Finder's Fee

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA fee charged by real estate brokers and apartment-finding services in exchange for locating a rental property. These fees are permitted by law. Some landlords, however, charge finder's fees merely for...

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A mortgage loan with a fixed interest rate. Compare to: Adjustable Rate Mortgage


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA popular real estate investment strategy in hot markets where someone buys a property for investment and resells it a short time later for a profit (often after making improvements to the property).


Homestead Act

A federal law, passed in 1862, which allowed people to become owners of up to 160 acres of unappropriated public land by filing an application, living on the land and improving it for five years, and paying a filing fee to acquire title.


People living together in one dwelling, who may or may not be related.

Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is the agency responsible for managing the Federal Housing Administration and other housing finance programs, and for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act and Fair Housing Amendments Act.


See: Housing and Urban Development


See: encumber


See: encumbrance

Land use

land use law: an overview

In colonial America, few regulations existed to control the use of land, due to the seemingly endless amounts of it. As society shifted from rural to urban, public land regulation became important, especially to city...