Dictionary – Mail-Order – Mutual Savings Banks

MAIL ORDER INSURER – A type of INSURANCE company that sells POLICIES through the mail or other mass media, eliminating the need for AGENTS.

MAINTENANCE – Activities required to compensate for WEAR AND TEAR on a property.

MAINTENANCE FEE – An assessment by a Homeowner’s Association or a Condominium Owner’s Association to pay the costs of operating the COMMON ELEMENTS.

MAJORITY – 1) More than half; 2) the age at which one is no longer a MINOR and is fully able to conduct one’s own affairs, including entering into legal contracts.  Depending on the state, MAJORITY is usually 18 to 21 years of age.

MAJOR MEDICAL EXPENSE INSURANCE – A form of HEALTH INSURANCE that provides BENEFITS for most types of medical expense up to a high maximum benefit after a substantial DEDUCTIBLE. Such CONTRACTS may contain internal limits and are normally subject to COINSURANCE.

MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCEHEALTH INSURANCE to finance the expense of major illness and injury. Characterized by large benefit maximums or no limit. The INSURANCE, above an initial DEDUCTIBLE, reimburses the major part of all charges for doctor, hospital, private nurses, prescribed out-of-hospital treatment, medical appliances, drugs and medicines. The INSURED person as COINSURER pays the remainder.

MALINGERING – The practice of feigning illness or inability to work in order to collect INSURANCE BENEFITS.

MALL – 1) An enclosed shopping center; 2) a public area connecting individual stores in a shopping center, generally enclosed.

MALL STORES – Retail stores in a shopping MALL other than the ANCHOR TENANT.

MALPRACTICE – Improper care or treatment by a hospital, physician or other provider of health care.

MALPRACTICE INSURANCE – Coverage for a professional practitioner, such as a lawyer or a doctor, against LIABILITY CLAIMS resulting from alleged MALPRACTICE in the performance of professional services.

MANAGED CARE – Health care systems that integrate the financing and delivery of appropriate health care services to covered individuals by arrangements with selected providers to furnish a comprehensive set of health care services, formal programs for ongoing quality assurance and utilization review, explicit standards for selection of health care providers and significant financial incentives for members to use providers and procedures associated with the plan.

MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT – A CONTRACT between the owner of PROPERTY and someone who agrees to manage it. Fees are generally four to ten percent of the RENTAL INCOME.

MANAGEMENT FEE – The cost of professional PROPERTY MANAGEMENT. The fee is typically set at a fixed percentage of total RENTAL INCOME generated by the property managed.

MANSARD ROOF – One having two slopes on all four sides, with the lower slope steeper than the upper, flatter sections.

MANUAL RATE – Also known as CLASS RATING – The PREMIUM rate developed for a GROUP INSURANCE coverage from the company’s standard RATE tables normally referred to as its RATE manual or UNDERWRITING manual.


FABRICATED – A DWELLING UNIT built in a factory and designed to be transported to a site and semi-permanently attached.  Compare to MODULAR HOUSING.

MANUSCRIPT POLICYPOLICY designed for a firm’s specific needs and requirements.

MARGIN – A constant amount added to the VALUE of the INDEX for the purpose of adjusting the INTEREST RATE on an ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE.

MARGINAL LAND – Usually in an agricultural situation, income producing LAND which barely recovers its OPERATING EXPENSES.

MARGINAL PROPERTYPROPERTY that is barely profitable to use.

MARGINAL TAX BRACKET – The amount of INCOME TAX that an investor would pay on the next dollar of INCOME. Generally, the marginal rate is higher than the average rate because of the progressive tax rate structure.

MARINE INSURANCE – A form of INSURANCE primarily concerned with means of transportation and communication and with goods in transit. See also INLAND MARINE INSURANCE and OCEAN MARINE INSURANCE.

MARITAL DEDUCTION – 1) The tax-fee amount one transfers by WILL to one’s spouse. Current tax law allows an unlimited amount to be transferred without federal estate tax; 2) a reduction of an ESTATE for ESTATE TAX purposes, which is available if the DECEDENT is survived by his or her spouse. So long as it does not exceed the VALUE of qualifying PROPERTY passing to the surviving spouse, the deduction can be as large as the administrator or EXECUTOR elects.

MARKETABILITY STUDY – An ANALYSIS for a specific client of the likely sales of a specific type of REAL ESTATE product.


TITLE, reasonably free from the RISK of LITIGATION over possible DEFECTS.

MARKET ANALYSIS – Generally prepared by someone with experience in REAL ESTATE, economics or marketing, a study of the supply and demand conditions in a specific AREA for a specific type of PROPERTY or service used to help decide what type of project to develop and in arranging permanent and construction financing for a proposed DEVELOPMENT.

MARKET AREA A geographic region from which one can expect the primary demand for a specific product or service provided at a fixed location.

MARKET COMPARISON APPROACH – One of three APPRAISAL approaches. VALUE is estimated by analyzing SALES PRICES of similar PROPERTIES recently sold.

MARKET DATA APPROACH TO VALUE Also known as DIRECT SALES COMPARISON APPROACH TO VALUE – The APPRAISAL method of estimating the MARKET VALUE of the PROPERTY by comparing it to similar PROPERTIES which have recently sold and making appropriate adjustments for differences in time, amenities, location, and financing.

MARKET DELINEATION – The process of defining the geographic extent of the demand for a specific PROPERTY.

MARKET INDICATORS – Statistical data that indicate sales, leasing and construction activity. These data are watched to consider economic trends.

MARKET PRICE  – 1) Also known as Market Value – The PRICE at which a SECURITY

can be bought or sold at any particular time; 2) the actual price paid in a market transaction

MARKET RENT – The RENT that a COMPARABLE UNIT would command if offered in the VOLUNTARY MARKET.

MARKET SEGMENTATION – The process of defining the socio-economic characteristics of the demand for a specific PROPERTY or properties.

MARKET VALUE – The highest price in terms of money that a buyer will pay and a seller will accept in an open competitive market.

MANSARD ROOF:  roof design used in that slopes gently back from the wall line and then is topped with an invisible section resembling a conventional hip roof. Multiple DORMERS protrude through the roof.  Used in AMERICAN MANSARD or SECOND EMPIRE STYLE


MASONRY – Anything constructed of brick, stone, title, cement, concrete, or similar materials.

MASS APPRAISING – Typically used by tax ASSESSORS, an effort to determine significant characteristics of PROPERTIES in a given submarket to allow an approximation of VALUE for each. Sophisticated statistical techniques are used frequently in MASS APPRAISING.

MASS MERCHANDISING – Plan for insuring individual members of a GROUP, such as employees of firms or members of labor unions, under a single program of INSURANCE at reduced PREMIUMS. PROPERTY and LIABILITY INSURANCE is sold to individual members using GROUP INSURANCE marketing methods.

MASTER CONTRACT – Also known as MASTER POLICY – The POLICY issued to a group POLICYHOLDER setting forth the provisions of the group insurance plan. The individuals insured under the policy are then issued CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE.

MASTER DEED – Used by a CONDOMINIUM DEVELOPER or converter for recording a CONDOMINIUM development which divides a single PROPERTY into individually owned UNITS, including RESTRICTIONS on their use and providing for ownership of COMMON AREAS.

MASTER LEASE – A controlling LEASE.

MASTER LIMITED PARTNERSHIP – Used primarily for REAL ESTATE or oil gas ventures, an ownership vehicle which is generally formed by a “roll up” of existing LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS that own PROPERTY and typically has the advantage of ownership interests that are more marketable than individual LIMITED PARTNERSHIPS.

MASTER MORTGAGE LOAN – The MORTGAGE DEBT existing on a building used for COOPERATIVE housing. While each co-op TENANT shareholder is obligated for a portion of the LOAN, this DEBT is separate from the LOANS that may have been used to purchase the individual co-op shares.

MASTER PLAN – A comprehensive plan to guide the long-term DEVELOPMENT of an AREA which usually incorporates various types of ZONING.

MASTER POLICY – Also known as MASTER CONTRACT – The POLICY issued to a group POLICYHOLDER setting forth the provisions of the group insurance plan. The individuals insured under the policy are then issued CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE.

MATERIAL FACT – A fact that a reasonable person would consider relevant to a particular situation.

MATERIAL DAMAGE  – Also known as PHYSICAL DAMAGEDAMAGE to or LOSS of the auto resulting from collision, fire, theft or other perils.

MATERIAL DAMAGE INSURANCEINSURANCE against DAMAGE to a vehicle itself including automobile comprehensive, fire, collision and theft.

MATERIALMAN – A person who supplies materials used in the construction or repair of a building or other PROPERTY.

MATERIAL PARTICIPATION – A tax term introduced by the 1986 tax act, defined as yearround active involvement in the operation or a business activity on a regular, continuous and substantial basis.

MATURITY – The due date of a LOAN.

MAXIMUM FAMILY BENEFIT – The largest amount in Social Security BENEFITS that will be paid to any family unit.

MCCARRAN-FERGUSON ACT – Federal law passed in 1945 stating that continued regulation of the INSURANCE industry by the states is in the public interest and that federal ANTITRUST LAWS apply to INSURANCE only to the extent that the industry is not regulated by state law.

MECHANIC’S LIEN – A LIEN created by state law in favor of persons who have performed work or furnished materials in the repair, maintenance or construction of REAL PROPERTY.

MEDICAID – State programs of public assistance to persons whose INCOME and resources are insufficient to pay for health care. Effective January 1, 1966, Title XIX of the federal Social Security Act provides matching federal funds for financing state MEDICAID programs.

MEDICAL EXAMINATION – The examination given by a qualified physician to determine to the INSURABILITY of an applicant. A medical examination may also be used to determine whether an insured claiming DISABILITY is actually DISABLED.

MEDICAL EXPENSE INSURANCE – Also known as PHYSICIAN’S EXPENSE INSURANCE – A form of HEALTH INSURANCE that provides BENEFITS for expenses incurred for medical care providing BENEFITS for expenses of hospital, physicians, nursing and related health services and supplies. These BENEFITS may be related to actual expense, services rendered or specified sums. Such INSURANCE sometimes includes BENEFITS for prevention and diagnosis as well as treatment.

MEDICAL MALPRACTICE – Improper care or treatment by a hospital, physician or other provider of health care.

MEDICAL PAYMENTS INSURANCE – Available in various LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICIES, COVERAGE in which their INSURER agrees to reimburse the INSURED and others without regard for the INSURED’S LIABILITY for medical or funeral expenses incurred as the result of bodily injury or death by ACCIDENT under specified conditions.

MEDICARE – A program of Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Supplementary Medical Insurance (Part B) protection provided under the Social Security Act.

MEDIGAP – A term sometimes applied to private INSURANCE products that supplement MEDICARE insurance benefits.

MEETING OF THE MINDS – Also known as OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE – The mutual agreement to the terms of the CONTRACT by the parties to the CONTRACT.

MEGALOPOLIS – A heavily populated continuous urban area that includes many cities.


MERGER – The fusion of two or more interests, such as business or investments.

MERIDIAN – 1) Used by surveyors in describing PROPERTY under the GOVERNMENT RECTANGULAR SURVEY METHOD, a longitudinal reference line that traverses the earth in a north-south direction. All MERIDIANS circle the earth through the equator and converge at the north and south poles; 2) an informal reference to any imaginary north-south line used in surveying.

METES AND BOUNDS METHOD – The legal description of LAND using a reference point of beginning and distances, which are the bounds or the boundaries. All METES AND BOUNDS descriptions must end back at the beginning point .

METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA) – One or more counties having a population of at least 50,000. See also CONSOLIDATED METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA.

MILE – A unit of measurement 5,280 feet, 1,760 yards or 320 RODS long.

MILL –  Used to state the REAL PROPERTY TAX RATE in some states. One MILL equals one-tenth of a penny or one-thousandth of a dollar or $1 of tax assessment per $1,000 of assessed property value.  See also MILLAGE RATE

MILLAGE RATE – A tax rate applied to PROPERTY.

MINERAL LEASE – An agreement that provides the LESSEE the right to excavate and sell minerals on the PROPERTY of the LESSOR or to remove and sell petroleum and natural gas from the pool underlying the PROPERTY of the LESSOR. In return, the LESSOR receives a ROYALTY payment based on the VALUE of the minerals removed.

MINERAL RIGHTS – The privilege of gaining income from the sale of gas, oil and other valuable resources found on LAND.

MINIMUM BENEFITS – A provision that a minimum amount of ANNUITY will be paid if the regular benefit formula produces less, usually payable only if certain service requirements are met at retirement.

MINIMUM GROUP – The least number of employees permitted under a state law to effect a group for insurance purposes in order to maintain a proper division between INDIVIDUAL INSURANCE and the group forms.

MINIMUM LOT AREA – The smallest building LOT area allowed in a subdivision, generally specified by a ZONING ORDINANCE.

MINIMUM PREMIUM PLAN (MPP) – An arrangement under which an INSURANCE carrier will, for a fee, handle the administration of CLAIMS and INSURE against large CLAIMS for a self-insured group.

MINI-WAREHOUSE – A building separated into relatively small, lockable, individual UNITS, typically with a garage-door-styled opening that provides storage. UNITS are typically rented month-to-month and are sized from 5’x5′ to 25’x25′.

MINOR – An individual younger than the age of MAJORITY.

MINORITY DISCOUNT – A reduction from the MARKET VALUE of an ASSET because the MINORITY INTEREST owners cannot direct the business operations.

MINORITY INTEREST – Ownership of less than fifty percent of an ENTITY.

MISCELLANEOUS EXPENSES – Expenses in connection with hospital insurance, hospital charges other than room and board such as X- rays, laboratory fees, drugs and other ancillary charges.

MISCELLANEOUS HOSPITAL EXPENSE BENEFIT – A provision in a hospital expense policy providing for the payment of a benefit for expenses for necessary hospital services and supplies during a period of hospital confinement including those for medicines, x-ray examinations, surgical dressings, laboratory tests,  anesthetics, including their administration and use of operating room.

MISREPRESENTATION – 1) Any misleading statement or any concealment which is made with the result of obtaining some action by another person through deceit; 2) a false, incomplete, improper or incorrect statement of a MATERIAL FACT made in the application for a policy.

MISREPRESENTATION BY COMMISSION – Untrue statements made to a person who relies on them and is somehow harmed or injured.

MISREPRESENTATION BY OMISSION – The concealment of FACTS which a person is entitled to know.

MISSION HOUSE – A nineteenth century style house that looks like the old mission churches and houses of Southern California with doors and windows that are arched-shaped.

MISTAKE – An unintentional error made in preparing a CONTRACT which may be corrected by mutual consent of all parties without VOIDING the CONTRACT.


DWELLING UNIT manufactured in a factory and designed to be transported to a site and semipermanently attached.

MOBILE HOME PARK – See MANUFACTURED HOME, MOBILE HOME – A subdivision of PLOTS designed for siting of MOBILE HOMES. PLOTS are generally LEASED to mobile home owners and include parking space, UTILITIES and access to utility roads. Many parks also include such amenities as swimming pools and clubhouses.

MODEL – Also known as SIMULATE – Artificial replication of the behavior of a system for purposes of analysis. The simulation may be less complex than the actual system, allowing the analysis to focus on certain variables that are of interest.

MODEL UNIT – A representative apartment, home or office space used as part of a sales campaign to demonstrate the structure, design, and appearance of UNITS in a DEVELOPMENT.

MODE OF PREMIUM PAYMENT – The frequency with which PREMIUMS are paid: monthly, quarterly, SEMIANNUALLY or annually.

MODERNIZE – To alter a PROPERTY by making contemporary cosmetic improvements, installing up-to-date equipment and deleting obsolete facilities.


MODULAR HOUSINGDWELLING UNITS constructed from components prefabricated in a factory and erected on the site.  Compare to MANUFACTURED HOME.

MOISTURE BARRIER – A layer of plastic, foil, or paper used in the construction of ceilings, exterior walls, and foundations to prevent moisture penetration into insulation or wooden members.

MOLDING – A strip of decorative wood used for the baseboard or around windows and doors.

MONEY PURCHASE PLAN – A PENSION PLAN design in which a plan sponsor’s obligation is defined in terms of the contribution it makes on behalf of the employee.

MONOLITHIC SLAB – A one-piece concrete slab poured in a continuous process so that there are no separations or joints due to different setting times.

MONOPOLY – A business or inter-related group of businesses which controls so much of the production or sale of a product or kind of product as to control the market, including prices and distribution.

MONTEREY ARCHITECTURE – A nineteenth century style two-story house with a balcony across the front at the second floor level.

MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCYLEASE agreement extendable or cancelable each month.  MONUMENT – Any natural or man-made marker used to establish lines and boundaries.


ROOF. The roof finish for flat or low-pitched roofs composed of asphalt felt and asphalt, which is then covered with decorative gravel.

MORAL HAZARDHAZARD arising from any nonphysical, personal characteristic of a RISK that increases the possibility of LOSS or may intensify the severity of LOSS such as low integrity,  poor financial standing or bad habits.

MORATORIUM – The temporary legal suspension of rights or remedies, such as a courtordered prohibition on FORECLOSURE in a severely economically depressed area.

MORBIDITY – The incidence and severity of sicknesses and ACCIDENTS in a well-defined class or classes of persons.

MORBIDITY TABLES – Actuarial statistics showing the frequency and duration of DISABILITY.

MORTALITY TABLE – A statistical table showing the death rate at each age, usually expressed as so many per thousand.

MORTGAGE – A securing DOCUMENT given by a borrower to a lender under which REAL PROPERTY is promised as COLLATERAL for a DEBT.

MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITY – A BOND or other financial obligation secured by a POOL of MORTGAGE loans.

MORTGAGE BANKER – One who sells, originates and services MORTGAGE LOANS. Most LOANS are INSURED or guaranteed by a government agency or private MORTGAGE INSURER.

MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION (MBA)An organization that provides educational programs and other services for MORTGAGE BANKERS which offers the Certified Mortgage Banker designation.

MORTGAGE BONDS – Tax-exempt SECURITIES sold by municipal and state authorities for the purpose of providing low-interest rate MORTGAGE loans to qualified individuals. For most programs, mortgage borrowers must be first-time homebuyers with moderate income.

MORTGAGE BROKER – One who, for a fee, places LOANS with INVESTORS but does not service such LOANS.

MORTGAGE COMMITMENT – An agreement between a LENDER and a borrower to lend money at a future date, subject to the conditions described in the agreement.

MORTGAGE CONSTANT – The percentage ratio between the ANNUAL DEBT SERVICE and the LOAN PRINCIPAL.

MORTGAGE CORRESPONDENT – One who services LOANS for a fee.

MORTGAGE DISCOUNT – Amount of PRINCIPAL that lenders deduct at the beginning of the LOAN.

MORTGAGEE – The lender under a MORTGAGE.



MORTGAGE INSURANCE – A POLICY that guarantees repayment of a MORTGAGE LOAN in the event of death or, possibly, DISABILITY of the MORTGAGOR.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE PREMIUM (MIP) – Generally required by the lender when the down payment is less than twenty percent of the PROPERTY VALUE in a CONVENTIONAL LOAN and mandatory on all FHA-INSURED LOANS, the amount that a lender requires a borrower to pay for MORTGAGE INSURANCE. The INSURANCE protects the LENDER against a LOSS in FORECLOSURE.

MORTGAGE LIEN – An encumbrance on PROPERTY used to secure a LOAN. The holder of the LIEN has a CLAIM to the PROPERTY in case of LOAN DEFAULT. The priority of the CLAIM depends on the order of recording and any subordination agreements so that a FIRST MORTGAGE generally has prior CLAIM to all other MORTGAGE LIEN holders.

MORTGAGE OUT – To obtain financing in excess of the cost to construct on project. The opportunity to mortgage out has been virtually eliminated by higher capitalization rates, lower loan-to-value ratios and higher construction costs.

MORTGAGE POOL – A collection of LOANS of a similar nature which are sold as a unit in the secondary market or used to back a SECURITY, which is then sold in the capital markets.

MORTGAGE RELIEF – Acquired freedom from MORTGAGE DEBT, generally through assumption of MORTGAGE by another party or DEBT retirement.

MORTGAGOR – The borrower under a MORTGAGE.

MOST PROBABLE SELLING PRICE – The PROPERTY’S most likely selling price when not all the conditions required for a MARKET VALUE estimate are relevant.

MULTI-EMPLOYER PLAN – A plan maintained according to a collective bargaining agreement to which more than one employer contributes.

MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING – A type of RESIDENTIAL structure with more than one DWELLING UNIT in the same building.

MULTI-PERIL POLICY – A PACKAGE POLICY which provides protection against a number of separate perils. Multi-peril policies are not necessarily multiple line policies since the combined perils may be all within one insurance line.

MULTIPLE COVERAGE – Overlapping or identical COVERAGE of the same, INSURED under two or more HEALTH PLANS, usually the result of CONTRACTS of different INSURANCE COMPANIES, service organizations, or PRE-PAYMENT plans; also known as DUPLICATION OF BENEFITS.

MULTIPLE EMPLOYER TRUST (MET) – A legal TRUST established by a plan sponsor that brings together a number of small, unrelated employers for the purpose of providing GROUP MEDICAL COVERAGE on an insured or self-funded basis.

MULTIPLE LISTING – An arrangement where a group of REAL ESTATE BROKERS agree in advance to provide information about some or all of their LISTINGS to the others and that COMMISSIONS on sales of such LISTINGS will be split between LISTING and SELLING BROKERS.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS) – A marketing organization which BROKERS can join to obtain information about PROPERTIES LISTED with other BROKERS and gain better exposure for their LISTED PROPERTIES.

MULTIPLIER – Used as a guide, a factor applied by multiplication to derive or estimate an important VALUE.

MUNIMENTS OF TITLE – Documents, such as DEEDS or CONTRACTS, one uses to indicate ownership.

MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY – An INSURANCE company in which the ownership and control is vested in the POLICYHOLDERS and a portion of SURPLUS earnings may be returned to POLICYHOLDERS in the form of DIVIDENDS, though no capital stock exists.

MUTUAL SAVINGS BANKS – State-chartered banks, mostly located in the northwestern U.S., that are owned by the depositors and operated for their benefit. Most of these banks hold a large portion of their ASSETS in home MORTGAGE LOANS.

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