Glossary of Real Estate Terms
Abstract of Title
A complete historical summary of the public records relating to the legal ownership of a particular property from the time of the first transfer to the present.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Also known as a variable-rate loan, an ARM is one in which the interest rate changes over time, relative an index like the Treasure Index.
Agreement of Sale
Also known as a Contract of Purchase, Purchase Agreement or Sales Agreement, according to location or jurisdiction. A contract in which a Seller and Buyer agree to transact under certain terms spelled out in writing and signed by both parties.
The process of reducing the principal debt through a schedule of fixed payments at regular intervals of time, with an interest rate specified in a loan document.
A professional appraiser’s estimate of the Market Value of a property based on local market data and the recent sale prices of similar properties.
The value placed on a home by municipal assessors for the purposes of determining property taxes.
The final steps in the transfer of property ownership. On the closing date, as specified by the Sales Agreement, the buyer inspects and signs all documents relating to the transaction and the final disbursements are paid. (Also referred to as the Settlement.)
The costs to complete a real estate transaction in addition to the price of the home. These may include: points, taxes, title insurance, appraisal fees and legal fees.
A clause in the Purchase Contract that describes certain conditions that must be met and agreed upon by the Buyer and Seller before the contract is binding.
An offer made in response to a previous offer that rejects all or part of it while enabling negotiations to continue towards a mutually acceptable Sales Contract.
A mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Government.
A ratio that measures total debt burden. It is calculated by dividing Gross Monthly Debt repayments, including mortgages, by Gross Monthly Income.
The money paid by the buyer to the lender at the time of closing. The amount is the difference between the sales price and the mortgage loan. Requirements vary by loan type. Smaller down payments (less than 20%) usually require mortgage insurance.
A deposit given by the Buyer to bind a purchase offer and which is held in escrow. If the property sale is closed, the deposit is applied to the purchase price. If the Buyer does not fulfill all contract obligations, the deposit may be forfeited.
Legal right-of-access to use of a property by individuals or groups for specific purposes. Easements may affect property values and are sometimes part of the deed.
The value of the property, less the loan balance and any outstanding liens or other debts against the property.
Funds held by a neutral third party (Escrow Agent) until certain conditions of a contract are met and the funds can be paid out. Escrow accounts are also used by loan servicers to pay Property Taxes and Homeowner’s Insurance.
A type of mortgage loan in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
Professional inspection of a home, paid for by the Buyer, to evaluate the quality and safety of its plumbing, heating, wiring, appliances, roof, foundation, etc.
A claim or charge on property for payment of a debt. With a mortgage, the lender has the right to take the title to your property if you don’t make the mortgage payments.
The amount a willing Buyer would pay a willing Seller for a home. An appraised value is an estimate of the current fair market value.
Purchased by the Buyer to protect the lender in the event of default (typically for loans with less than 20% down). Available through a government agency live the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or through Private Mortgage Insurers (PMI).
The date, as specified in the Sales Agreement, that the Buyer can move into the property. Generally, it occurs within a couple days of the closing date.
A letter from a mortgage lender indicating that a buyer qualifies for a mortgage of a specified amount. It also shows a home seller that you’re a serious buyer.
The amount of money borrowed from a lender to buy a home, or the amount of the loan that has not yet been repaid. This does not include the interest paid to borrow.
A detailed, written document which makes an offer to purchase a property, and which may be amended several times in the process of negotiations. Which signed by all parties involved in the sale, the Purchase Offer becomes a legally-binding Sales Agreement.
The right to, and the ownership of, property. A Title or Deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land. “Clear Title” refers to a title that has no legal defects.
Insurance policy that guarantees the accuracy of the title search and protects the lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title.
A historical review of all legal documents relating to ownership of a property to determine if there have been any flaws in prior transfers of ownership or if there are any claims or encumbrances on the title to the property.
Truth-in-Lending Act (TILA)
Federal law that requires disclosure of a Truth-in-Lending Statement for consumer loans. The statement includes a summary of the total cost of credit.
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April Lane is an EXCELLENT Agent, helped me buy a home in VA. while I lived in Maine (I never set eyes on the home totally relied on her) Very Honest and trustworthy. Need more agents like her. Will recommend her to everyone I know. GREAT JOB APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I never saw April Lane face to face throughout my experience of selling and buying a home but she was there on the front lines each and everyday of the process making sure it got done. She was involved in every aspect of the sale and purchase of my homes. April really knows the business inside and out. Her professional contacts have also helped me during the selling and inspection process. Her contacts are still helping me as I get settled into my new home. Selling and buying a house can be very…
We can’t thank Chris Raimo and Joyner Fine Properties enough for helping us with the sale of our home and getting us into our dream house. Chris and his team were on hand, day or night, to answer our questions and help guide us in the right direction. Above anything the else, the responsiveness and communication helped get us through this process without adding extra stress. We couldn’t be happier with our experience.
April Lane of Joyner Fine Properties was very instrumental in helping me get my house sold. She held my best interest at heart while holding my hand along the way to make the process smooth and seamless. When there were minor repairs to be done, through Joyner’s many resources/contacts, the work was done in a timely and efficient manner. If I ever buy or sell another house in the area, I would definitely recommend Joyner.”
Dear April, The manner in which you represented us in our search and purchase of a home was outstanding. From the initial phone conversation, you showed a genuine interest in assisting us with our request. When we made the decision to buy the home, you gave us excellent advice and guidance in every step of the process from signing the contract to closing. Your setting up of the home inspection and survey are just two examples of this. Your timely communication and feedback were superb. You…
April worked with me and another realtor during my recent home purchase. April was a huge help- she was always on top of her email, patient with my questions, and eager to help out- for example she followed up exhaustively with the seller’s agent and lawyers to help get the best rate on my title insurance. You won’t regret working with her!
Curt was a joy to work with. He was always available and helpful. He steered me away from things he should have and ultimately helped me find the perfect house!
To Blake, Curt and April: Moving is never easy. Relocating with a young child and pets while also being pregnant is definitely not easy! I must thank all of you for recognizing that our move was about more than just you selling our house. Throughout the entire selling process, I felt that all of you understood and empathized with the difficult transition we were making, and that you were willing to help ease that transition in any way that you could. From the start, we were impressed that…
Kirk helped me in the purchase of my first home! He was very informative and kept me up-to-date on everything going on through the entire process. He also always kept my best interest above all else. Thanks so much Kirk for all that you have done!!! Anyone looking for an agent will be super lucky to have someone as helpful as you.
The team at Joyner Fine Properties [Explore Realty Group] was reliable, accessible, and communicated frequently to support and guide me through the selling process by interpreting and advising me on situations that are unclear or unfamiliar. In the end I believe it was their the marketing plan, the networking, knowing how to respond to questions, the human element/ touch, understanding the psychology of the potential buyers and their negotiating power that sold the home. While we were busy re…