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FACADE - The front of a building. Frequently, in architectural terms an artificial or decorative effort.

FACE BRICK - Brick made especially for exterior use with special consideration of color, texture and size, and used as a facing on a building.

FACILITATION - A process of decision-making guided by a facilitator who insures that all affected individuals and groups are involved in a meaningful way and that the decisions are based on their input and made to achieve their mutual interests. Facilitators may be neutral outside third parties or community leaders trained in the process.

FAHRENHEIT (Represented as degrees "F") - The scale of temperature measurement most commonly used in the United States of America.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT - A U.S. federal law that regulates the way credit agencies disclose consumer credit reports and the remedies that are available to consumers for disputing and correcting mistakes on their credit history. ( )

FAIR MARKET VALUE (FMV) - The price that a property would most likely bring in a current market.

FAMILY - One or more persons occupying a dwelling as a single housekeeping unit.

FANNIE MAE – Fannie Mae is a shareholder-owned company with a public mission. They exist to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to ensure that mortgage bankers and other lenders have enough funds to lend to home buyers at low rates. ( )

FAR CORNER – A corner piece of property located on the right side of the road after crossing an intersection. (“Through the light and on the right”). Because of its visibility, it is often the most desirable (and therefore expensive) location at an intersection. At signalized intersections; visibility and “driver decision time” can be increased.


Far Corner Location


FASCIA - In residential construction, a flat board, band, or face, used sometimes by itself but usually in combination with moldings, often located at the outer face of the cornice. Any cover board or framed metal assembly at the edge or eaves of a flat, sloping, or overhanging roof, which is placed in a vertical position to protect the edge of the roof assembly.

FASCIA BOARD - Board fastened to the ends of the rafters or joists forming part of a cornice.

FAST-TRACK - Project Delivery by overlapping some of the functions and doing two or more things concurrently instead of consecutively. This would be accomplished by starting a new phase of work whenever possible and before the preceding phase is completed. The construction schedule is constantly monitored to seek ways to save additional project time.

FATIGUE - Condition of material under stress that has lost, to some degree, its power of resistance as a result of repeated application of stress, particularly if stress reversals occur as with positive and negative cyclical loading.

FDIC – The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - An agency that insures accounts up to $100,000 for depositors in both commercial banks and savings associations.

FEE - An estate of inheritance in real property.

FEE SIMPLE ABSOLUTE - Often called “fee” or “fee simple”. It is the most comprehensive ownership of real property known to the law; the largest bundle of ownership rights possible in real estate. In modern estates, the terms "Fee" and "Fee Simple" are substantially synonymous. The term "Fee" is of Old English derivation. "Fee Simple Absolute" is an estate in real property, by which the owner has the greatest power over the title, which it is possible to have, being an absolute estate. In modern use, it expressly establishes the title of real property in the owner, without limitation or end. The owner may dispose of it by sale, or trade or will, as he/she chooses. It is also defined as the most complete ownership in land or as the most complete bundle of rights one can have in land.

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC) - Agency of the federal government, which insures deposits at commercial banks and savings banks.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK (FHLB) - A district bank of Federal Home Loan Bank system that lends only to member savings and loan association.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK BOARD (FHLBB) - The administrative agency that charters federal savings and loan associations and exercises regulatory authority over the FHLB system.

FEDERAL HOME LOAN MORTGAGE CORPORATION – (Freddie Mac) - A stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1970 to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders in support of home ownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases mortgages from lenders and packages them into securities that are then sold to investors. By doing so, Freddie Mac ultimately provides homeowners and renters with lower housing costs and better access to home financing. (For more information, please see:

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA) - An agency of the federal government that insures mortgage loans. The Federal Housing Administration (generally known as the "FHA") provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. FHA insures mortgages on single family, multifamily, manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world; insuring over 34 million properties since its inception in 1934.
FHA mortgage insurance protects lenders against loss if the homeowner defaults on their mortgage loan. The lenders bear less risk because FHA will pay the lender if a homeowner defaults on their loan. Loans must meet certain requirements established by FHA to qualify for insurance.
Unlike conventional loans, FHA-insured loans require small down payments. There is more flexibility in an FHA loan than conventional loans in calculating household income and payment ratios. The cost of the mortgage insurance is passed along to the homeowner and typically is included in the monthly payment. In most cases, the insurance cost will drop off after five years or when the remaining balance on the loan is 78 percent of the value of the property-whichever is longer.
(For more information, please see:

FEE SIMPLE – Unrestricted ownership interest in real property.

FERROUS - Refers to objects made of or partially made of iron, such as ferrous pipe.

FIDUCIARY – A legal relationship where the parties agree to deal with each other with the highest degree of loyalty and trust. Considered the highest standard of care.

FILTER - A device used to strain or remove particles and other impurities.

FINAL COMPLEATION - The point in which all work is complete and all other contractual requirements have been met and satisfied.

FINAL PLAT APPROVAL - The last official approval of a subdivision plan (plat) showing the proposed subdivision, improvements, and conditions as required.

FINISHED SURFACES - A wall, a ceiling or a floor, including glass that’s been placed in the space for the Tenant’s use.

FINDER’S FEE – The payment made to someone for procuring or bringing about an opportunity.

FINISH SCHEDULE - A list of the rooms, and their finishes, usually shown in a tabular form.

FIRE CODE - That portion of the building code that relates to fire safety requirements, and standards.

FIRE ENDURANCE The amount of time that an assembly resists fire under specified conditions

FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEER - An engineer that designs the fire alarm, and fire suppression systems for a building.

FIRE PROOF - Use of this term in reference to buildings is discouraged because few, if any, building materials can withstand extreme heat for an extended time without some effect. The term "fire-resistive" or "resistant" is more descriptive.

FIRE RESISTANCE - Relative term, used with a numerical rating or modifying adjective to indicate the extent to which a material or structure resists the effect of fire.

FIRE RESISTIVE - Refers to properties or designs to resist effects of any fire to which a material or structure may be expected to be subjected.

FIRE RETARDANT - Denotes substantially lower degree of fire resistance than fire-resistive. Often used to describe materials that are combustible but have been treated to retard ignition or spread of fire under conditions for which they were designed.

FIRE STOP - Obstruction in a cavity designed to resist the passage of flame, sometimes referred to as "fire blocking."

FIRE TAPING - The taping of gypsum board joints without subsequent finishing coats. A treatment method used in attic, plenum or mechanical areas where aesthetics are not important.

FIRE WALL - Fire-resistant partition extending to or through the roof of a building to retard spread of fire. See Area Separation Wall.

FIRST RIGHT OF REFUSAL - A tenant’s right that states that before the landlord can sell or lease a space, (weather it’s the Tenant’s existing space or adjacent space), the tenant will be given the right to lease it first. (Also known as a RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL).

FIRST MORTGAGE – A Primary or original loan secured by real estate. (Also know as a First Trust).

FIRST TRUST – A Primary or original loan secured by real estate. (Also know as a First Mortgage).

FIXED COSTS - Costs that remain constant (i.e., rent, etc).

FIXED RATE MORTGAGE – A loan where the interest rate does not change over the life of the obligation.

FLEX SPACE – A building or space that consists of a small office or showroom area in the front and a larger unfinished warehousing type space located in the rear of the building.

FLAG, CORPORATE – A flag displayed as a means to identify the name and/or logo of business or corporation.

FLAG, OFFICIAL -  A flag identifying a government or governmental agency or organization.

FLAME SPREAD - Index of the capacity of a material to spread fire under test conditions, as defined by ASTM Standard E84. Materials are rated by comparison with the flame-spread index of red oak flooring assigned a value of 100 and inorganic reinforced cement board assigned a value of 0.

FLAMMABLE - Capability of a combustible material to ignite easily, burn intensely or have rapid rate of flame spread.

FLASHING - Strips of metal or waterproof material used to make joints waterproof, as in the joining of curtain wall panels.

FLOATING FOUNDATION – A reinforced concrete slab designed to support a building due to soft or substandard soil conditions.

FLOATING ZONE - A floating zone is a zoning district that is added to the zoning law but that "floats" until an application is made to apply the new district to a certain parcel. Upon the approval of the application, the zoning map is amended to apply the floating district to that parcel of land.

FLOODPLAIN - A floodplain is the area on the sides of a stream, river, or watercourse that is subject to periodic flooding. The extent of the floodplain is dependent on soil type, topography, and water flow characteristics.

FLOOR AREA RATIO (FAR) - FAR is the gross floor area of all buildings permitted on a lot divided by the area of the lot. In zoning, the permitted building floor area is calculated by multiplying the maximum FAR specified for the zoning district by the total area of the parcel. A permitted FAR of 2 would allow the construction of 80,000 square feet of floor space on 40,000 square feet of land (40,000 x 2 = 80,000).

FLOOR LOAD CAPACITY - The amount of weight (per square inch) a floor in a building is safely capable of sustaining,

FLOOR PLAN - The basic layout of building or addition, which includes placement of walls, windows and doors as well as dimensions.

FOG - An acronym for Fats, Oils, and Grease and refers to additions to waste water. Many municipalities require Grease Trap Interceptors to deal with ___ prior to their entrance into the municipal sewer service. (Sinks, Dishwashing Stations, slop Sinks, etc are……………………

FOOTING - The base or bottom of a foundation wall, pier or column, which functions to distribute the weight of a load-bearing column over a larger area.

(Typical Building Footing)


FORCE MAJEURE – Entomology: French - Meaning "greater force". A Force Majeure clause excuses a party from liability if some unforeseen event, beyond the control of the parties, prevents it from performing an obligation under a contract. Typically, a Force Majeure clause covers "Acts of God" or natural disasters, war, or the failure of third parties (such as suppliers and/or subcontractors) to perform their obligations. A Force Majeure clause is intended only to excuse a party if a failure to perform could not be avoided by the exercise of due care by that party.
A Force Majeure clause is usually reciprocal between the parties – meaning it applies to both parties equally. It is best if the clause sets forth some specific examples of acts that will excuse performance under the clause, such as wars, natural disasters, and other major events that are clearly outside a party's control. Inclusion of examples will help to make clear the parties' intent that such clauses are not intended to apply to excuse failures to perform for reasons within the control of the parties.

FORECLOSURE - The act of selling, by legal proceeding, real property to satisfy the obligations of the landowner to a third party. Procedure whereby property pledged as security for a debt is sold to pay the debt in event of default in payments or terms.

FORECLOSURE CERTIFICATE - A list of the instruments affecting any interest in property subsequent to the recording of the encumbrance being foreclosed. Usually used to determine who must be notified before foreclosure can be completed.

FORECLOSRUE GUARANTEE - Guarantees the accuracy, a report listing all interests in real property, which are subordinate to the encumbrance to be foreclosed for purposes of a foreclosure.

FOREIGN – Situated outside of a place or country. Alien in character.
FORFEITURE - Loss of money or anything of value due to failure to perform a contractual obligation.

FORM BASED CODE - A method of regulating development to achieve a specific urban form. Form-based codes create a predictable public realm primarily by controlling physical form, with a lesser focus on land use, through city or county regulations. For more information, please see: The Form Base Code Institute's web site at:

FOUNDATION – The portion of a building's structure that transfers the weight of the building into the ground. A buildings foundation is typically constructed of concrete and/or concrete block.


FOUR-WAY INTERSECTION – The intersection of two major roadways, two secondary roadways, or a major and a secondary roadway of which all have at least two lanes in each direction.

(Typical Four-Way Intersection)


FREDIE MAC – The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation - A stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1970 to create a continuous flow of funds to mortgage lenders in support of home ownership and rental housing. Freddie Mac purchases mortgages from lenders and packages them into securities that are then sold to investors. By doing so, Freddie Mac ultimately provides homeowners and renters with lower housing costs and better access to home financing. (For more information, please see: )

FREE RENT - A period of time (usually in months) given to the tenant by the landlord to occupy a space before having to commence paying Rent or Additional Rent.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAW (FOIL) - The freedom of information law requires that the public be provided access to governmental records, including local land use documents, such as photos, maps, designs, drawings, rules, regulations, codes, manuals, reports, files, and opinions. Public access may be denied if it would constitute an invasion of privacy.

FREESTANDING BUILDING - A structure that is not attached to another building. In retail, it usually refers to a single use building (eg: Quick Service Restaurants typically are freestanding).

freestanding building photo

(Typical Freestanding Building)


FREESTANDING SIGN -  A sign supported by one or more upright poles or braces or placed in or upon the ground and not attached to any building (i.e., POLE SIGNS, MONUMENT SIGNS, etc.).

monument sign photopole sign photodirection sign photo
(Typical Freestanding
Signs - Monument Sign - Pole Sign - Directional Sign)

FRESHWATER WETLANDS REGULATION - These are laws passed by federal, state, and local governments to protect wetlands by limiting the types and extent of activities permitted within wetlands. These laws require landowners to secure permits before conducting many activities, such as draining, filling, or constructing buildings.

FRONTAGE - 1). The width of the land or building that borders a street. 2). a specified number of linear feet that a property must have in order to satisfy a zoning requirement in a designated district.

FRONTAGE ROAD - A secondary roadway that runs parallel or adjacent to a highway. Also referred to as a Service Road.

FRONT MONEY - The minimum amount of money necessary to initiate a real estate venture.

FULL SERVICE LEASE – Also referred to as a “Gross Lease" (Which See), which is an all-inclusive lease agreement and usually covers the rent, taxes and insurance. Depending on the contract; it could also include electricity, janitorial services and/or Common Area Maintenance.

FUNCTIONAL DESIGN - A plan that affords the user the maximum amount of efficiency from their space.

FUNDING FEE – A percentage of a loan amount charged on VA loans to provide a pool of funds for administrative costs.

FURRING A method of leveling uneven or damaged surfaces to provide a more structurally sound base upon which to attach 



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