Investing in the United States: what you need to know


Before investing in the United States, you should know the jargon so as not to get lost. Here is a collection of some terms to master.

Book your free telephone consultation !

What to remember

Real estate: This generally refers to the word “real estate” with “Realtor” or “broker” for “real estate agent” and “business broker” for a real estate agent who sells a commercial premises.

The MLS:

Multiple Listings Service (MLS): This is the list of all real estate properties that all real estate agents have access to. What differentiates brokers is therefore not their portfolio of good but the quality of the advice they can provide. In the United States, it is not recommended to do without this type of advice.

First floor:

Unlike the French first floor, the first American floor refers to the ground floor which is also referred to as “ground floor”. So we start counting from the ground floor.


In the United States property cooperation is widespread. This applies not only to the parks of residences but also to the “gated communities”. In a co-op, each owner is a shareholder. They have to pay the so-called maintenance fees. For tenants, we’re talking about “maintenance charges.”


Or condominium is the term used for apartment. You can also say “flat” or “apartment.”


For a furnished apartment, “unfurnished” for the opposite.

A house can be “attached” or “detached” depending on whether it is glued to another or not. It can also be “pre-war” or “post-war” depending on whether it is before or after the Second World War or “antebellum” if before the civil war. It is said to be “modern” if it is recent.


Three- to four-storey townhouse often attached to other townhouses, typical of the northwestern United States.

Brownstone: A house whose name refers to the brown color of their stone.


Landlord: owner

Renter: tenant. A “home owner” lives in his own house.

Insurance: insurance

A tenant must have a social insurance card if he has a residence permit, the famous green card. Otherwise, he must have an ITIN, a tax identification number.


Contract: Denotes promise to sell

Closing: Denotes the final signature of the deed of sale. It therefore coincides with the handing over of the keys.


It is a letter confirming that she is willing to lend the money.


Personal contribution in the purchase.

Advance payment: Down payment

Buyer’s agrrement:

This is the power that a buyer confers on a real estate agent.


Purchase on credit. In order to invest in the United States and make a credit, you must pay attention to its “credit score” established by the “credit history”. This scale determines a person’s ability to take out a credit based on their repayment history. To have a credit score, you must have spent at least two years on credit in the country.


The fact that a bank asks an organization to verify the value of a property.


Seizing property by a community or bank for unpaid loans. The goods are then put up for sale at -20% or -30% of the value. However, it is not possible to visit the houses most often.

Dirty shorts:

Property sales at a lower price due to the market collapse.

Liabilit Limited Company (LLC):

The most common form of society, much like the SARL in France.

Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA): A law that requires non-residents to be taxed as soon as a security is surrendered.

Capital Gain:

The gain between the purchase and resale of a property.

Property tax or real estate tax: property tax set by communities.

Other terms

Rent space: Rental space

Ingoing inventory or outgoing inventory: State of the premises depending on the entry or departure of the tenant.

Notary: Notary

Rates: Rates

Roomate: Roommate

Backyard: Garden

Amenities: Convenience

Closet: Placard

Related Posts