Terms You Should Know When Looking For Homes For Sale

Posted on: 2 July 2020

For most people, a home is the largest purchase they will ever make. And yet, so many home buyers enter into this process with a less-than-thorough understanding of what they're purchasing. It all starts with terminology. If you understand these common terms, you'll have an easier time deciphering sales ads and finding the perfect home for your needs.

Assessed Value

The assessed value is the amount that the local government has deemed the home to be worth for tax purposes. This is the value amount that the property taxes will be based on. It may be (and often is) different from the appraised value — which is the amount an independent appraiser determines the home to be worth. Make sure you know what the assessed value of a home is before buying so the property taxes are not a surprise.


You may see some ads that state offers are welcome from pre-approved buyers, only. Pre-approval means the bank has evaluated your financial position and determined that they are willing to lend youa certain amount of money for a mortgage. Some sellers only accept offers from pre-approved buyers because it ensures they won't get partway though the sale and have the seller back out due to lack of financing.


In most municipalities, the town assigned "zoning" to various areas, specifying what the property can be used for. Land on which a home is built must be zoned "residential." If you plan to open a business on the property, it will need to be zoned "commercial." Don't purchase a home on land zoned purely residential if you plan to open a home-based business that people will visit, like a salon or woodworking shop. This probably won't be permitted.

Home Warranty

If you see that a home is selling with a home warranty, that means that there is basically a policy in place to pay for any repairs made to the home's major systems for a set period of time. Most home warranties are for one or two years. Make sure you know exactly what the warranty will cover before you buy such a home. It's common for plumbing, siding and windows, HVAC, and the foundation to be covered.

Hopefully this article has clarified a few terms you may see as you browse home listings. If you come across additional terms you don't understand, feel free to reach out to you real estate agent, like those at Canyon Real Estate LLC and other locations, and ask.