Home Buyer Real Estate Glossary
Making the leap to a home purchase is a big one! It's also very smart and wise to invest in your future. I put this glossary of real estate terms together to help you understand the documents and information that you'll be reading along the way.
The clause is a note or mortgage that can be enforced to make the entire debt due immediately if the mortgagor defaults
Adjustable Mortgage Rate
A mortgage loan in which the interest rate may increase or decrease at specific intervals, following an economic indicator
The relationship where the agent is employed by a client to act on the client's behalf
Mortgage clause stating that the balance of the secured debt becomes immediately due and payable at the mortgagee's option if the property is sold or title is transferred.
An estimate of a property's value by a licensed appraiser
An increase in the worth of value of a property
Annual percentage rate
Adjustable rate mortgage
The imposition of a tax, charge or levy, usually according to established rates.
Assumption of mortgage
Acquiring the title of a property on which there is an existing mortgage and agreeing to be liable for the terms and conditions or this mortgage to include payments
The final payment of a mortgge loan which is considerably larger than the requied periodic payments because the loan amount was not fully amortized.
Bargain and sale deed
A deed that has no warranties against liens or other encumbrances but implies that the grantor has the right to convey title
The person who receives benefits resulting from specific acts
Bill of sale
A written document given to transfer the title of personal property
Cloud on title
An outstanding claim or encumbrance tht, if valid, affects or impairs the owner's title
An agreement legally entered into by two or more parties by the terms of which one or more of the parties, for a consideration, undertakes to do or refrain from doing some legal act or acts
A written document that, when executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest in real estate
Representing both parties to a transaction
A right to use the land of another for a specific purpose, as for a right-of-way or utilties
The degree, quantity, nature and extent of interest that a person has in real property
One legally placed in a position of trust and confidence
Intentional deception that hards another
A person who receives a conveyance of real property from the grantor
The person transferring title to or an interest in real property to a grantee
The part of a deed beginning with the words "to have and to hold", following the granting clause and defining the extent of ownership the grantor is conveyng
A contract under which the agreement of partiesis demonstrated by their acts and conduct
A written legal document
A charge made by a lender fo rthe use of money
A window that consists of vertical rows of horizontal glass slats that operate together by a crank mechanism that connects all the slats.
The responsibility of two or more people to fulfill the terms of a home loan or debt.
Ownership by two or more people that gives equal shares of a piece of property. Rights pass to the surviving owner or owners.
A floor or ceiling support member supported by foundation walls, piers or beams. Subflooring is connected to floor joists.
The decision of a court or law. If a court decides that a person must repay a debt, a lien may be placed against that person's property.
A procedure to handle foreclosure proceedings as civil matters.
Loans that exceed limits set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The current limit is $214,600.
A loan that subordinate to the primary loan
A structure that contains prefabricated components and is put together by a contractor.
A wall-like structure that supports roof rafters.
An old-fashioned wiring system that has been replaced by fuses and circuit breakers.
A metallic chemical element present in older dwellings, primarily in the form of lead-based paint and lead plumbing. Exposure to lead has been found to be a health risk.
A binding agreement that contains the terms and conditions of a renter's occupancy.
A lease that contains the right to purchase the property for a specific price within a certain time frame.
An arrangement in which the borrower does not own a specific piece of property but possesses a long-term lease.
Blemishes on a piece of property, such as a zoning violation or fraudulent title claim.
A specific way of identifying and locating a piece of real estate that is acceptable to a court.
A bank, savings institution or mortgage company that offers home loans.
Letter of intent
A formal statement that the buyer intends to purchase the property for a certain price on a certain date.
The use of a small amount of cash--a 5 percent or 10 percent down payment--to buy a piece of property.
A borrower's debts and financial obligations.
A policy that protects owners against any claims of negligence, personal injury or property damage.
A claim laid by one person or company on the property of another as security for money owed.
The monthly assessment members of a homeowners' association pay for the repair and maintenance of common areas.
Lots in which buyers choose between one of several builders.
A roof with four sides that slope upward from the roof edge to the square peak.
The facing of stone, marble or other material around a fireplace.
Prefabricated homes that can range from simple trailers to larger dwellings.
The lender's "retail markup" on the mortgage. For example, if the index rate for an adjustable-rate mortgage is 5 percent but the lender has a 2.5 percentage-point margin, the rate the borrower will pay is 7.5 percent.
Factors affecting the sale and purchase of homes at a particular point in time.
The price that a piece of property sells for at a particular point in time.
The brick or stone work on a building.
A suburban plan that includes homes and commercial, work, educational and community facilities.
A loan amount within 5 percent of the highest loan-to-value ratio allowed for a property.
Subcontractors or suppliers sometimes will file an encumbrance, or mechanic's lien, against a property to seek payment.
A home's plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling systems.
The price of the house that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in that area.
A dispute-resolution process in which a neutral party works to resolve contract differences.
A legal document indicating a specific amount of money to purchase a home at a certain interest rate, and using the property as collateral.
Mortgage acceleration clause
A clause which allows a lender to demand that the entire balance of the loan be repaid in a lump sum under certain circumstances. The acceleration clause is usually triggered if the home is sold, title to the property is changed, the loan is refinanced or the borrower defaults on a scheduled payment.
A company that provides home loans using its own money. The loans are usually sold to investors such as insurance companies and Fannie Mae.
A company that matches lenders with prospective borrowers who meet the lender's criteria. The mortgage broker does not make the loan, but receives payment from the lender for services.
Required by lenders in some loans to protect them from a possible default . All conventional loans with less than a 20 percent down payments require private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
A bank or other financial institution that lends money to the borrower. The borrower is considered the mortgagor.
The person who borrows money to purchase a house. The lender is called the mortgagee.
Any buyer with a strong incentive to make a purchase.
Any seller with a strong incentive to make a deal.
A house that is ready for a new occupant.
Nails in load-bearing parts of new homes that pop out slightly because of settling of the structure.
The situation occurs when a borrower's monthly payment is not large enough to cover both the principal and interest of a loan. As a result, the outstanding balance of the loan actually grows larger with each payment rather than smaller. Most fixed-rate loans are not subject to negative amortization, but many adjustable-rate mortgages are susceptible.
When a driveway drops down from street level to the garage.
Planning of a community that favors the return of new-home development with such traditional features as grid-street patterns, prominent front porches, backyard garages, multi-use buildings and housing clustered near commercial service areas.
Net cash flow
Income generated from investment property after expenses such as principal, interest, taxes and insurance are subtracted.
Online real estate listings
Properties listed for sale on the Internet.
A marketing tool in which a listing agent opens a house for view.
A property given to a number of brokers to market at the same time.
Undeveloped land or common areas in a planned community reserved for parks, walking paths or other natural uses.
A situation in which a buyer puts down money for the right to purchase a piece of real estate within a set time period but does not have an obligation to buy.
Contractual arrangements that are not in writing and are usually not legally binding.
Original principal balance
The amount of principal owed on a loan before a borrower makes any payments.
A fee charged by most lenders--also called points--for processing a loan. A point is 1 percent of the total loan amount.
A transaction in which the seller of a property agrees to finance all or part of the purchase.
Property taxes are calculated at about 1.5 percent of the current market value.
Property tax deduction
The U.S. tax code allows homeowners to deduct the amount they have paid in property taxes.
The value of a piece of property is based on the price a buyer will pay at a certain time.
Agreed-upon percentages of certain expenses associated with a piece of property that must be paid by the buyer or the seller at the time of closing.
Buyers compile a punch list during the final walk-through detailing items to be fixed before closing.
A document which details the purchase price and conditions of the transaction.
A mortgage that a borrower obtains to acquire a property.
A ground-generated radioactive gas that seeps into some homes through sump pumps, cracks in the foundation and other inlets. A leading cause of lung cancer , radon is found in mostly the northern half of the country.
When interest rates are volatile, many borrowers want to "lock in" an interest rate and many lenders will oblige, setting a limit on the amount of time the guaranteed interest rate is in effect.
A loan with a clause that entitles a borrower to a one-time cut in the interest rate without going through refinancing.
Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
A federal law designed to make sellers and buyers aware of settlement fees and other transaction-related costs. RESPA also outlaws kickbacks in the real estate business.
Land and anything permanently affixed to it, including buildings, fences and other items attached to the structure.
Real estate agent
A real estate agent has a state license to represent a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Most agents work for real estate brokers.
Real estate attorney
A lawyers who specializes in real estate transactions.
Real estate broker
A real estate agent who is licensed by the state to represent a buyer or seller in a real estate transaction in exchange for a commission. Most brokers also have agents working for them, and are entitled to a portion of their commissions.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
The trusts are publicly traded companies that own, develop and operate commercial properties.
Land and any permanent fixtures on it, including buildings, trees and minerals.
A designation for an agent or broker who is a member of the National Association of Realtors.
The process of replacing an older loan with a new mortgage that has better terms.
The federal code issued under the Truth-in-Lending Act which requires that a borrower be advised in writing of all costs associated with the credit portion of a financial transaction.
A mortgage that provides for the costs of repairing and improving a resale home or building.
A contract signed by the buyer and sellerthat details the terms of a home purchase.
A seller broker represents the interest of the seller.
An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
An agreement in which the seller provides financing for a home purchase.
A hot real estate market in which sellers have the advantage and multiple offers are common.
The buyer of a semi-custom home is free to make some design changes but not to the home's structural plan.
A self-contained sewage treatment system that distributes wastewater to an underground storage area and relies on bacterial action to decompose solid waste matter.
A tax break given by the government. Mortgage interest, loan points and property taxes can be deducted.
An impediment placed against a property, such as back taxes.
The public sale of a property by the government for nonpayment of taxes.
A term often applied to real estate investment and refers to various tax advantages.
A house that requires the entire interior to be rebuilt.
The process that lenders go through to evaluate the risks posed by a particular borrower and to set appropriate conditions for the loan.
A person who claims the right to a piece of property after the death of an owner without a will.
An unidentified marital partner who can claim the right to a piece of property.
An unrecorded deed transfers ownership from one party to another without being officially recorded.
Any loan that is not backed by collateral.
Options than the standard carpeting, lighting, finish carpentry and other amenities offered to all buyers in a new-home project.
A program that allows most veterans to purchase a house without a down payment.
Variable interest rate
A loan rate that moves up and down based on factors including changes in the rate paid on bank certificates of deposit or Treasury bills.
An interest rate that changes with fluctuations in such indexes as the U.S. Treasury bill index.
Variable rate mortgage
A loan with an interest rate that hinges on factors such as the rate paid on bank certificates and Treasury bills.
Wood paneling, tongue-and-groove boards or similar material installed between a baseboard and a chair rail.
A voluntary relinquishing of certain rights or claims.
A feature that allows a door to open onto ground level.
A buyer's final inspection of the home to determine if conditions in the purchase agreement have been satisfied.
A legally binding promise to do something in the future.