expenditures, allow homeowners to borrow against the equity in their property.

Home flip

Home flipping is the process of purchasing a property with the intention of renovating it, then reselling it for a profit.

Home inspection

A professional examination of a property to determine the state of its improvements. It is typically paid for by the buyer and made a condition of the buyer’s agreement to purchase. Some sellers hire a home inspector to complete a report in the hopes that it will increase the property’s marketability. Buyers and sellers should carefully study the extent of services provided - some inspectors inspect roofs and foundations, while others do not.

Home loan

A home loan secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust for one, two, three, or four families.

Home Mortgage

The 1975 Act on Public Disclosure A congressional act that prohibits lenders from avoiding, or redlining, certain neighborhoods based on minority composition.

Home Ownership

The fact that a person owns the house where they live. There are some tax benefits to owning a home, such as being able to deduct real estate taxes and mortgage interest payments, not having to pay capital gains tax when selling the home, and being able to deduct certain losses from accidents.

Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act

A congressional legislation that targets abusive, predatory subprime lending practices and establishes a trigger annual percentage rate (APR) and fee levels at which loans become subject to the law’s prohibitions.

Home rule

The ability of local governments to pass zoning and building laws and other rules about how land is used.

Home run (electrical)

The wire that runs from the main panel of circuit breakers to the first electrical box, socket, or switch in a circuit is known as the feeder wire.

Home units

Individually owned dwellings in a development of two or more homes, usually occupied by the owner rather than rented.

A self-contained apartment in a multi-unit residential building that is owned by an individual and is usually lived in by the owner, though it is not uncommon for the owner to rent out the apartment. Some states call them “Own Your Own apartments.”

Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC)

Standards went into effect on May 1, 2009, to make sure that one- to four-unit single-family homes are appraised fairly and without the lender or real estate agents having any say in the matter. The Appraiser Independence Requirements in the Dodd-Frank Act have taken their place.


Continued at…
:point_right: Real Estate Glossary H [Part 2]