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Real Estate Acronyms Every New Real Estate Investor Should Know

If you are new to real estate investing, you may often encounter a lot of real estate acronyms when skimming through classified ads, while discussing with bank officers, real estate brokers, and other seasoned real estate professionals. You might even see them while driving past a house that has a for sale sign, just like the one above…

Here’s what the for sale sign actually means:

House – For Sale By Owner, 3 Bed Rooms, 2 Toilet and Bath, 3 Car Garage, with Maid’s Room, Ready For Occupancy. Direct Buyers Only!

While some real estate acronyms can be easily deciphered, others may take some serious searching to find out what they mean.

I know how it feels to be the only person in a discussion who does not know something, and it can be a dead-giveaway that you are a newbie when it comes to real estate investing.

To help save us from the trouble and embarrassment, I have started compiling a list of local real estate acronyms and their meanings, as most often used here in the Philippines. Check them out below.

Real Estate Acronyms commonly used in the Philippines

AP – Asking price

AF- Atypical Floor

APT – Apartment

ARV – After Repair Value

ATS – Authority to Sell

AV – Appraised Value

BALAI – Building Adequate Livable Affordable and Inclusive Filipino Communities (In reference to BALAI Filipino from DHSUD

BIR – Bureau of Internal Revenue

BIS – Buyer Information Sheet

BLLM – Bureau of Lands Location Monument

BR – Bedroom

BSMT – Basement

CAR – Certificate Authorizing Registration

CCR – Cash on Cash Return

CCT – Condominium Certificate of Title

CF – Cost Factor

CG – Car Garage

CGT – Capital Gains Tax

CI – Credit Investigation, Client Inspection

CLOA – Certificate of Land Ownership Award

CLOP – Contract of Lease with Option to Purchase

COMP – Comparable

COMM – Commission

CONC – Concrete

COS – Certificate Of Sale

CPD – Continuing Professional Development

CR – Comfort Room

CRB – Certified REBAP Broker

CRESR – Comprehensive Real Estate Seminar and Review

CTC – Community Tax Certificate

CTS – Contract-To-Sell

CUSA – Common Use Service Area

CWT – Creditable Withholding Tax

DBO – Direct Buyers Only

DHSUD – Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development

DOAS – Deed Of Absolute Sale

DOR – Deed of Restrictions

DOM – Deed Of Mortgage

DP – Down Payment

DR – Door

DST – Documentary Stamps Tax

EOP – Exclusive Option to Purchase

EAR – External Appraisal Report (Often seen in Metrobank’s listings of foreclosed properties)

FA – Floor Area

FAR – Floor Area Ratio (Thank you to Doc Mary Gaw So for mentioning this during a recent CPD lecture at REBAP LMP. I finally remembered to add this here).

FFE – Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

FMV – Fair Market Value

FSBO – For Sale By Owner

GF – Ground Floor

GFI – Government Financial Institution

GMTOE – Government Mandated Taxes and Other Expenses

GSIS – Government Service Insurance System

HL – House and Lot

HOA – Home Owners Association

HVAC – Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning

IHF – In House Financing

IP-RU – Investment Properties – Retail Units (applies to GSIS Foreclosed Properties)

ISP – Indicative Selling Price

ITR – Income Tax Return

LA – Lot Area

LARES – LAand REgiStration

LET – Lease To Tenant

LF – Looking For

LOG – Letter Of Guarantee

LOI – Letter Of Intent

LOU – Letter Of Undertaking

LRA – Land Registration Authority

LTCP – Land Titling Computerization Project

LTS – License To Sell

LTV – Loan To Value

MA – Monthly Amortization

MAO – Maximum Allowable Offer

MBP – Minimum Bid Price

MBR – Masters Bed Room

MC – Manager’s Check

MGSP – Minimum Gross Selling Price (Applies to Pag-IBIG Acquired Assets / Foreclosed properties)

MLS – Multiple Listing Service

MOA – Memorandum Of Agreement

MP – Marketing Partner

MR – Maids Room

MRI – Mortgage Redemption Insurance

MV – Market Value

NOAS – Notice Of Approval of Sale (applies to GSIS Foreclosed Properties)

NEOP – Non Exclusive Option to Purchase

NDI – Net Disposable Income

NOI – Net Operating Income

NROC – Non Refundable Option Consideration

OCT – Original Certificate of Title

OP – Over Pricing, Option to Purchase

Pag-IBIG – Pagtutulungan sa Kinabukasan: Ikaw, Bangko, Industria at Gobyerno (Click here for the latest listings of Pag-IBIG foreclosed properties)

PA – Parking Area

PITI – Principal Interest Taxes and Insurance

PC – Purchase Contract

PD – Presidential Decree

PKS – Product Knowledge Seminar (Often given to licensed real estate brokers/ salespersons when there’s a new real estate project)

POC – Percentage Of Completion

PS – Parking Slot

PSM – per square meter

RD – Registry of Deeds, Roof Deck

RA – Republic Act

RE – Real Estate

REB – Real Estate Broker

REBAP – Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines

REBAP-LMP – REBAP Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Paranaque

REI – Real Estate Investing

REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust

REM – Real Estate Mortgage

RESA – Real Estate Service Act

REO – Real Estate Owned

RF- Registration Fee(s), Reservation Fee

RFO – Ready For Occupancy

RH – Row House

RM – Room

RMO – Revenue Memorandum Order (issued by the BIR)

ROI – Return On Investment or Return Of Investment

ROPA – Real and Other Properties Acquired

ROPOA – Real and Other Properties Owned or Acquired

ROW – Right Of Way

RPT – Real Property Tax

RTO – Rent-To-Own

SA – Service Area, Single Attached

SHDA – Subdivision and Housing Developers Association

SPA – Special Power of Attorney

SPS – SPouSes

SQM – SQuare Meters

TRAIN – Tax Reform for Acceleration and INclusion

TB or T&B – Toilet and Bath

TCP – Total Contract Price

TCT – Transfer Certificate of Title

TH – Town House

TFA – Total Floor Area

TLA – Total Lot Area

TO – Turn Over

TOB – Turn Over Balance

TOR – Transfer of Rights

TT – Transfer Tax

UA – Usable Area

VAT – Value Added Tax

WTB – Want To Buy

WTL – Want To Lease

ZV – Zonal Value

What do the terms actually mean?

While knowing what an acronym stands for is useful, it would be more helpful if we also knew what the term actually meant. This is the reason why I have also added useful links to more detailed explanations for terms behind the acronyms (much like an online glossary), and I shall continue to add more links as they become available.

Want to add an acronym?

This is a work in progress so if you can’t find an acronym in this list, or if you need more details for an acronym or term, just leave a comment and I’ll ask around from friends and contacts who are veterans in the real estate business, then I’ll include them here.

We also welcome contributions, so if you want to add an acronym to the list, you may also leave a comment below. Of course, we give credit where it’s due, so all contributions will include full attribution details (make sure you include a link to your website if any, thanks!).

Thank you to the following for the valuable inputs!

(Note: You have to load the comments first so that the links will go to their comments below)

  1. Eugenio T. Desingaño
  2. Charm B

Again, thank you for sharing for sharing acronyms which I have added to the list!

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About Jay Castillo
People encounter problems and make mistakes when buying foreclosed properties, and Jay wants to help people avoid those problems/ mistakes. Jay encountered a lot of those, which is why he started this blog in 2008 to serve as a guide where he shares lessons learned, and how to overcome challenges you may encounter when investing foreclosed properties in the Philippines … [Read more]
Avoid losing money, wasted time and effort caused by buying foreclosed properties that have too many problems, with our free 60-item Property Due Diligence Checklist. Grab your free copy now.

Leave a Comment

26 thoughts on “Real Estate Acronyms Every New Real Estate Investor Should Know”

  1. Hi,
    Just saw this page and I want to ask what are the meaning of these acronyms:

    These are all in easements located in Virginia.


    • Hi Allen, sorry but I have no idea what those acronym mean, what I listed here are those applicable here in the Philippines.

    • Hi Ruth, sorry I’m not familiar with that PAF acronym in relation to real estate. Where did you encounter this?

  2. TO turn over
    TOB turn over balance
    IHF in-house financing
    LF looking for
    NDI net disposable income
    RF reservation fee also
    MP Marketing Partner
    SPS. spouses
    LOI letter of intent
    LOU letter of undertaking
    BIS buyer information sheet
    CI client inspection
    AF atypical floor
    TF typical floor
    YIELD areas inside a property that is not livable or cannot be used (e.g. indoor post)

    PS: Sir Jay, I love your content. Thank you for putting your site up. You are a blessing!

  3. Pingback: How NOT to invest in foreclosures
  4. hello Sir Jay,

    is any of these can be included in acronyms, or existing ?:
    PSM – per square meter; RF- Registration fee; TCP- Total Contract Price;
    DOR- Deed of Restriction; TOR- Transfer of Rights;

    Thanks and God bless you more.

    Yu jin

  5. Hi Jay,

    Is Mortgage Redemption Insurance required by all banks for Home Loans, or do I have an option not to get it? Are there cheaper companies that offer this? And do I have an option to acquire this insurance from a company I selected?

    Thanks and regards,

    LJ Tejano

    • Hi LJ, as far as I know MRI is always required if you get a mortgage, but you can choose where to get it. I suggest you shop around, but check with the bank as there are certain requirements that the MRI from another company should have. Thanks for dropping by!

  6. Hello Jay,

    Firstly, Thank you for your very informative site.

    I have been looking at listings thru BFS andf I see properties that are ‘REDEEMED’and ‘with illegal occupants’, what do they mean by this?

    Thank you!

  7. hi jay… i’ve encountered this acronym and it seems it is not a regular RE acronym. kindly share info if you know what COS means. thanks, it was used in this statement “within redemption period COS was issued”. thanks in advance.

    • Hi lorenz, in this case, COS refers to Certificate Of Sale. Once the COS is annotated on the title, the one year redemption begins. Thanks for dropping by!

      By the way, I already added COS in the list of acronyms. Thanks again for the heads-up!

  8. Pingback: To all OFW’s: Need To Earn Passive Income And Come Back Home For Good? Try Foreclosed Property Investing!
  9. @Anonymous, if the bank financing is through a mortgage contract then the collateral would be the property itself, which will be mortgaged to the bank. If financing is through a contract-to-sell however, the property remains in the name of the bank until it gets fully paid.

  10. hI jay..after winning the bidding and have paid the there any collateral needed for the bank to get the financing term..of the foreclosed property..?pls advice..tnx

  11. I think i should memorize this acronyms coz i was hired as a broker in el pueblo in manila, a realized that being a broker means more responsibility not just by selling house.

  12. @Teamchi, you’re welcome. One of my most memorable acronyms was DBO, we often see this on for sale signs when we pass through the Cubao area and my wife and I never got what it meant until I saw an ad that had the complete term. =)


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