Canadian Real Estate Glossary

Canadian Real Estate Glossary


Back Title Letter: Also known as a bring-down letter, is a document from a title company that gives an update on the status of a property's title. It provides information on any changes or problems that have occurred since the original title report was issued.

Backup Offer: An offer made by a buyer on a property that is contingent upon the failure of a primary offer.

Balance Sheet: A financial statement that provides a snapshot of a company's assets, liabilities, and shareholders' equity at a specific point in time. It shows the company's financial position, including what it owns (assets), what it owes (liabilities), and the net worth of the company (shareholders' equity).

Balloon Mortgage: A mortgage loan with regular monthly payments that are not sufficient to fully repay the loan over the loan term. The remaining balance is due as a lump sum payment at the end of the term.

Bankruptcy: A legal process that provides individuals or businesses relief from debt by restructuring or eliminating their financial obligations.

Base Building: The essential structure and infrastructure of a commercial property that is constructed by the developer or landlord. It includes elements such as the foundation, walls, roof, floors, electrical and plumbing systems, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). The base building provides the foundation upon which tenants can customize or build out their specific interior spaces to suit their needs.

Basement: The lowest habitable level of a building, partially or entirely below ground level.

BC Housing: A provincial crown corporation in British Columbia, Canada, responsible for providing affordable housing solutions to individuals and families in need. As a government agency, BC Housing works towards creating a range of housing options and programs to address the housing needs of low-income households, seniors, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations. BC Housing collaborates with local governments, non-profit organizations, and the private sector to develop and manage affordable housing projects, administer rental assistance programs, and support initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing throughout the province.

Bed Tax: Also known as lodging tax or hotel tax, is a tax levied on guests or visitors who stay in commercial accommodations such as hotels, motels, vacation rentals, or bed and breakfast establishments. The tax is typically a percentage of the room rate and is collected by the lodging provider on behalf of the local government or municipality to fund tourism promotion, infrastructure improvements, or other related initiatives.

Bequest: A provision in a will or estate plan where an individual, known as the testator, designates a specific gift or asset to be transferred to another person or entity upon their death. It allows the testator to determine who will receive their property or assets and in what manner, ensuring their wishes are carried out after they pass away.

Bidding War: A competitive situation where multiple buyers make increasingly higher offers for a property, typically driving up the sale price.

Bilateral Contract: A type of legal agreement where both parties involved make promises and are obligated to fulfill their respective obligations. It requires mutual consent and consideration, with each party offering something of value in exchange for the other party's promise. Bilateral contracts are common in real estate transactions, where both the buyer and seller agree to specific terms and conditions, such as the purchase price, property condition, and closing date.

Bill of Sale: A legal document that serves as proof of the transfer of ownership of personal property from one party to another. It outlines key details of the transaction, such as the description of the property, purchase price, date of sale, and the identities of the buyer and seller.

Binder: A preliminary agreement or contract that indicates the intention of both the buyer and seller to proceed with a real estate transaction. It typically includes the essential terms and conditions of the deal, such as the purchase price, deposit amount, and proposed closing date, and serves as a temporary agreement until a more comprehensive contract, such as a purchase agreement, is finalized.

Biweekly Mortgage: A mortgage payment plan in which the borrower makes payments every two weeks, resulting in 26 payments per year instead of the standard 12.

Blanket Mortgage: A single loan that encompasses multiple properties or parcels of real estate, allowing the borrower to use several properties as collateral. This type of mortgage provides convenience and flexibility for real estate investors or developers with multiple properties, potentially streamlining financing and offering cost savings compared to individual loans for each property.

Blighted Area: A blighted area refers to a neighborhood or section of a city that is in a state of deterioration, disrepair, or neglect. It is typically characterized by vacant or dilapidated buildings, poor infrastructure, and a lack of economic development. Governments and community organizations often implement revitalization efforts to improve blighted areas and restore their vibrancy and appeal.

Blind Nailing: A construction technique where nails are driven through the surface of one material into another without being visible from the front. This method is commonly used in installing flooring, siding, or trim to achieve a clean and seamless appearance without exposed nail heads.

Board of Realtors: A local association of real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in America.

Boilerplate: In real estate, boilerplate refers to standardized, generic language or provisions that are commonly used in contracts or legal documents. These pre-written clauses are often included as a standard practice to address common terms, conditions, and legal obligations, saving time and effort in drafting individualized agreements for each transaction.

Bona Fide:  Something that is genuine, sincere, and made in good faith, without any intent to deceive or defraud. It is commonly used to describe a legitimate and honest action or transaction carried out by parties involved in a real estate deal.

Bond: A financial instrument used to guarantee or secure a specific obligation or commitment. Bonds are a form of debt where an issuer, such as a government or corporation, borrows money from investors and promises to repay the principal amount at a predetermined interest rate. Bonds can be used in real estate transactions to provide assurance for various purposes, such as ensuring completion of construction projects or covering potential damages or losses.

Book Value: The value of an asset or property as recorded on the books of an entity, such as a company or an individual. It is calculated by subtracting accumulated depreciation from the original cost or purchase price of the property. Book value is a financial metric used to determine the net worth of an asset, but it may not necessarily reflect the current market value or fair market value of the property.

Boulevard: A wide and major road, typically with multiple lanes, often lined with trees or green spaces, and designed to accommodate heavy traffic flow through urban or suburban areas.

Breach of Contract: The violation or failure to fulfill the terms and conditions outlined in a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. A breach of contract can occur when on party fails to deliver goods or services, meet deadlines, or adhering to the agreed-upon terms. outlined in a contract. A breach of contract may result in legal consequences, such as damages or specific performance, depending on the severity and impact of the breach.

Bridge Loan: A short-term loan that provides temporary financing until a more permanent financing option is obtained.

Broker: A licensed real estate professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

Build-to-suit: A real estate development approach where a property is constructed according to the specific requirements and preferences of a tenant. The developer or landlord builds the property to meet the tenant's specifications, including size, layout, design, and features, ensuring that it aligns with the tenant's unique needs.

Building Code: A set of regulations and standards that dictate the design, construction, and safety requirements for buildings.

Building Line: Also known as a setback line, is a boundary or designated distance established by local zoning regulations that determines how close a structure can be constructed to the edge of a property. It ensures adequate spacing between buildings, maintains aesthetic standards, and allows for public safety, access, and visibility.

Building Moratorium: Also known as a construction freeze or building ban, refers to a temporary prohibition or restriction on the construction or development of new buildings within a specific area or jurisdiction.

Building Permit: A government-issued document that authorizes the construction, alteration, or demolition of a building or structure.

Built-Ins: Customized or permanent fixtures and features that are integrated into the structure of a property, such as shelves, cabinets, benches, or bookcases.

Bungalow: A single-story residential dwelling with a compact and efficient layout. Typically characterized by a small footprint, low-pitched roofs, and a porch or veranda, bungalows are designed to maximize livability on a single level. 

Buydown: A financing option where the buyer pays additional upfront fees or points to lower the interest rate on the mortgage loan.

Buyer's Agent: A real estate agent who represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction.

Buyer's Market: A market condition where there are more properties for sale than there are buyers, giving buyers an advantage in negotiations.

Buyer's Remorse: A feeling of regret or uncertainty experienced by a buyer after making a purchase or entering into a contract.

Buyer's Representation Agreement: A legal contract between a buyer and a real estate agent that outlines their working relationship and the agent's duties and responsibilities.

Buyer's Walkthrough: A final inspection conducted by the buyer before closing to ensure that the property is in the agreed-upon condition.

Buyer Qualification: The process of assessing a buyer's financial capabilities and creditworthiness to determine their eligibility for a mortgage loan.

Bylaw: A rule or regulation established by a local government or homeowners' association that governs the use and conduct within a specific community or property. Bylaws commonly cover various aspects, such as property maintenance, architectural guidelines, noise restrictions, pet policies, and community amenities, ensuring the orderly and harmonious functioning of the community and protecting the interests of its residents. 

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