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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Buying A House: I met Blake Poore at an open house. We had met other realtors in the process of working towards buying a new home, but after talking to Blake for a while, I could tell he was the right choice for us. We were a new family and first time home buyers. Needless to say, we had no idea what we were doing. Blake was able to help us through the process. He talked to us and found out exactly what we were looking for. Never once did he try to push us towards or show us a house tha…
Curt helped us buy and sell our homes. He made it all happen and advised us every step of the way. And it was great advice too. He worked through all of the inevitable issues with us. He was supported by April Lane who was also great and advocated for us. A very pleasant experience. And we strongly recommend the team including Blake Poore, April and Curt.
I just wanted to let you know how invaluable Curt Reichstetter was in our new home negotiation and closing. We were buying directly from a builder and wasn’t going to get our own agent, but our agents back in Atlanta strongly recommended that we do so and referred us to Joyner. Curt helped us through the entire negotiation process with the builder, offering numerous suggestions that we wouldn’t have thought of, and we absolutely love our new townhome. He was also instrumental in helping us…
Working with Curt Reichstetter and April during my recent homebuying experience was really terrific. I’d recommend this team of professionals to anyone in search of a new home. April really stepped up and ‘dug her heels in’ on my behalf during the closing process, turning what might have been a loss into a win. I’m very grateful to both Curt and April for their knowledge and expertise to bring the sale over the finish line!
Blake and [Ali] were not only knowledgeable about local Real Estate, they stayed on top of the process as if it were their own home. They contacted us on all issues about the sale, large and small, made useful recommendations and stayed focused through the closing. We couldn’t have done it without them. We told all of our neighbors about them and will continue to recommend them to all who ask.
The Joyner team, especially Justin Swisher, helped my husband and me navigate as first-time homebuyers. They were with us every step — from search to negotiation to financing to closing — with helpful advice and personalized service. We couldn’t be more happy and are well along the way to turning our house into a home.
Very pleased. Overall Mr. Raimo’s professionalism and responsiveness to our needs was excellent. He provided us a sense of relief and calmness with his level of organization and attentiveness. We were able to list, place under contract, and sell very quickly! We would highly recommended Mr Raimo and his associates for future business.
Dear Blake and Team, Thank you so much for all of your time, effort, and hard work in selling our home and helping us buy our new one. We appreciate all you did – especially tasks outside of business hours. We are truly happy in our new house!”
Curt, Blake and Heather, It has been great working with you! We really appreciate you going the extra mile for us in every way. Jeremy and I are really happy with the way things have worked out! Thanks for the champagne, nice touch!
We are completely satisfied with the service and support provided by April. We would rate her a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10. She was very friendly, very knowledgable , and always very professional. Due to her immediate responses to our needs we were able to select and close on our house in near record time. I would highly recommend her to anyone needing a realtor in the Richmond area.