We're sure you don't like jargon - and neither do we. But it's a fact of real estate life. This glossary is here to help you make sense of it. And we've put a special emphasis on terms that reflect today's housing market.

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  5. E
  6. F
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  8. H
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  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
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  18. R
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  26. Z

"f" Terms

Fa
The part of a building facing the street or a courtyard.
Landmark federal law passed in 1965 and amended in 1988 that makes it illegal to deny rent or refuse to sell to anyone based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The 1988 amendment expanded the protections to include family status and disability.
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.
The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, commonly known as Freddie Mac. The company buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and then sells shares to investors.
This government agency operates a variety of home-loan programs. Its most popular is the Sec. 203(b), program, which provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent.
Now officially dubbed Fannie Mae, this federally chartered agency buys mortgages from lending institutions, pools them with other loans and sells shares to investors.
A group of economists and other experts who set the nation's monetary policy. Its chief tool to control inflation is the power to control interest rates.
This type of ownership is the maximum interest a person can have in a piece of real estate. It entitles the owner to use the property in any manner they see fit, in accordance with state and local laws.
The owner of the property holds a fee simple title contingent upon certain conditions.
An ancient Chinese belief that the physical characteristics of a house and the positioning of the home will affect the fortunes of the owner.
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.
The relationship of trust that buyers and sellers expect from a real estate agent. The term also applies to legal and business relationships.
The primary mortgage on a property that has priority over all other voluntary liens.
The monthly payment on a home loan.
A home loan with an interest rate that will remain at a specific rate for the term of the loan. About 75 percent of all home mortgages have fixed rates.
A house that needs refurbishment or remodeling. It usually sells at a below-market price.
Personal property permanently attached to a house, such as drapery rods, toilets, built-in bookcases or a furnace.
Metal strips placed around chimneys, skylights, vents, windows, doors, beneath shingles and along seams in the roof to prevent water seepage.
A set fee charged by a broker instead of a commission.
Hazard coverage that is required in designated flood areas.
Flat, flood-prone areas located along waterways.
The owner acts as the agent to avoid paying a sales commission.
A course of action a lender may pursue to delay foreclosure or legal action against a delinquent borrower.
The legal process reserved by a lender to terminate the borrower's interest in a property after a loan has been defaulted upon.
The relinquishing of property rights by a delinquent borrower.
The support structure of a house.
The entrance hall to a home or building.
The common name for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, a congressionally chartered institution that buys mortgages from lenders and resells them as securities on the secondary mortgage market.
A mortgage that amortizes, or pays down, the balance of a loan.
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