Helpful Real Estate Terms

  • Acceptance-The written approval made by the seller from a buyer's offer.
  • Addendum-Any addition or change to a contract.
  • Amortization- The repayment of a debt in installments.
  • Appraisal - An opinion of value based upon of factual analysis.
  • Appreciation - An increase in value of real estate.
  • Closing - The final settlement of real estate transaction between buyer and seller.
  • Condominium - A structure of individual fee ownership of units combined with joint ownership of common area of the structure and the land.
  • Conventional Loan - A mortgage securing a loan made by investors without governmental underwriting, i.e., which is not FHA insured or VA guaranteed.
  • Counter Offer - A rejection of an offer by a seller along with an agreement to sell the property to the potential buyer on terms differing from the original offer.
  • Deed - Written instrument which, when properly executed and delivered, conveys title.
  • Earnest Money Deposit - Down payment made by a purchaser as evidence of good faith.
  • Easement - Created by grant or agreement for a specific purpose, or easement is the right, privilege or interest which one party has in the land of another. Example: right of way.
  • Equity - The interest or value which an owner has in real estate over and above the liens against the real property.
  • Escrow - The deposit of instruments and funds with instructions to a third neutral party (Escrow Agent) to carry out the provisions of an agreement or contract: when everything is deposited to enable carrying out the instructions, it is called a complete or perfect escrow.
  • Fannie Mae- It’s an official name of the Federal National Mortgage Association which is one of the largest agencies that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.
  • F.H.A. Loan - (federal Housing Administration) - A loan which has been insured by the federal government guaranteeing its payment in case of default by the owner.
  • Foreclosure- A legal procedure whereby property used as security for a debt is sold to satisfy the debt in the event of default in payment of the mortgage note or default of other terms in the mortgage document.
  • Good Faith Estimate- Institutional lender estimates the costs a borrower will incur, including inspection fees and loan-processing charges.
  • Impound Account - Account held by the lender for payment of taxes, insurance, or other periodic debts against real property.
  • Lien - A form of encumbrance which usually makes property security for the payment of a debt of discharge of an obligation. Example: Judgments, taxes, mortgages, deeds of trust, etc.
  • Mortgage - An instrument recognized by law by which property is hypothecated to secure the payment of a debt or obligation: procedure for foreclosure in event of default is established by state law.
  • Mortgage Insurance - Insurance written by an independent mortgage insurance company protecting the mortgage lender against loss incurred by a mortgage default, thus enabling the lender to lend a higher percentage on the sale price.
  • Personal Property - Any property which is not real property, e.g., money, savings accounts, appliances, cars, boats, etc.
  • Purchase Agreement - An agreement between a buyer and seller for the purchase of real estate.
  • Power of Attorney- A written document signed by the owner which authorizes someone else to act in behalf of the owner.
  • Pre-Foreclosure- Term used to discuss delinquent properties before they go to the foreclosure auction.
  • Quitclaim Deed - A deed operating as a release.
  • Real Property - Land and whatever by nature or artificial annexation is a part of it.
  • Short Sale- The sale of a property under or at market value that's lower than the loan balance.
  • Special Assessment - Legal charge against real estate by a public authority to pay cost of public improvements such as: street lights, sidewalks, street improvements, etc.
  • Sub-Division - A parcel of land that has been divided into smaller parts.
  • V.A. Loan - A loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.
  • Zoning- Regulations that control the use of land within a jurisdiction.

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