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Glossary of terms used on this site

There are 202 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition
Lease-purchase option

Opportunity to purchase a piece of property by renting for a specified period, with the provision that the lessee may choose to buy after or during the leasing period at a predetermined sale price.

Acceleration clause

Stipulation in a mortgage agreement that allows the lender to demand immediate payment of the entire loan balance if any scheduled payment is missed.

Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)

Mortgage loan on which the interest rate falls and rises with changes in prevailing rates. The mortgage rate is tied to a selected index and may be adjusted annually. Also called a variable rate mortgage.

Agent

Person authorized to act by and on behalf of another.

Air rights

Right to occupy and use the open space above a parcel of land or property, such as in the leasing of air space over existing buildings or highways.

Amortize

Pay a debt in monthly or other periodic installments until the total amount, along with the interest, if any, is paid.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

Combines the interest rate with other loan costs, such as points and loan fees, into a single figure that shows the true annual cost of borrowing.

Appraisal

A formal estimate of property value conducted by a professional qualified to make such an opinion.

Appreciation

Increase in property value or worth due to economic or related factors; the opposite of depreciation.

As is

Said of property offered for sale in its present condition with no guarantees as to quality and no promise of repair or fix-up by the seller; property is purchased in exactly the condition in which it is found.

Assessed value

A value placed on a property by an agency of the government for taxation and other purposes.

Assessment

Tax or charge levied on property by a taxing authority to pay for local improvements such as sidewalks, streets, and sewers.

Assumption of mortgage

Taking title to property that has an existing mortgage, and being personally liable for its payment as a condition of the sale.

Balloon loan

Mortgage loan in which a larger final payment becomes due because the loan amount was not fully amortized.

Binder

Short purchase contract used in some areas to secure a real estate transaction until a more formal contract can be signed at a later date; usually accompanied by an earnest money deposit.

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