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The continuation of my own version of a glossary of real estate terms. Click here for the A’s and B’s and the C’s. And now. The one you’ve been waiting for! The letter D!

Debt:

Seemingly integral to house-buying, it’s defined by Nassem Nicholas Taleb as “a mistake between lender and borrower, and both should suffer.” If that quote doesn’t pique your interest in Taleb’s work, maybe this one will – “Economics make homeopath and alternative healers look empirical and scientific.” 

Deed:

A piece of legal paper – “signed, sealed and delivered” – to affirm ownership of a property. Once upon a time, the document had to be safeguarded from the likes of deed-stealing villains like Snidely Whiplash. Now it’s all digital and not nearly as much fun.

Default:

Where delinquency leads, and it’s not good. (See below, Delinquency.)

Delinquency:

What happens when you fail to make your mortgage payments on time. (For what happens next, see Default, above.)

Deposit:

Or “good faith deposit,” the amount of buyer’s money held in escrow to secure a contract to purchase a property. (Typically it’s 3% of the purchase price in California, so nothing to sneeze at.) 

Depreciation:

For heaven’s sake, I don’t know! Ask your accountant to explain.

Disclosures:

Important documents that sellers must provide and buyers should review at point of sale. Everybody signs these papers. Hardly anyone reads them.

Donuts:

If your agent really cares, she’ll bring these to your early-morning signing appointment.

Down payment:

The lack thereof is the hurdle faced by many would-be first-time homebuyers. Even though they are earning high salaries, it’s hard to save money in San Francisco. Unless your parents are local and you can live with them for 5-10 years.

Photo Credit: Tania Miron 

Cynthia Cummins is the founder of Kindred SF Homes and has been serving homeowners and homebuyers for 3 decades. For information on San Francisco Bay Area real estate visit KindredSFhomes.com. For my writing and mindfulness blog, visit WildHeartWriting.org