REAL ESTATE GLOSSARY

Find and understand key terms.

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Popular Terms
FHA loans
Mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA's 203(b) loan program provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent. The agency also operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property.
For Sale By Owner (FSBO)
The owner acts as the agent to avoid paying a sales commission.
Equity
A determination of the value of a property after existing liens are deducted.
Fannie Mae
The official name of the Federal National Mortgage Association, it is a congressionally chartered, shareholder-owned company that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.
Escrow
A neutral third party holds the documents and money involved in a real estate transaction and ensures that all conditions of a sale are met. Escrow also refers to a special account that a lender establishes to hold monthly installments from the borrower to cover property taxes and insurance.
Underwriting
The process that lenders go through to evaluate the risks posed by a particular borrower and to set appropriate conditions for the loan.
Short Sale
When the lender agrees to allow a property to be sold for less than the remaining balance due on the loan, typically to prevent foreclosure.
Motivated buyer
Any buyer with a strong motivation to make a purchase.
Loan -to-value ratio
A technical measure used by lenders to assess the relationship of the loan amount to the value of the property.
Foreclosure
The legal process reserved by a lender to terminate the borrower's interest in a property after a loan has been defaulted upon.
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