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Mortgage Glossary

Amortization

The repayment of a loan in a specified number of equal payments that includes principal and accrued interest.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The annual cost of a loan, including interest, loan fees, and other costs.

Appraisal

An estimate of the market value of a piece of real estate made by a competent professional who knows local real estate prices and markets.

Assessed Value

The value of a property for tax purposes set by a tax assessor according to a formula.

Bridge Loan

A second mortgage that holds as collateral other property owned by the applicant and currently offered for sale. The agreement allows the proceeds to be used for closing on the new purchase before the property is sold.

Closing Costs

The miscellaneous expenses, over and above the purchase price, involved in closing a real estate transaction. Some of the closing costs include title insurance, appraisal fee, and credit report.

Closing Statement

The final statement of costs incurred to close a loan or to purchase a home. Also referred to as the "HUD-1."

Credit Report

A report on a loan applicant's willingness and ability to make payments in a timely manner in the past. This report is provided to the bank by an outside agency.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

The ratio of a borrower’s monthly debt payments to his or her monthly gross income. Lenders use this ratio to assist them in determining how much to lend.

Earnest Money

A sum of money given as evidence of one's good faith, used to bind a real estate sale. Also known as a "Binder."

Eighty-ten-ten (80/10/10)

Also known as a "Combination Loan." A loan in which you receive a first mortgage for 80 percent of the loan amount and a second mortgage at the same time for the remainder of the balance. If the borrower is trying to avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance) it is important to consider a combination loan or the Advantage 90 loan.

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.

Good Faith Estimate (GFE)

A disclosure that must be given to all mortgage loan applicants within three business days of an application. It is an estimate of all settlement charges likely to be incurred at closing.

HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit)

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

Loan-to-Value

The ratio of the principal amount of the loan to the lesser of the purchase price of the property or the property's appraised value. You may see this expressed as an 80 percent loan, or 80 percent LTV (Loan-to-Value).

Lock-In

The time at which an interest rate is set and the length of time the rate will be held prior to the closing of a loan.

Mortgage

A lien or claim against real estate property given by the buyer to the lender as security for money borrowed.

Mortgage Insurance

Also known as "Private Mortgage Insurance" (PMI). Insurance that protects mortgage lenders against loss in the event of default by the borrower.

Mortgagee

The lender in a mortgage transaction.

Mortgagor

The borrower in a mortgage transaction.

Pre-Approval

A process that mortgage lenders use to determine how much money they will lend you based on a thorough review of your financial situation. Lenders issue a pre-approval letter, which strengthens your position when bidding on a home as it shows sellers you will be able to raise funds needed to purchase.

Pre-Qualification

An informal process in which a lender offers an opinion on how much money you may be able to borrow. This opinion is based entirely on the financial information you provided and is neither binding nor necessarily accurate because lenders have not yet verified your financial information.

Prepaids

Those expenses of property, such as taxes, insurance, rent, that are paid in advance of their due date and will usually be prorated upon sale.

Principal and Interest

The total amount needed to pay on a loan each month. This includes the interest owed as well as the amount paid towards the principal.

Purchase Agreement

A written promise to pay a specific amount for a property at a specified time. The purchase agreement is a written statement of the offer, which both the borrower and the seller will sign if the offer is accepted.

Underwriting

The analysis of risk involved in making a mortgage loan to determine whether the risk is acceptable to the lender. Underwriting involves evaluating the property as outlined in the appraisal report, as well as evaluating the borrower’s ability and willingness to repay the loan.

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