An abstract of title is a history of a piece of property.
An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is a type of mortgage using a varying interest rate calculated by adding a premium to a specific benchmark rate. These loans are also called variable-rate
An amortization schedule is a complete table of periodic loan payments over the term of a loan. It shows the amount of principal and the amount of interest that make up each payment. 
Although assessed value   is a term used in conversations about property taxes, it is also an important factor in municipal bond issues. Because many municipalities receive a large
A balloon mortgage is a mortgage with a large payment made near or at the end of a loan term.
A Canadian rollover mortgage is an adjustable-rate mortgage commonly available to homebuyers in Canada.
The Case-Shiller Home Price Index refers to a set of indices released by Standard and Poor's that tracks changes in the value of residential real estate.
Closing costs are fees and expenses paid by both the buyer and the seller when a transaction is completed. Closing costs are common expenses in real estate transactions.
A collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) is a fixed income security that uses mortgage-backed securities as collateral.  Like other structured securities, CMOs are subdivided into graduated
A commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) is a fixed-income security, typically in the form of a bond, which uses commercial real estate loans as collateral.
Commercial real estate is any property that is exclusively used for business activity.
Eminent domain is a legal strategy that allows a federal or local government to seize private property for public use. The seizing authority must pay fair market value for the property seized.
Escrow is a financial arrangement whereby a third party holds funds in safekeeping pending the completion of a contract or other obligation.
In the real estate world, mortgage companies use escrow accounts to collect property taxes, homeowners insurance, private mortgage insurance and other payments that are required by the homeowner
Existing home sales is an economic indicator released by the National Association of Realtors. The data reflect the number of homes that have previously been constructed (and therefore accounted for
Fannie Mae (OTC: FNMA) is the nickname for the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA). Established in 1938, Fannie Mae's purpose is to create a secondary market for the purchase and
Created by Congress in 1932, the Federal Home Loan Bank System (FHLB) is a lending system for financial institutions.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC or "Freddie Mac") is a government-sponsored entity that buys certain types of mortgages from banks and uses them to collateralize mortgage-
A first-time homebuyer an individual or couple purchasing a home for the first time. The IRS also considers someone who has not owned a home in the past two years to be a first-time homebuyer.
The foreclosure process can take several months, if not years, and it does long-term damage to a person's credit report. It is important to note that foreclosure laws vary by state, and they affect
Ginnie Mae is the nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association. Ginnie Mae guarantees the timely payment of interest and principal on certain mortgage-backed securities (MBS).  
A good faith estimate is a written estimate of the fees due at closing for a mortgage.
Good faith money is money a buyer uses to prove to a seller that he or she intends to complete a transaction. In real estate, good faith money is also called earnest money. It is not the same as a
Home equity equals the value of a house less the balance owed on the homeowner's mortgage.
A home equity loan (HEL), also called a second mortgage, is a loan secured by the equity in a house. Equity equals the value of the house less the balance owed on the homeowner's mortgage.
A home loan (or mortgage) is a contract between a borrower and a lender that allows someone to borrow money to buy a house, apartment, condo, or other livable property. A home loan is typically paid
A home mortgage is a loan secured for a house. The borrower is usually obligated to make a predetermined series of payments on the loan.
House poor is used to describe a homeowner who spends too large a portion of his or her income on home ownership, leaving too little for discretionary spending.
The term interest rate ceiling typically refers to the maximum lifetime interest rate charged on an adjustable rate mortgage according to the terms of a mortgage contract.
An interest-only mortgage is a mortgage in which the borrower only pays the interest on the loan for a set period.
Investment real estate refers to any residential structure owned solely for the purpose of generating investment returns, either through rental income or through market value appreciation.
A judicial foreclosure occurs when a court allows a lender to seize and sell a borrower's collateral when the borrower has failed to repay the lender. The term is most often associated with real
A jumbo loan, also called a jumbo mortgage, is a mortgage that exceeds the maximum amount that will be guaranteed by a government-sponsored entity like Fannie Mae.
A junior mortgage is a loan secured by the equity in a house. Equity equals the value of the house less the balance owed on the homeowner's first (or in some cases, preceding) mortgages. Junior
Land value is the overall value of a piece of property.
In the tax world, a main home is where a taxpayer has lived for most of the tax year or is the only home the taxpayer owns.
The idea behind Making Home Affordable is to stabilize the economy. A major contributor to the financial crisis of 2008 was a large number of defaults on home loans, which created cash crises for
This term is a play on the word "McDonalds," which is a global fast-food restaurant chain whose food is usually so consistent that an item from one restaurant is indistinguishable from the
Homeownership is a cornerstone of the American Dream. A home is a valuable asset for most people, and mortgages (or home loans) make buying one possible for many Americans.
A mortgage accelerator is a type of checking account that allows a borrower to repay a mortgage more quickly using the balance of monthly paychecks as opposed to recurring monthly payments.
Mortgage allocations refer to the specific mortgage information given to an MBS buyer by an MBS seller.
A mortgage application is a document that a prospective property buyer submits to a lender to secure a mortgage. The lender must approve the application before any money is lent.
A mortgage banker is a person or entity who lends mortgages.
A mortgage bond uses a mortgaged property as collateral.
A mortgage broker is an agent who connects property buyers with mortgage lenders.
Mortgage credit certificates (MCC) are issued by state or local governments and allow some taxpayers to receive a tax credit for the interest paid on a mortgage.
A mortgage equity withdrawal (MEW) is a loan that uses the value of a mortgaged property as collateral.
Mortgage excess servicing is the percentage remainder of the annual yield on a mortgage-backed security (MBS) once it has been allocated between the holder, the servicer, and the underwriter.
Mortgage fallout is the percentage of an originator's mortgages that fail to close.
A mortgage forbearance agreement is a contractual arrangement between a mortgage lender and a borrower to help the borrower catch up on payments when he/she is behind schedule.
Mortgage insurance is insurance for lenders that covers losses resulting from borrower default.
Mortgage interest is the compensation a borrower pays a lender for money used to purchase property.
A mortgage interest deduction allows mortgage borrowers to reduce their income tax liability by listing the amount of mortgage interest paid as an itemized deduction.
A mortgage originator is an individual or institution that collaborates with the borrower to complete a mortgage transaction.
A mortgage pool is a group of mortgages in a mortgage-backed security (MBS).
A mortgage putback is a mandatory buyback of a mortgage by its original lender.
A mortgage rate is the rate of interest a borrower pays on his or her mortgage.
A mortgage rate lock is the term in a mortgage contract that stipulates the rate the borrower will pay for the entire duration of the mortgage.
A mortgage rate lock deposit is a sum of money that a borrower must pay the lender to lock in a specific interest rate until a borrower's mortgage is approved and given out.
A mortgage rate lock float down is a provision that allows a borrower to obtain a lower rate if interest rates decline during the process of applying for a mortgage.
Mortgage real estate investment trusts (mREITs) invest in residential mortgages that have been bundled together into securities called mortgage-backed securities (MBS)
Mortgage servicing rights (MSR) is an arrangement by which a third party promises to collect and disseminate mortgage payments in exchange for a fee.
A mortgage short sale is the sale of a mortgaged property for less than the remaining value of the mortgage itself.
Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are securities that represent an interest in a pool of mortgage loans.
A mortgagee is a lender in a mortgage, usually a bank, credit union, or other lending institution. A mortgagee lends money to a borrower for the purpose of purchasing real estate (usually a house) in
New Home Sales is an economic indicator released monthly by the United States Census Bureau. The data reflect the number of newly constructed homes purchased in the previous month.  
A judicial foreclosure occurs when a court allows a lender to seize and sell a borrower's collateral when the borrower has failed to repay the lender. The term is most often associated with real
An offset mortgage is a mortgage held in the same bank as the borrower's deposit accounts, savings accounts or other accounts. The mortgage payments are calculated based on the borrower's combined
A price level adjusted mortgage (PLAM) is a mortgage with a fixed interest rate but an adjustable principal balance.
The sum total of a mortgage payment is comprised of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI). The amount of principal paid, interest paid, property taxes, and homeowners insurance is broken
A property lien is a lender's claim against a piece of real estate that may be legally sold should the borrower fail to repay a loan.
Property tax is a tax on property -- usually real estate -- as determined by an assessor.
A qualified acquisition cost refers to the cost of buying, building, or rebuilding a home. Investors can often withdraw qualified acquisition costs from their IRAs without paying early withdrawal
A qualified mortgage insurance premium is a payment to insure a homeowner’s mortgage payments.
A rate and term refinance occurs when a borrower replaces one mortgage with another mortgage that has a different maturity and interest rate.
Real estate refers to land, as well as any physical property or improvements affixed to the land, including houses, buildings, landscaping, fencing, wells, etc.
A real estate agent, working on behalf of a licensed real estate broker, is a licensed professional who works on behalf of the buyer and seller of real estate during a sales transaction.
A real estate short sale is the sale of property that is worth less than what is owed on it.
Real property is anything that is attached to land.
A realtor is a professional designation for a real estate broker who has membership in the National Association of Realtors (or NAR).
Refinance refers to the replacement of a debt with new debt bearing different terms.
A reverse mortgage is an arrangement whereby a homeowner borrows against his or her home equity and receives regular payments from the lender until the total payments reach a predetermined limit.
Also called a home equity loan, a second mortgage is secured by the equity in a house. Equity equals the value of the house less the balance owed on the homeowner's mortgage. Second mortgages are
A tax home is a taypayer's primary residence or place of business (if the taxpayer is an organization).
A tax lien certificate is written proof that a taxing authority has placed a lien on a piece of property for unpaid property taxes.
An underwater mortgage is a mortgage on a property that is worth less than what is owed on it.
A zero-lot-line house is a house whose structure goes right up the edge of the property line.