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Mortgage Glossary

MORTGAGE GLOSSARY TERMS A-H

This glossary is an extensive listing of real estate and mortgage terms that you can use as needed when doing business with Flagstar. To get started, click on the appropriate letter above for a listing of all the terms that begin with that letter. Then, locate the word you are looking for.

Acceleration Clause

A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand payment of the entire principal balance if a monthly payment is missed.

Acceptance

An offeree's consent to enter into a contract and be bound by the terms of the offer.

Additional Principal Payment

A payment by a borrower of more than the scheduled principal amount due in order to reduce the remaining balance on the loan.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)

A mortgage that permits the lender to adjust the mortgage's interest rate periodically on the basis of changes in a specified index. Interest rates may move up or down, as market conditions change.

Adjustment Basis

The original cost of a property plus the value of any capital expenditures for improvements to the property minus any depreciation taken.

Adjustment Date

The date on which the interest rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Adjustment Period

The period that elapses between the adjustment dates for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Administrator

A person appointed by a probate court to administer the estate of a person who died in te state.

Affordability Analysis


A detailed analysis of your ability to afford the purchase of a home. An affordability analysis takes into consideration your income, liabilities, and available funds, along with the type of mortgage you plan to use, the area where you want to purchase a home, and the closing costs that you might expect to pay.

Amenity

A feature of real property that enhances its attractiveness and increases the occupant's or user's satisfaction although the feature is not essential to the property's use. Natural amenities include a pleasant or desirable location near water, scenic views of the surrounding area, etc. Human-made amenities include swimming pools, tennis courts, community buildings, and other recreational facilities.

Amortization

The gradual repayment of a mortgage loan by installments.

Amortization Schedule

A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.

Amortization Term

The amount of time required to amortize the mortgage loan. The amortization term is expressed as a number of months. For example, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization term is 360 months.

Amortizeela

To repay a mortgage with regular payments that cover both principal and interest.

Annual Mortgagor Statementhref

A report sent to the mortgagor (the borrower) each year. The report shows how much was paid in taxes and interest during the year, as well as the remaining mortgage loan balance at the end of the year.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)


The cost of a mortgage stated as a yearly rate; includes such items as interest, mortgage insurance, and loan origination fee (points).

Annuity

An amount paid yearly or at other regular intervals, often on a guaranteed dollar basis.

Application

A form used to apply for a mortgage loan and to record pertinent information concerning a prospective mortgagor and the proposed security. Lenders use the information on the loan application to evaluate whether or not they can give the loan, and if so, the amount of money they can lend.

Appraisal

An appraisal is a written analysis of the estimated value of a property, as prepared by a qualified appraiser.

Appraised Value

An opinion of a property's fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge, experience, and analysis of the property.

Appraiser

A person qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property.

Appreciation

An increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or other causes. The opposite of depreciation.

Assessed Value

The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

Assessment

The process of placing a value on property for the strict purpose of taxation. May also refer to a levy against property for a special purpose, such as a sewer assessment.

Assessment Rolls

The public record of taxable property.

Assessor

A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.

Asset

Anything of monetary value that is owned by a person. Assets include real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and so on).

Assignment

The transfer of a mortgage from one person to another.

Assumable Mortgage

A mortgage that can be taken over ("assumed") by the buyer when a home is sold.

Assumption

The transfer of the seller's existing mortgage to the buyer. See assumable mortgage.

Assumption Clause


A provision in an assumable mortgage that allows a buyer to assume responsibility for the mortgage from the seller. The loan does not need to be paid in full by the original borrower upon sale or transfer of the property.

Assumption Fee

The fee paid to a lender (usually by the purchaser of real property) resulting from the assumption of an existing mortgage.

Attorney-in-fact

One who holds a power of attorney from another to execute documents on behalf of the grantor of the power.

Balance Sheet

A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.

Balloon Mortgage

A mortgage that has level monthly payments that will amortize it over a stated term but that provides for a lump sum payment to be due at the end of an earlier specified term. The principal and interest on the loan are amortized over a longer period than the actual term of the mortgage.

Balloon Payment


The final lump sum payment that is made at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.

Bankrupt

A person, firm, or corporation that, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the payment of all debts after the surrender of all assets to a court-appointed trustee.

Bankruptcy

A proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can relieve the debts by transferring his or her assets to a trustee.

Before-tax Income

Income before taxes are deducted.

Beneficiary

The person designated to receive the income from a trust, estate, or a deed of trust.

Bequeath

To transfer personal property through a will.

Betterment

An improvement that increases property value as distinguished from repairs or replacements that simply maintain value.

Bill of Sale

A written document that transfers title to personal property.

Binder

A preliminary agreement, secured by the payment of an earnest money deposit, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate.

Biweekly Payment Mortgage

A mortgage that requires payments to reduce the debt every two weeks (instead of the standard monthly payment schedule). The 26 (or possibly 27) biweekly payments are each equal to one-half of the monthly payment that would be required if the loan were a standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, and they are usually drafted from the borrower's bank account. The result for the borrower is a substantial savings in interest.

Blanket Mortgage

The mortgage that is secured by a cooperative project, as opposed to the share loans on individual units within the project.

Bona Fide

In good faith, without fraud.

Bond

An interest-bearing certificate of debt with a maturity date. An obligation of a government or business corporation. A real estate bond is a written obligation usually secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust.

Breach

A violation of any legal obligation.

Bridge Loan

A form of second trust that is collateralized by the borrower's present home (which is usually for sale) in a manner that allows the proceeds to be used for closing on a new house before the present home is sold. Also known as "swing loan."

Broker

A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.

Budget Category

A category of income or expense data that you can use in a budget. You can also define your own budget categories and add them to some or all of the budgets you create. "Rent" is an example of an expense category. "Salary" is a typical income category.

Building Code

Local regulations that control design, construction, and materials used in construction. Building codes are based on safety and health standards.

Buydown Account

An account in which funds are held so that they can be applied as part of the monthly mortgage payment as each payment comes due during the period that an interest rate buydown plan is in effect.

Buydown Mortgage

A temporary buydown is a mortgage on which an initial lump sum payment is made by any party to reduce a borrower's monthly payments during the first few years of a mortgage. A permanent buydown reduces the interest rate over the entire life of a mortgage.

Call Option

A provision in the mortgage that gives the mortgagee the right to call the mortgage due and payable at the end of a specified period for whatever reason.

Cap

A provision of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that limits how much the interest rate or mortgage payments may increase or decrease. See lifetime payment cap, lifetime rate cap, periodic payment cap, and periodic rate cap.

Capital

(1) Money used to create income, either as an investment in a business or an income property. 
(2) The money or property comprising the wealth owned or used by a person or business enterprise. 
(3) The accumulated wealth of a person or business. 
(4) The net worth of a business represented by the amount by which its assets exceed liabilities.

Capital Expenditure

The cost of an improvement made to extend the useful life of a property or to add to its value.

Capital Improvement

Any structure or component erected as a permanent improvement to real property that adds to its value and useful life.

Cash-out Refinance

A refinance transaction in which the amount of money received from the new loan exceeds the total of the money needed to repay the existing first mortgage, closing costs, points, and the amount required to satisfy any outstanding subordinate mortgage liens. In other words, a refinance transaction in which the borrower receives additional cash that can be used for any purpose.

Certificate of Deposit

A document written by a bank or other financial institution that is evidence of a deposit, with the issuer's promise to return the deposit plus earnings at a specified interest rate within a specified time period. See adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).

Certificate of Deposit Index

An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It represents the weekly average of secondary market interest rates on six-month negotiable certificates of deposit. See adjustable-rate mortgage.

Certificate of Eligibility

A document issued by the federal government certifying a veteran's eligibility for a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) mortgage.

Certificate of Reasonable Value (ARV)

A document issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that establishes the maximum value and loan amount for a VA mortgage.

Certificate of Title

A statement provided by an abstract company, title company, or attorney stating that the title to real estate is legally held by the current owner.

Chain of Title



The history of all of the documents that transfer title to a parcel of real property, starting with the earliest existing document and ending with the most recent.

Change Frequency

The frequency (in months) of payment and/or interest rate changes in an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)

Chattel

Another name for personal property.

Clear Title

A title that is free of liens or legal questions as to ownership of the property.

Closing

A meeting at which a sale of a property is finalized by the buyer signing the mortgage documents and paying closing costs. Also called "settlement." At this meeting, ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Closing Cost Item

A fee or amount that a home buyer must pay at closing for a single service, tax, or product. Closing costs are made up of individual closing cost items such as origination fees and attorney's fees. Many closing cost items are included as numbered items on the HUD-1 statement.

Closing Costs

Expenses (over and above the price of the property) incurred by buyers and sellers in transferring ownership of a property. Closing costs normally include an origination fee, an attorney's fee, taxes, an amount placed in escrow, and charges for obtaining title insurance and a survey. Closing costs percentage will vary according to the area of the country; lenders or Realtors often provide estimates of closing costs to prospective homebuyers.

Closing Statement

See HUD-1 statement.

Cloud on Title

Any conditions revealed by a title search that adversely affect the title to real estate. Usually clouds on title cannot be removed except by a quitclaim deed, release, or court action.

Coinsurance

A sharing of insurance risk between the insurer and the insured. Coinsurance depends on the relationship between the amount of the policy and a specified percentage of the actual value of the property insured at the time of the loss.

Coinsurance Clause

A provision in a hazard insurance policy that states the amount of coverage that must be maintained -- as a percentage of the total value of the property -- for the insured to collect the full amount of a loss.

Collateral

An asset (such as a car or a home) that guarantees the repayment of a loan. The borrower risks losing the asset if the loan is not repaid according to the terms of the loan contract.

Collection

The efforts used to bring a delinquent mortgage current and to file the necessary notices to proceed with foreclosure when necessary.

Co-maker

A person who signs a promissory note along with the borrower. A Co-maker's signature guarantees that the loan will be repaid, because the borrower and the CO-maker are equally responsible for the repayment. See endorser.

Commission

The fee charged by a broker or agent for negotiating a real estate or loan transaction. A commission is generally a percentage of the price of the property or loan.

Commitment Letter

A formal offer by a lender stating the terms under which it agrees to lend money to a home buyer. Also known as a "loan commitment."

Common Area Assessments

Levies against individual unit owners in a condominium or planned unit development (PUD) project for additional capital to defray homeowners' association costs and expenses and to repair, replace, maintain, improve, or operate the common areas of the project.

Common Areas

Those portions of a building, land, and amenities owned (or managed) by a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project's homeowners' association (or a cooperative project's cooperative corporation) that are used by all of the unit owners, who share in the common expenses of their operation and maintenance. Common areas include swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities, as well as common corridors of buildings, parking areas, means of ingress and egress, etc.

Common Law

An unwritten body of law based on general custom in England and used to an extent in the United States.

Community Land Trust Mortgage Option

An alternative financing option that enables low- and moderate-income home buyers to purchase housing that has been improved by a nonprofit Community Land Trust and to lease the land on which the property stands.

Community Property

In some western and southwestern states, a form of ownership under which property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be owned jointly unless acquired as separate property of either spouse.

Community Seconds

An alternative financing option for low- and moderate-income households under which an investor purchases a first mortgage that has a subsidized second mortgage behind it. The second mortgage may be issued by a state, county, or local housing agency, foundation, or nonprofit organization. Payment on the second mortgage is often deferred and carries a very low interest rate (or no interest rate at all). Part of the debt may be forgiven incrementally for each year the buyer remains in the home.

Comparable

An abbreviation for "comparable properties"; used for comparative purposes in the appraisal process. Comparables are properties like the property under consideration; they have reasonably the same size, location, and amenities and have recently been sold. Comparables help the appraiser determine the approximate fair market value of the subject property.

Compound Interest

Interest paid on the original principal balance and on the accrued and unpaid interest.

Condemnation

The determination that a building is not fit for use or is dangerous and must be destroyed; the taking of private property for a public purpose through an exercise of the right of eminent domain.

Condominium

A real estate project in which each unit owner has title to a unit in a building, an undivided interest in the common areas of the project, and sometimes the exclusive use of certain limited common areas.

Condominium Conversion

Changing the ownership of an existing building (usually a rental project) to the condominium form of ownership.

Condominium Hotel

A condominium project that has rental or registration desks, short-term occupancy, food and telephone services, and daily cleaning services and that is operated as a commercial hotel even though the units are individually owned.

Construction Loan

A short-term, interim loan for financing the cost of construction. The lender makes payments to the builder at periodic intervals as the work progresses.

Contingency

A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.

Contract

An oral or written agreement to do or not to do a certain thing.

Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government.

Convertibility Clause

A provision in some adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) that allows the borrower to change the ARM to a fixed-rate mortgage at specified timeframes after loan origination.

Convertible ARM

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that can be converted to a fixed-rate mortgage under specified conditions.

Cooperative (co-op)

A type of multiple ownership in which the residents of a multiunit housing complex own shares in the cooperative corporation that owns the property, giving each resident the right to occupy a specific apartment or unit.

Cooperative Corporation

A business trust entity that holds title to a cooperative project and grants occupancy rights to particular apartments or units to shareholders through proprietary leases or similar arrangements.

Cooperative Mortgages


Mortgages related to a cooperative project. This usually refers to the multifamily mortgage covering the entire project but occasionally describes the share loans on the individual units.

Cooperative Project

A residential or mixed-use building wherein a corporation or trust holds title to the property and sells shares of stock representing the value of a single apartment unit to individuals who, in turn, receive a proprietary lease as evidence of title.

Corporate Relocation

Arrangements under which an employer moves an employee to another area as part of the employer's normal course of business or under which it transfers a substantial part or all of its operations and employees to another area because it is relocating its headquarters or expanding its office capacity.

Cost of Funds Index (COFI)

An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It represents the weighted-average cost of savings, borrowings, and advances of the 11th District members of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. See adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

Covenant

A clause in a mortgage that obligates or restricts the borrower and that, if violated, can result in foreclosure.

Credit

An agreement in which a borrower receives something of value in exchange for a promise to repay the lender at a later date.

Credit History

A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts. A credit history helps a lender to determine whether a potential borrower has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.

Credit Life Insurance

A type of insurance often bought by mortgagors because it will pay off the mortgage debt if the mortgagor dies while the policy is in force.

Creditor

A person to whom money is owed.

Credit Report

A report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness.

Credit Reporting Agency (or bureau)

An organization that prepares reports that are used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency obtains data for these reports from a credit repository as well as from other sources.

Credit Repository

An organization that gathers, records, updates, and stores financial and public records information about the payment records of individuals who are being considered for credit.

Debt

An amount owed to another. See installment loan and revolving liability.

Deed

The legal document conveying title to a property.

Deed-in-lieu

A deed given by a mortgagor to the mortgagee to satisfy a debt and avoid foreclosure.

Deed of Trust

The document used in some states instead of a mortgage; title is conveyed to a trustee.

Default

Failure to make mortgage payments on a timely basis or to comply with other requirements of a mortgage.

Delinquency

Failure to make mortgage payments when mortgage payments are due.

Deposit

A sum of money given to bind the sale of real estate, or a sum of money given to ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan.

Depreciation

A decline in the value of property; the opposite of appreciation.

Discount Points

See point.

Dower

The rights of a widow in the property of her husband at his death.

Down Payment

The part of the purchase price of a property that the buyer pays in cash and does not finance with a mortgage.

Due-on-sale Provision

A provision in a mortgage that allows the lender to demand repayment in full if the borrower sells the property that serves as security for the mortgage.

Due-on-transfer Provision

This terminology is usually used for second mortgages. See due-on-sale provision.

Earnest Money Deposit

A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.

Easement

A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a property.

Effective Age

An appraiser's estimate of the physical condition of a building. The actual age of a building may be shorter or longer than its effective age.

Effective Gross Income

Normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed. The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and stable.

Eminent Domain

The right of a government to take private property for public use upon payment of its fair market value. Eminent domain is the basis for condemnation proceedings.

Employer-assisted Housing

A special housing initiative that offers several different ways for employers to work with local lenders to develop plans to assist their employees in purchasing homes.

Encroachment

An improvement that intrudes illegally on another's property.

Encumbrance

Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.

Endorser

A person who signs ownership interest over to another party. Contrast with CO-maker

Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)

A federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs.

Equity

A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage.

Escrow

An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.

Escrow Account

The account in which a mortgage servicer holds the borrower's escrow payments prior to paying property expenses.

Escrow Analysis

The periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance, and other bills when due.

Escrow Collections

Funds collected by the servicer and set aside in an escrow account to pay the borrower's property taxes, mortgage insurance, and hazard insurance.

Escrow Disbursements

The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.

Escrow Payment

The portion of a mortgagor's monthly payment that is held by the servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease payments, and other items as they become due. Known as "impounds" or "reserves" in some states.

Estate

The ownership interest of an individual in real property. The sum total of all the real property and personal property owned by an individual at time of death.

Eviction

The lawful expulsion of an occupant from real property.

Examination of Title

The report on the title of a property from the public records or an abstract of the title.

Exclusive Listing

A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time, but reserving the owner's right to sell the property alone without the payment of a commission.

Executor

A person named in a will to administer an estate. The court will appoint an administrator if no executor is named. "Executrix" is the feminine form.

Fair Credit Reporting Act

A consumer protection law that regulates the disclosure of consumer credit reports by consumer/credit reporting agencies and establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on one's credit record.

Fair market value

The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.

Fannie Mae

A congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that is the nation's largest supplier of home mortgage funds.

Fannie Mae Properties

Fannie Mae owns, manages, and has available for sale, single-family detached homes, two- to four-unit properties, condominiums, and townhouses in a variety of neighborhoods. The number, type, and sales price may vary substantially. The homes vary in age and may require repairs. Fannie Mae homes are sold through local real estate brokers whose contact information is provided in the Fannie Mae Properties for Sale search results on homepath.com.

Fannie Mae's Community Home Buyer's Program

An income-based community lending model, under which mortgage insurers and Fannie Mae offer flexible underwriting guidelines to increase a low- or moderate-income family's buying power and to decrease the total amount of cash needed to purchase a home. Borrowers who participate in this model are required to attend pre-purchase home-buyer education sessions.

Fannie 97

A financing option for a fixed-rate mortgage that offers home buyers a 3 percent down payment loan with a term between 15 and 30 years. The mortgage features a loan-to-value (LTV) percentage of 97 percent, and is designed to expand homeownership opportunities for people with modest incomes. Borrowers must take a pre-purchase home buyer education session to qualify for a Fannie 97 mortgage.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

An agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. The FHA sets standards for construction and underwriting but does not lend money or plan or construct housing.

Fee Simple

The greatest possible interest a person can have in real estate.

Fee Simple Estate

An unconditional, unlimited estate of inheritance that represents the greatest estate and most extensive interest in land that can be enjoyed. It is of perpetual duration. When the real estate is in a condominium project, the unit owner is the exclusive owner only of the air space within his or her portion of the building (the unit) and is an owner in common with respect to the land and other common portions of the property.

FHA Censored Mortgage

A mortgage (under FHA Section 244) for which the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the originating lender share the risk of loss in the event of the mortgagor's default.

FHA Mortgage

A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Also known as a government mortgage.

Finder's Fee

A fee or commission paid to a mortgage broker for finding a mortgage loan for a prospective borrower.

Firm Commitment

A lender's agreement to make a loan to a specific borrower on a specific property.

First Mortgage

A mortgage that is the primary lien against a property.

Fixed Installment


The monthly payment due on a mortgage loan. The fixed installment includes payment of both principal and interest.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM)

A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.

Fixture


Personal property that becomes real property when attached in a permanent manner to real estate.

Flood Insurance

Insurance that compensates for physical property damage resulting from flooding. It is required for properties located in federally designated flood areas.

Foreclosure

The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.

401(K)/403(B)

An employer-sponsored investment plan that allows individuals to set aside tax-deferred income for retirement or emergency purposes. 401(k) plans are provided by employers that are private corporations. 403(b) plans are provided by employers that are not for profit organizations.

401(K)/403(B) Loan

Some administrators of 401(k)/403(b) plans allow for loans against the monies you have accumulated in these plans -- monies must be repaid to avoid serious penalty charges.

Fully Amortized ARM

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with a monthly payment that is sufficient to amortize the remaining balance, at the interest accrual rate, over the amortization term.

Government Mortgage

A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Contrast with conventional mortgage.

Government National Mortgage Association

A government-owned corporation within the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Created by Congress on September 1, 1968, GNMA assumed responsibility for the special assistance loan program formerly administered by Fannie Mae. Popularly known as Ginnie Mae.

Grantee

The person to whom an interest in real property is conveyed.

Grantor

The person conveying an interest in real property.

Ground Rent

The amount of money that is paid for the use of land when title to a property is held as a leasehold estate rather than as a fee simple estate.

Group Home

A single-family residential structure designed or adapted for occupancy by unrelated developmentally disabled persons. The structure provides long-term housing and support services that are residential in nature.

Growing-Equity Mortgage (GEM)

A fixed-rate mortgage that provides scheduled payment increases over an established period of time, with the increased amount of the monthly payment applied directly toward reducing the remaining balance of the mortgage.

Guarantee Mortgage

A mortgage that is guaranteed by a third party.

Guaranteed Loan

Also known as a government mortgage.

Hazard Insurance

Insurance protecting against loss to real estate caused by fire, some natural causes, vandalism, etc., depending upon the terms of the policy.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM)

A special type of mortgage that enables older home owners to convert the equity they have in their homes into cash, using a variety of payment options to address their specific financial needs. Unlike traditional home equity loans, a borrower does not qualify on the basis of income but on the value of his or her home. In addition, the loan does not have to be repaid until the borrower no longer occupies the property. Sometimes called a reverse mortgage.

Home Equity Line of Credit

A credit line that is secured by a second deed of trust on a house. Equity lines of credit are revolving accounts that work like a credit card, which can be paid down or charged up for the term of the loan. The minimum payment due each month is interest only.

Home Inspection

A thorough inspection that evaluates the structural and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser. Contrast with appraisal.

Homekeeper sm

Fannie Mae's adjustable-rate conventional reverse mortgage, which allows older homeowners to borrow against the value of their homes and receive the proceeds according to the payment option they select. The amount available is based on the number of borrowers and their ages and the adjusted property value. Anyone 62 years or older who either owns his or her own home free and clear or has very low mortgage debt is eligible.

Homeowners' Association

A nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements. In a PUD project, it holds title to the common elements.

Homeowners' Insurance

An insurance policy that combines personal liability insurance and hazard insurance coverage for a dwelling and its contents.

Homeowners' Warranty (HOW)

A type of insurance that covers repairs to specified parts of a house for a specific period of time. It is provided by the builder or property seller as a condition of the sale.

Homestyle Mortgage Loan

A mortgage that enables eligible borrowers to obtain financing to remodel, repair, and upgrade their existing homes or homes that they are purchasing. See also HomeStyle Standard Mortgage, HomeStyle Remodeler, HomeStyle Community Mortgage and HomeStyle Consumer Energy Loan.

Housing Expense Ratio

The percentage of gross monthly income that goes toward paying housing expenses.

HUD Median Income

Median family income for a particular county or metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD-1 Statement

A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payment at closing. The blank form for the statement is published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD-1 statement is also known as the "closing statement" or "settlement sheet."
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