Oscar Castillo
"Residential" Real Estate


    - Glossary





Habitability…fit for human habitation.

HAFA    Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program.   . The Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program is a government-sponsored initiative led by the US Treasury Department, administered by Fannie Mae with Freddie Mac as compliance agent, and executed by participating lenders to help homeowners avoiding foreclosure, specifically through short sales or deeds-in-lieu.   HAFA establishes streamlined short sale rules and incentivizes borrowers and lenders to work together to avoid foreclosure.. The rules  in effect between April 5, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2012  also are intended to speed up the short sale process  "The streamlined short sales process will definitely help homeowners,"   Under HAFA, borrowers receive preapproved short sale terms from the lender prior to putting the home on the market.

The HAFA guidelines apply to lenders who voluntarily participate in the HAMP program. The Department of Housing and Urban Development says more than 100 servicers have signed up to participate in HAMP, covering more than 89 percent of mortgage debt outstanding in the country.

To be eligible for HAFA, homeowners must first apply for a loan modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program, or HAMP. Owners who do not qualify for a loan modification or miss payments during the initial loan modification period qualify for HAFA.  If you’re unable to sell your home in a short sale, the program also offers a deed-in-lieu option. Under the HAFA program, homeowners who sell their home in a short sale or sign it over in a deed-in-lieu are offered incentives to help them relocate.

Handicap   as defined in the fair housing act, a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (walking, seeing, learning, working) or a record of having such an impairment or being regarded as having such impairment. Handicap does not include current, illegal use or addiction to a controlled substance

Hard credit inquiry - is a “hard” credit check that a lender or business may run which does show up on your credit report as an inquiry plus it does affect your credit score.  Anytime that you are actually getting a loan or a new credit card, the lender conducts a "hard pull" on your credit report. This stays on the record. It also lowers your credit score by about five points for six months. For this reason, it is important to guard your credit report from too many hard pulls. If you get a store credit card just to save 10 percent on a single purchase, you have hurt your credit score. That is probably not worth the 10 percent savings. Some banks even use a hard pull if you are opening a savings account, so be sure to check your potential bank’s policy. Additionally, the incentives that credit card companies offer for signing up may not be worth the hit to your credit score.  A good rule of thumb for your credit report is to try to avoid any inquiries that are considered hard pulls. By limiting them your credit will be in good shape and you can qualify for the best interest rate available to you when it comes time for you to apply for a loan that you truly need.

Hard Credit Report   a report on one's credit history that is a compilation of the three credit bureau's.

Hard money loan  a loan made in cash by a non-institutional lender.

Hardie backer (cement board)  it is porous and lighweight which is used on flooring and shower walls prior to installing any tile.

Hardie Board Siding   is a non combustible alternative to wood and vinyl sidings. The cement-board siding is more durable and rot-resistant than wood. Increased impact resistance over wood and vinyl makes it a popular alternative to Wood siding.   Hardie board is a siding made of fiber cement. Cement is combined with sand, water and cellulose wood fibers to make a solid building material well suited for protecting the exterior of a building.

Hardship letter   the documented circumstances that have caused the homeowner to default on the mortgage and seek a short sale. The hardship documentation must be signed by the person experiencing the hardship. Hardships include (but are not limited to) illness of the borrower, job loss and loss of income. .. Short sale program for underwater homeowners now active  - As of Nov. 1, 2012, underwater homeowners whose loans are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may be eligible for a new short sale program, even without being behind on mortgage payments.  Eligible hardships under the new program include: Job loss or reduction in income; divorce or separation; death of a borrower or another wage earner who helps pay the mortgage; serious illness or disability; employment transfer of 50 miles or greater; natural or man-made disaster; a sudden increase in housing expenses beyond the borrower’s control; a business failure; and “other,” meaning it could be any serious financial issue that isn’t one of the listed above.

Hazard Insurance   protects against damages caused to property by fire, windstorms and other common hazards.

Hazardous waste   a subset of solid wastes that pose substantial or potential threats to public health or the environment and meet any of the following criteria (1)Is specifically listed as a hazardous waste by EPA; (2)Exhibits one or more of the characteristics of hazardous waster (ignitability, corrosiveness, reactivity, and/or toxicity; (3)is generated by the treatment of hazardous waste or is contained in a hazardous waste….Toxic waste materials could and usually does jeopardize the value of real estate.

Heir   (1) A person who inherits or is entitled by law or by the terms of a will to inherit the estate of another. (2) A person who succeeds or is in line to succeed to a hereditary rank, title, or office and (3) One who receives or is expected to receive a heritage from a predecessor

HERS score   a number between 0-100 that is used to designate the energy efficiency of a home compared to guidelines established by the Home Energy Rating System Council. The higher the score (number), the greater the energy efficiency of the residence.

Highest and best use   the possible use of a property that would produce the greatest net income and thereby develop the highest value.

HOA document preparation fees - every time a home and/or subdivision unit (Condo-Townhome) is sold, the HOA prepares copies of all pertinent documents such as the CC&R’s for transfer to the new owner. For this, the HOA or its management firm charges a fee.  Since The HOA or its management firm do the work and also set the fee, they can charge more-or-less what they want.  In California,  there is no limit as to how high this fee can go. But for the most part these fees usually range from $100 to $400.  The seller of a house, a condominium or other separate real property interest in a common-interest development must provide the governing documents such as CC&R’s and other relevant items to the prospective buyer.

HOA transfer fees - are fees charged by and to associations for services that are provided including services related to transferring title records and rights from one owner to a new owner.  A commonly accepted "transfer" fee is around $100 for documents and $225-$250 for the work related to transfer of title and detail involved.

Holdover tenancy   a tenancy whereby a lessee retains possession of leased property after the lease has expired and the landlord, by continuing to accept rent, agrees to the tenant's continued occupancy as defined by state law.

Home Depreciation   is a drop in the value of your property for any reason (home deterioration or damage, market conditions, weak economy, etc.). Also known as an Accounting method to recover investment.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage    a reverse or reverse annuity mortgage in which HUD through FHA guarantees that the borrower will receive monthly payments from the insurer (FHA) in the event the lender is unable to make payments to the borrower.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)  A line of credit secured by the equity in a borrower's residence. It can be used for home improvements, debt consolidation, and other major purchases or expenses. At closing, a credit limit is established. In most cases, the borrower can access the line of credit by a variety of access devices, such as convenience checks, debit cards, and credit cards. A Home Equity Line of Credit is a type of a second mortgage.

Home equity loan   a loan (sometimes called a line of credit) under which a property owner uses his or her residence as collateral and can then draw funds up to a prearranged amount against the property.

Home Energy Rating System (HERS)   a standardized system for rating the energy efficiency of residential buildings.

Home expense-to-income ratio   a ratio expressed as a percentage that is used by the mortgage industry to determine a borrower's qualification for a loan. It is calculated by dividing the borrower's total monthly housing expenses by his or her gross monthly income.

Home Inspection - A typical home inspection includes a check of a house's structural and mechanical condition, from the roof to the foundation, as well as tests for the presence of radon gas and the detection of wood-destroying insects. Depending on the seriousness of what the inspection uncovers, the buyer can “walk away” from the deal (most contracts include an inspection contingency in the event of major flaws) or negotiate with the seller for the necessary repairs. The following are red flags that should send a buyer back to the negotiating table:  (1) Termites and other live-in pests: The sooner termites are detected, the better. The same goes for other wood-devouring pests like powder-post beetles. (2) Drainage issues: Poor drainage can lead to wood rot, continuous wet crawlspaces which can lead to major mold growth. These issues are usually caused by missing or damaged gutters and downspouts, or improper grading at ground level. (3) Pervasive/continuous mold: Where moisture collects, so grows mold, a threat to human health as well as to a home's structure. Improper ventilation can be the culprit in smaller, more contained spaces, such as bathrooms. (4) Faulty foundation: A cracked or crumbling foundation calls for attention and repair, with costs ranging from moderate to astronomically expensive. (5) Worn-out roofing: Enter any sale agreement with an awareness of your own cost tolerance for roof repair versus replacement.  (6) Toxic materials: Asbestos may be elsewhere in a home's finishes, calling for your consideration of containment and replacement costs. Other expensive finish issues include lead paint and, more recently, Chinese drywall, which found its way into homes built during the boom years of 2004 and 2005. This product's sulfur off-gassing can lead to serious illness.  (7) Outdated wiring: Home inspectors will typically open and inspect the main electrical panel, looking for overloaded circuits, proper grounding and the presence of any trouble spots like aluminum branch circuit wiring, a serious fire hazard.

Home Retention  - Keeping your home in the face of foreclosure is  "home retention". Home retention options generally involve loan modifications, forbearance or deferment, and repayment plans. Asking for home retention help when you first recognize an inability to make your mortgage payments is the best strategy to try to keep your home.

Homeowner's Association (HOA) - a nonprofit association of homeowners organized pursuant to a declaration of restrictions or protective covenants for a subdivision, PUD or condominium.

Homeowner's Guide to Earthquake Safety   a document produced by the State of California Seismic Safety Commission intended to help inform homeowners on earthquake safety issues in homes.

Homeowner's insurance policy   a standardized package insurance policy that covers a residential real estate owner against financial loss from fire, theft, public liability and other common risks.

Home warranty protection plan  (insurance policy)   an insurance policy that insures against plumbing, electrical, heating, and major appliance problems for the term of the policy.

Hose Bib  Commonly known as an exterior/outdoor "water faucet" with hose threads on the spout.  Also commonly used to supply washing machines. 

House poor - a situation that describes a person who spends a large proportion of his or her total income on home ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, maintenance and utilities. House poor individuals are short of cash for discretionary items and tend to have trouble meeting other financial obligations like vehicle payments.

Housing affordability index   a measure of the percentage of the United States population who can afford to purchase a home; based on average income and average home price.

HUD    a federal cabinet department officially known as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD is active in national housing programs. Among its many programs are urban renewal, public housing, model cities, rehabilitation loans, FHA-subsidy programs and water and sewer grants.

HUD-1 settlement statement - (known as HUD-1) HUD is an acronym for Housing and Urban Development, and represents the arm of the U.S. government department responsible for legislation relating to home ownership and property development within the United States of America.  At closing, in conformance with Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) regulations, a HUD-1 settlement statement is prepared showing the exact closing costs to buyer and seller.  A closing document that provides an itemized list of the credits and charges, for both the buyer and the seller, based on the contract terms. The HUD-1 statement is also known as the "closing statement" or "settlement sheet." Your HUD-1 is the settlement statement you receive at closing that outlines all of the fees and charges associated with your loan.  Unlike the (GFE) Good Faith Estimate you receive at the beginning of the loan process (from Lender) , the HUD-1 will show you exactly what the loan costs, how much you may have to bring to closing or how much cash you may be receiving if it’s a refinance. Simply know that any and all charges must be listed on the HUD-1.  The Escrow company involved in the transaction is who generates this document. 

HUD - Data Plate:  (Label Tags) The "Data Plate" is a paper label affixed inside the home (most often a Manufactured Home) and is the size of a standard sheet of paper (8 ½” x 11”).  The Data Plate can be found in a kitchen cabinet, an electrical panel, or a bedroom closet.  The Data Plate will contain the following information: (a) The name and address of the manufacturing plant in which the manufactured home was manufactured; (b) The serial number and model designation of the unit, and the date the unit was manufactured; (c) The statement: This manufactured home is designed to comply with the Federal Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards in force at the time of manufacture; (d) A list of the certification label(s) number(s) that are affixed to each transportable manufactured section under §3280.8; (e) A list of major factory-installed equipment, including the manufacturer’s name and the model designation of each appliance; (f) Reference to the roof load zone and wind load zone for which the home is designed and duplicates of the maps as set forth in §3280.305(c). This information may be combined with the heating/cooling certificate and insulation zone map required by §§3280.510 and 3280.511.

HUD "TAG" - (also know as a HUD Label and/or HUD Certification Label) is a metal plate that is affixed to the outside of the manufactured home.  Section 3280.11(b) states, “The label shall be approximately 2 in. by 4 in. in size and shall be permanently attached to the manufactured home by means of 4 blind rivets, drive screws, or other means that render it difficult to remove without defacing it. It shall be etched on 0.32 in. thick aluminum plate. The label number shall be etched or stamped with a 3 letter designation which identifies the production inspection primary inspection agency and which the Secretary shall assign. Each label shall be marked with a 6 digit number which the label supplier shall furnish. The labels shall be stamped with numbers sequentially." (usually 2-tags) one for each side and the "tag" numbers should be in accord with the "data plate" inside the manufactured home.

HVAC   the acronym for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.

Hybrid financing   mixing forms of conventional financing to create a new approach

Hybrid Loans  combines a fixed period along with an adjustable component. Usually these loans are fixed for a period of time and then the loan becomes adjustable where it is dependent on current rates

Hyperinflation - extremely rapid or out of control inflation. There is no precise "numerical" definition to hyperinflation. Hyperinflation is a situation where the price increases are so out of control that the concept of "inflation" is meaningless.  When associated with economic depressions, hyperinflation often occurs when there is large increases in the money supply that is not supported by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth - resulting in an imbalance in the supply and demand for the money.  Left unchecked this causes prices to increase, as the currency loses its value.


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