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Real Estate Terms You Should Know
Some people like to use big words to impress or intimidate people in the business world, but as a Realtor, I feel it's my job to help educate and familiarize you with terms often used in real estate so that you feel confident as you walk through the process of buying and/or selling your home. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it will get you started.
A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.
A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified appraiser. Typically this is done once an offer has been written and accepted by the seller. Most are arranged through the bank where the financing is obtained.
The process of placing a value on property for the strict purpose of taxation. May also refer to a levy against property for a special purpose, such as a sewer assessment.
A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.
Earnest money depositâ€¨
A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.
A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage.
An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.
The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.
A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payment at closing. The blank form for the statement is published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD-1 statement is also known as the "closing statement" or "settlement sheet."
A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor's default on a government mortgage or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Depending on the type of mortgage insurance, the insurance may cover a percentage of or virtually all of the mortgage loan. See private mortgage insurance (MI) .
Mortgage insurance premium (MIP)â€¨
The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (MI) company.
A one-time charge by the lender for originating a loan. A point is 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage.
Insurance that protects the lender (lender's policy) or the buyer (owner's policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.
A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.
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