Glossary of Real Estate Terms U thru Z


Underwriting – The process used to determine loan approval. It involves evaluating the property and the borrower’s credit and ability to pay the mortgage.

Uniform Residential Loan Application – A loan that is not backed by collateral.


VA Guaranteed Loan – A mortgage loan that is guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Variance – Permission granted by a zoning authority to a property owner to allow for a specified violation of the zoning requirements.Variances are generally granted when compliance is impossible without rendering the property virtually unusable.

Veterans Affairs (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)- A federal government agency that provides benefits to veterans and their dependents, including health care, educational assistance, financial assistance, and guaranteed home loans.


Waive – To release or abandon a right or a privilege.

Waiver – The act of releasing or abandoning a right or a privilege.

Walk-through – A common clause in a sales contract that allows the buyer to examine the property being purchased at a specified time immediately before the closing, for example, within the 24 hours before closing.

Walk-through inspection – A process whereby an appraiser examines a property in preparation for estimating its value. Also, the process of inspecting a property for any damage prior to that property being bought or sold.

Warranties – Written guarantees of the quality of a product and the promise to repair or replace defective parts free of charge.

Warranty Deed – A deed conveying the seller’s interest in real property to the buyer. The seller, also known as the grantor, certifies that the title on property being conveyed is free and clear from defects, liens and encumbrances. If a third party claims is not exempted specifically, the buyer (the grantee) may sue the seller for damages caused by the defective title.

Waste – Destruction or injury to real property.

Water right – The right of an owner of land to use water adjacent to or below the surface of the land.

Wrap around mortgage – One incorporating the balance due under a prior mortgage.


Zone – Area in a community designated for specified use and purpose.

Zoning – Governmental regulation of the use of real property.

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