Amortization: Loan payment by equal periodic payments calculated to pay off the debt at the end of a fixed period, including accrued interest on the outstanding balance.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): The cost of credit expressed as an annual rate. It must be calculated by using a formula set by federal law and disclosed to the borrower to aid in comparing different credit plans.
Appraisal: An estimate of the value of property; made by a qualified professional called an "appraiser."
Commitment: An agreement, often in writing, between a Lender and a Borrower to loan money at a future date subject to the completion of paperwork or compliance with stated conditions.
Construction Loan: A short-term interim loan for financing the cost of construction. The Lender advances funds to the builder at periodic intervals as the work on the property progresses.
Conventional Loan: A mortgage not insured by FHA or guaranteed by the VA or Farmers Home Administration (FmHA).
Credit Report: A report documenting the credit history and the current status of a Borrower's credit standing.
Debt-To-Income Ratio: The ratio, expressed as a percentage, which results when a borrower's monthly payment obligation on long-term debts is divided by their gross monthly income.
Equity: The difference between the fair market value of the asset and the current debt balance against it; also referred to as the Owner's interest.
Escrow: Refers to a neutral third party who carries out the instructions of both you and the Seller to handle all the paperwork of settlement or "closing". Escrow may also refer to an account held by the Investor into which you would pay money (usually monthly along with your mortgage payment) for annual or semi-annual tax and insurance payments.
Inspector: Professional that examines a home to evaluate its plumbing, electrical work, roof, structural stability, heating and cooling systems, and appliances.
Loan to Value Ratio (LTV): This is the relationship between the amount of the mortgage loan and the appraised value of the property, expressed as a percentage. For example, if you received a $95,000 loan on a home worth $100,000, the LTV Ratio would be 95%.
Points: This is a dollar amount paid to a Lender for making a loan. A point is one% of the loan amount.
Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): This may be required by your Lender if the loan does not meet the normal standards of the Lender. The most common reason for this is a smaller down payment made by the borrower than the Lender usually requires. This insurance protects the Lender from a loss if the borrower defaults. It does NOT protect the borrower, though it may allow the Borrower to qualify for the loan. The borrower pays the cost for PMI.
Real Estate Broker: The seller of a house pays a real estate broker to attract potential buyers and help negotiate the contract between the seller and the buyers. The broker identifies available properties for buyers and shows them properties that meet their personal criteria.
Title: A document that gives evidence of an individual's ownership of property.
Title Search: An examination of municipal or county records to determine the legal ownership of a property, usually performed by a title company.