FACADE
The front exposure of any building. Often used to describe an artificial or false front which is not consistent with the construction of the rest of the building.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT
A federal law regulating the way credit agencies disclose consumer credit reports and the remedies available to consumers for disputing and correcting mistakes on their credit history.

FAIR MARKET VALUE
The price at which two unrelated parties, under no duress, are willing to transact business.

FANNIE MAE
A private, shareholder-owned company that works to make sure mortgage money is available for people to purchase homes. Created by Congress in 1938, Fannie Mae is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages.

FASCIA
The boards that enclose the eaves.

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC)
The U.S. Government agency created in 1933 which maintains the stability of and public confidence in the nation's financial system by insuring deposits and promoting safe and sound banking practices.

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA)
A sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created in the 1930's to facilitate the purchase of homes by low-income, first-time home buyers. It currently provides federally-subsidized mortgage insurance for private lenders.

FEE APPRAISER
A certified, professional appraiser who forms an opinion of the fair market value of property and receives a set fee in exchange.

FEE SIMPLE
A complete, unencumbered ownership right in a piece of property.

FEE SIMPLE ESTATE
A form or ownership, or holding title to real estate. It is the most complete form of title, having an unconditional and unlimited interest of perpetual duration.

FHA MORTGAGE
A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

FINAL VALUE ESTIMATE
The opinion of value of a piece of property resulting from an appraisal following the USPAP guidelines.

FIRST MORTGAGE
The primary loan or mortgage secured by a piece of property.

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE (FRM)
A mortgage which has a fixed rate of interest over the life of the loan.

FIXTURE
Any piece of personal property which becomes permanently affixed to a piece of real property.

FLASHING
The metal used around the base of roof mounted equipment, or at the junction of angles used to prevent leaking.

FLOOD INSURANCE
Supplemental insurance which covers a home owner for any loss due to water damage from a flood. Often required by lenders for homes located in FEMA-designated flood zones.

FLOOR PLAN
The representation of a building which shows the basic outline of the structure, as well as detailed information about the positioning of rooms, hallways, doors, stairs and other features. Often includes detailed information about other fixtures and amenities.

FLUE
The furnace exhaust pipe, usually going through the roof.

FLUSH VALVE
The valve between the toilet bowl and the tank.

FOOTING
The partially buried support for a vertical structural member such as a post.

FORECLOSURE
The process whereby a lender can claim the property used by a borrower to secure a mortgage and sell the property to meet the obligations of the loan.

FORFEITURE
The loss of property or money due to the failure to meet the obligations of a mortgage or loan secured by that property.

FOUNDATION
The solid structural element upon which a structure is built.

FRONTAGE
The segment of a property that runs along a point of access, such as a street or water front.

FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE
A decrease in the value of property due to a feature or lack thereof which renders the property undesirable. Functional obsolescence can also occur when the surrounding area changes, rendering the property unusable for its originally intended purpose.

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Real Estate Definitions