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Decoding Real Estate Lingo: 10 Common Terms Made Easy For You
By: Alexandra Mannis
August 11, 2023

When venturing into the world of real estate, you may encounter unfamiliar jargon that can make the process seem overwhelming. To help you navigate this complex terrain, we have compiled a list of 10 uncommon real estate terms, along with their easy-to-understand meanings. By familiarising yourself with these terms, you’ll gain confidence and make more informed decisions during your real estate journey.

1. Strata Title:

Strata title refers to a type of property ownership where individuals own a specific unit or apartment within a larger building complex or community. This arrangement involves shared ownership of common areas and shared responsibility for their maintenance.

2. Auction:

An auction is a public sale where potential buyers gather to bid on a property. The property is awarded to the highest bidder who meets or exceeds the reserve price set by the seller. Unlike traditional sales methods, auctions typically have set timeframes, creating a sense of urgency for buyers.

3. Off-the-Plan:

Buying “off-the-plan” refers to purchasing a property that has not been constructed yet. Buyers rely on architectural plans and renderings to visualise the finished product. This approach often appeals to those seeking brand-new properties or potential future value appreciation.

4. Conveyancer:

A conveyancer is a professional who specialises in the legal transfer of property ownership. They handle the documentation, contracts, and settlement process on behalf of buyers and sellers. Conveyancers ensure a smooth and legally compliant transaction.

5. Vendor:

In real estate, a vendor refers to the person or entity selling a property otherwise known as the seller. The vendor may be an individual homeowner, a property developer, or a real estate agency acting on behalf of the owner.

6. Lender’s Mortgage Insurance (LMI):

LMI is a type of insurance that protects the lender if the borrower defaults on their mortgage repayments. It is generally required when the borrower’s deposit is less than 20% of the property’s value. LMI premiums are typically added to the borrower’s mortgage repayments.

7. Negative Gearing:

Negative gearing is a strategy where an investor borrows money to purchase an investment property, with the expectation that the rental income will be less than the expenses incurred. The aim is to offset the losses against other income, such as salary, for tax purposes.

8. Capital Growth:

Capital growth, also known as capital appreciation, refers to the increase in the value of a property over time. This increase can result from various factors, such as market demand, improvements to the property, or the overall growth of the area.

9. Cooling-Off Period:

A cooling-off period is a short period after signing a contract in which the buyer can withdraw from the agreement without facing significant penalties. The duration of the cooling-off period may vary by state or territory, and specific conditions may apply.

10. Strata Levies:

Strata levies, also called body corporate fees, are regular payments made by owners of strata-titled properties to cover shared expenses. These fees contribute to the maintenance, insurance, and administration of common areas, such as lobbies, gardens, and swimming pools.

By familiarising yourself with these 10 real estate jargons, you will be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the real estate world. Remember, knowledge is key when it comes to successfully navigating the real estate market.

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Written by
Alexandra Mannis
Alexandra is a licenced real estate agent who began her real estate career with Meridien Realty in 2003. Starting out in...
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