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Real Estate Dictionary

Real Estate Dictionary

An easy-to-understand real estate dictionary for buyers and sellers. Decode all the industry jargon!

Ad Valorem Taxes– Latin for “according to value,” this is a tax that is based on the amount of the value of the transaction or property. In Florida, ad valorem taxes are also commonly referred to as “property taxes” and are paid in arrears (at the end of the year).

Bundled Golf Community– a golf membership where the initiation fee, or equity in the golf course club is included with your home purchase. Maintenance of the course is paid for through the monthly homeowner fees and membership is mandatory.

Equity Golf Membership– a golf membership where the initiation fee, or equity in the golf course club is paid upfront as a fee at closing with the purchase of a home. Maintenance of the course is paid for through monthly maintenance fees which are separate from homeowner fees. Additionally, membership is optional and the equity membership can usually be severed from the property meaning it can be sold separate from the home. As such, either all or a portion of the equity fees that were paid in can be returned when the membership is sold.

Community Development District (CDD)– an independent unit of special purpose government whose sole purpose is to plan, finance, construct, operate and maintain the infrastructure for the benefit of the community. CDD’s were created by Chapter 190 of the Florida Statues and established by County ordinance and have been used since 1995 in the state of Florida to manage the provisions of infrastructure and related financing for community developments. The infrastructure costs of a CDD are financed through the issuance of low interest 20- or 30-year special assessment revenue bonds. The collection of the capital and operational and maintenance expenses of the CDD are collected as one assessment by the Tax Collector on behalf of the CDD and appear on each homeowner’s annual Ad Valorem Tax Bill as a non-ad valorem line item.

Homeowner Association (HOA) Fees– these are the fees imposed by a Homeowner’s Association on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis which pay for the management and maintenance of a community. In Southwest Florida, a single family home in a planned development with central amities will typically have fees from $200-400 per month for basis services like gate maintenance, irrigation system, lawncare and landscaping. Sometimes there will be additional bundled services like home internet/tv/cable or a community pool or sports courts. Fees vary between communities and are based on the services the management provides. This is a very important consideration in choosing the right community for you!

Independent Special District (ISD)– a local unit of special government that is responsible for construction and maintenance of infrastructure a facilities that are open and accessible to the general public. Examples: Buena Vista (created by Disney) and Babcock Ranch (created by Kitson & Partners)