What is the difference in a Condo vs. a PUD?

The terms Condominium and Planned Unit Development (PUD) are frequently—and mistakenly— associated with the physical styles of a dwelling when in reality, these terms refer to the interest in land and ownership rights enjoyed by the homeowners who dwell in them.

  • Here are the basic differences:
    The owner(s) of a unit within a typical Condominium project owns 100% of the unit, as defined by a recorded Condominium Plan.  As well, they will own a fractional or percentage interest in all common areas of the Condominium project.
  • The owner(s) of a lot within a PUD owns the lot which has been conveyed to them, as shown in the recorded Tract Map or Parcel Map, and the structure and improvements thereon.  In addition, they receive rights and easements to use in common areas owned by another, frequently a homeowner’s association, of which the individual lot owner(s) is a member.

For more details related to this topic, see the attached information sheet for you to download and add to your real estate library!

Click here for information sheet.

The “E” words of Title…

The following 3 title terms -all beginning with the letter “e” – are common terms related to the title insurance industry. They are also terms that people tend to confuse with one another. Here are brief definitions of each to add to your real estate glossary:

Encumbrance: A right or interest in land decreasing its value but not hindering its sale or transfer. Encumbrance is the terminology we use to describe anything that affects or limits the title of real property. Some encumbrances are referred to as voluntary encumbrances, such as mortgages, deeds of trust, leases, easements, liens, or restrictions. Other encumbrances are referred to as involuntary encumbrances. These may include judgments, tax liens and child support liens.

Encroachment: a term which implies, “advance beyond proper limits”. In real property law, an encroachment describes the extension of an improvement onto the land of another. The actual structure that encroaches might be a tree, bush, bay window, stairway, steps, stoop, garage, leaning fence, part of a building, or other fixture.

Easement: A limited right of interest in the land of another entitling the holder to some use, privilege or benefit. Easements are helpful for providing pathways across one or more pieces of land. An easement is considered as a property right in itself at common law and is still treated as a type of property in most jurisdictions. The most important thing to know about easements is that there are many and varied types of easements and that the rights of an easement holders may vary substantially among jurisdictions from state to state.

What is in a Legal Description?

A Legal Description (also known as Land Description) consists of the written words which delineate a specific piece of real property. In the written transfer of real property, it is universally required that the instrument of conveyance (in California, a Grant Deed) include a written description of the property. Attached please find examples of how legal descriptions appear on title documents of record.


As title insurers, it is the Legal Description and the corresponding Assessor’s Parcel Number (APN) that we insure to, NOT the property’s address. The Post Master and Tax Assessor employ two different means of classifying property.

Click here for sample