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Real Estate Terms / Real Estate Dictionary

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Maintenance Fee
An assessment by a homeowners' association or condominium owners' association used to pay the costs of maintaining the common areas.

Management Agreement
A document used to define the rights and duties of an owner and a manager which also identifies the method and the amounts of compensation for the managing agent for maintaining the property and renting the space.

Mansard Roof
A roof having two slopes on all four sides, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, less steep sections.

Manufactured Home
An alternative housing construction type such as mobile homes which are produced mainly in factories and then later moved to a permanent site.

Marginal Land
Land which barely pays the cost of working or using it.

Marginal Tax Rate
Tax rate on an additional dollar of income. Due to the progressive rate structure of income taxes, an additional dollar of income could be taxed at a higher rate than all previous income.

Market Analysis
An estimate of value developed for the purpose of arriving at a selling or market price.

Market Price
The price paid regardless of pressure, motive, or intelligence.

Market Value
The highest price which a property will bring in a competitive and open market and under all conditions required for a sale.

Marketable Title
A Title free and clear of reasonable objections and doubts. (also called Merchantable Title)

Mechanic's Lien
A lien created by statute in favor of contractors or persons supplying labor, materials, or other services to improve real property. If the contractor is not paid for goods and services, that person is entitled to a lien against the property as a means of securing payment.

Mello-Roos (also Mello Roos)
In California, Mello-Roos taxes are additional encumbrances added to basic property taxes. A Mell-Roos tax is a method of financing or underwriting the cost of public improvements or infrastructure such as sidewalks, sewer lines, utilities, roads, recreational facilities, schools, libraries, fire stations, etc. that are needed to support new development. This "Community Facilities District Act" was enacted by the California State Legislature in 1982 and is named after its co-authors, Senator Henry Mello (of the Monterey area) and Assemblyman Mike Roos (of Los Angeles).

Member Appraisal Institute (MAI)
MAI is a designation held by appraisers who are members of the Appraisal Institute and who have met rigorous requirements and demonstrated expertise in the evaluation and valuation of commercial, industrial, residential and other properties and who are also able to advise clients on real estate investment decisions.

Merchantable Title
(See Marketable Title)

Merger of Title

The combination of two estates. Also refers to the joining of one estate burdened by an encumbrance and another estate benefited by the encumbrance. Whenever a benefit and a burden are merged, the encumbrance is dissolved.

A building separated into small lockable individual storage units which usually have a garage door opening and are normally rented from month-to-month.

Minus Cash Flow
An event that takes place when there is not enough cash, income or profit to cover expenses and debt due to operations. (also Negative Cash Flow)

A false or misleading statement or assertion of a material fact with the intent of deceiving someone into taking a course of action he would not otherwise normally pursue. A licensee may be disciplined for misrepresentation even though the misrepresentation did not result in a loss to the principal.

Mobile Home
A manufactured home structure designed and equipped to be used with or without a foundation system. It is constructed in a factory and then transported to the site in one or more sections.

Model Home
A house used as an exhibit in an attempt to sell other similar houses.

Month-to-Month Tenancy
A lease of property for a month at a time, under a periodic tenancy that continues for successive months until terminated by proper notice, usually 30 days.

A temporary suspension of development or utilities connections imposed by local government.

A contract by which property is hypothecated or pledged as security for the payment of a debt and by which a procedure for foreclosure is established by statute in event of default.

Mortgage Guaranty Insurance
The insurance that is available to mortgage lenders from Private Mortgage Insurance Companies (PMICs) that protects the lenders in the event of financial loss.

A lender or creditor who is the receiver of a mortgage and to whom a mortgagor gives a mortgage to secure a loan or the performance of an obligation.

A debtor or borrower who gives a mortgage on his or her property to a mortgagee to secure a loan or assure performance of an obligation.

Motivated Seller
A party who needs to dispose of his or her property quickly.

A small room designed as an entrance from outside to keep a home cleaner.

Multiple Listing
A listing, usually an exclusive-right-to-sell, taken by a member of an organization composed of real estate brokers with the provisions that all members will have the opportunity to find an interested client; a cooperative listing.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
An association of real estate licensees that provides for a pooling of listings and the sharing of commissions on a specified basis.

Murphy Bed
A Murphy Bed is a bed that flips up for storage inside a closet. To achieve this, the mattress is attached to the bed frame. Murphy beds are used for space-saving purposes. Most Murphy beds do not have box springs. Instead, the mattress usually lies on wire mesh. Most Murphy beds do not have headboards or footboards, however some models do.
The first Murphy beds were manufactured in San Francisco in 1918. View the Murphy Bed Company here.

Mutual Assent
An agreement between the parties in a contract. The offer and acceptance of a contract.

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