The potential home buyer will find this glossary helpful for understanding words and terms used in the real estate and mortgage industry. There are, however, some factors that may affect these definitions: Terms are defined as they are commonly understood in the mortgage and real estate industry. The same terms may have different meanings in another context. The definitions are intentionally general, non-technical and short. They do not encompass all possible meanings or nuances that a term may acquire in legal use. State laws, as well as custom and use in various States or regions of the country, may modify or completely change the meanings of certain terms defined. Quantity Survey Method—In appraisal, a method of estimating the replacement cost of a structure. It involves a detailed estimate of the quantities and grades of material used and their cost (i.e. 1,500 bricks at $0.25 each), the labor hours required and their coat, and overhead expenses such as insurance and contractor´s profit. It is the most time consuming of the three methods of replacement cost estimation. The other two approaches are Unit in Place and Square Foot.