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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  9. I
  10. J
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"i" Terms

Fees collected from developers of new homes to pay for schools, parks and other facilities.
A portion of the monthly mortgage payment that is placed in an account and used to pay for hazard insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance.
Computer-generated reports drawn from credit repositories that are generally regarded as objective histories.
Property that is not occupied by the owner but is used to generate income.
A defect in a property that cannot be fixed, such as an adjacent hazardous waste site, or that would cost too much to repair relative to the value of the property.
Tax-deferred savings accounts that allow people to accrue retirement funds. Funds can be used to purchase real estate, and any equity or proceeds from a later sale of the property would increase the retirement savings in the IRA.
Any significant new construction in an established area.
Home construction in established areas.
This event occurs when there is more money available than there are goods and services to be purchased. Mortgage rates, which are determined by the marketplace and the actions of the Federal Reserve Board and Wall Street, are sensitive to inflation fears.
The roads, schools, parks, utilities, bridges and communications systems in a community.
The original interest rate on an adjustable mortgage.
An examination of a home's exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, roofing and interior.
A purchase agreement in which the buyer does not receive title to the property until all installments (or payments) are paid.
Materials (including cellulose, glass fiber, rock wool, polystyrene, urethane foam and vermiculite) that line walls, ceilings, pipes and crawl spaces to help prevent a home's heat from escaping.
Title to a property that a title insurance company agrees to insure against defects and disputes.
Owners and buyers can purchase various types of insurance hazard, private mortgage and earthquake. The policies guarantee compensation for specific losses.
A temporary insurance arrangement usually put in force until a permanent policy can be obtained.
The fee borrowers pay to obtain a loan. It is calculated based on a percentage of the total loan.
The rate at which interest grows on a mortgage.
The sum, expressed as a percentage, charged for a loan. Interest payments on most home loans are tax-deductible.
For cash-short buyers, some sellers are willing to advance funds from the sale of the home to buy down the interest rate and reduce the buyer's monthly obligation.
A limit on the amount that can be charged to the monthly payment of an adjustable-rate mortgage during an adjustment period.
The highest interest a lender can charge for an adjustable-rate mortgage.
The monthly mortgage payment covers only the interest that accrues on the loan balance each month. Because each payment goes toward interest, the outstanding balance of the loan does not decline with each payment.
Real estate that generates income, such as an apartment building or a rental house.
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