Real Estate Terminology and Definitions
ADJUSTABLE RATE LOAN (ARM)
A mortgage loan in which the interest rate may increase or decrease over the course of the loan depending on specific economic indicators. Differs from a fixed rate loan where the interest rate remains the same throughout the loan term.
A process of gradually paying off a debt by making equal periodic payments of principal and interest on a loan at equal intervals of time. Eg. (250.00 per month for 30 years.)
An estimate of a property's valuation by an appraiser.
APR ( Annual Percentage Rate)
Rate of interest charged on a loan that takes into account all up-front fees and points.
A value placed on a property by a public officer (assessor) or a board as a basis for property taxes.
A mortgage that is transferred to the buyer who then becomes personally liable for the terms and conditions including payments.
The actual transfer of title for money or other consideration. This is the day that parties actually consummate a deal.
A provision in a contract that requires that a certain act be done or a certain event occur before the contract becomes binging. Eg. (When it is necessary for a person to sell their existing home before they can close on a new home.)
An outstanding claim or encumbrance that would impair the title. Eg. (mechanics lien, judgments etc)
A loan not insured or guaranteed by a government.
A written instrument that, when executed and delivered, conveys title to or an interest in real estate.
An added loan fee charged by a lender to make the yield on a lower than market value loan competitive with higher interest rate loans. One point is equal to one percent of the loan.
The amount of cash that a purchaser puts down to buy property. Most lenders require a minimum of 5% down payment for an owner occupied purchase where the purchaser(s) intend to live in the property and at least 20% down for an investor purchased property where the investor does not intent to use the property as their primary residence.
The value of a property over and above any mortgage indebtedness. Eg. ( Your house is worth 80,000 market value and you have a current mortgage balance of 60,000 therefore, your equity would equal 20,000.)
An account usually established by the lender to make payments for hazard insurance and property taxes. You're monthly payment will include enough money to pay principal and interest to the bank for the loan as well as enough money to pay 1/12 of the annual taxes and insurance which gets deposited into the escrow account. This process protects the bank by insuring that the property remains insured and that the property is not taken through a process known as in-rem for unpaid taxes.
A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration and made by an approved lender.
A closing statement that outlines all costs associated with a real estate transaction.
A right given by law to certain creditors to have their debt paid out of the property of a defaulting debtor. Court judgments become liens against a persons real property. Liens and judgments are recorded at the county clerk's office and are considered public information.
Same as discount points. A point is equal to 1% of the loan.
A flat fee charged by lenders for administration of the loan process. Some banks waive this fee.
Commonly referred to as loan to value ratio, this figure tells the lender what percentage of the purchase price the loan is going to be. Eg. (On a 100,000.00 house a 97%LTV would equal 97,000.00)
The actual value of property at a specific time. Eg. (What your house would sell for today if you were to decide to sell.)
A pledge of real estate as security for the payment of a debt. Simply put, a mortgage is a recorded document that tells the lender that the borrower pledged their real estate as collateral for a loan.
An abbreviation for principal, interest, taxes and insurance and generally referring to an all encompassing monthly payment on a mortgage to a lender. Lenders use this figure to pre-qualify a buyer. Lenders will traditionally allow buyers to use up to 28% of their monthly income to pay PITI. Anything higher than this is considered risky to the lender. Coupled with other monthly debt like a car payment or credit card payments the lender will allow up to 40% of your monthly income to pay PITI+OTHER DEBT.
Abbreviation for private mortgage insurance. Lenders require PMI when the LTV (loan to value) exceeds 80%. PMI insurance as a rule of thumb costs approximately 1% of the loan amount per year. The cost is generally added to the monthly payment.
A process where a lender or a REALTOR® determines how large a monthly payment a purchaser can afford. Lenders generally allow a buyer to apply 28% of their monthly income towards PITI.
The amount of money that a borrower owes on a loan at a given time.
Evidence of ownership.
Insurance that guarantees a return of your investment should a title problem arise after you take possession. There are two types of title insurance. A fee title policy insures the owners title. 2) A mortgagee title policy insures the lender for the mortgaged amount. Most lenders require the purchaser to pay for a mortgagee policy to indemnify the lender. Policies typically run anywhere from approximately 350.00 to 750.00 depending on the mortgage amount.
A federal law commonly known as the real estate settlement and procedures act that requires certain disclosures to consumers about mortgage loan settlements. The law also prohibits the payment or receipt of kickbacks.