Glossary

  • Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)

    A mortgage in which the interest rate is adjusted periodically based on a preselected index. Also sometimes known as the renegotiable rate mortgage, the variable rate mortgage or the Canadian rollover mortgage.

  • Assessment

    A local tax levied against a property for a specific purpose, such as a sewer or street lights.

  • Balloon mortgage

    A mortgage that is not fully paid off over the loan term (such as five, seven, or ten years), leaving a balance at the end. The borrower must either pay off the remaining mortgage or refinance the loan.

  • Common area

    Facilities and space, such as recreation facilities, parking, laundry rooms, or a courtyard in condominiums, apartment buildings, and some cooperative housing projects. Common areas in condominiums are not individually owned by the residents, but shared by percentage interest or owned by the management organization.

  • Condominium

    an apartment house, office building, or other multiple-unit complex, the units of which are individually owned, each owner receiving a recordable deed to the individual unit purchased, including the right to sell, mortgage, etc., that unit and sharing in joint ownership of any common grounds, passageways, etc.

  • Dodd–Frank Act

    The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Pub.L. 111–203, H.R. 4173; commonly referred to as Dodd-Frank) was signed into federal law by President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010. Passed as a response to the Great Recession, it brought the most significant changes to financial regulation in the United States since the regulatory reform that followed the Great Depression. It made changes in the American financial regulatory environment that affect all federal financial regulatory agencies and almost every part of the nation’s financial services industry.

  • Home inspection

    A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.

  • Mortgage

    a conveyance of an interest in property as security for the repayment of money borrowed.

  • Private mortgage insurance (PMI)

    Insurance that reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortgage plus the costs of the sale). A home buyer who makes less than a 20% down payment will most likely have to purchase private mortgage insurance, commonly referred to as PMI.

  • Timeshare

    to use or occupy by time-sharing.

  • Townhouse

    a house in the city, especially as distinguished from a house in the country owned by the same person.