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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"m" Terms

The monthly assessment members of a homeowners' association pay for the repair and maintenance of common areas.
Lots in which buyers choose between one of several builders.
Prefabricated homes that can range from simple trailers to larger dwellings.
The lender's retail markup on the mortgage. For example, if the index rate for an adjustable-rate mortgage is 4 percent but the lender has a 1.5 percentage-point margin, the rate the borrower will pay is 5.5 percent.
Factors affecting the sale and purchase of homes at a particular point in time.
The price that a piece of property sells for at a particular point in time.
A suburban plan that includes homes and commercial, work, educational and community facilities.
A loan amount within 5 percent of the highest loan-to-value ratio allowed for a property.
Subcontractors or suppliers sometimes will file an encumbrance, or mechanic's lien, against a property to seek payment.
A home's plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling systems.
The price of the house that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in that area.
A dispute-resolution process in which a neutral party works to resolve contract differences.
A report that draws information from the Big Three credit-reporting companies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion Corp.
Mint condition, or blue-ribbon condition, refers to a house that looks as close to new as possible.
A neighborhood that contains houses of widely varying prices.
A project that combines several different functions, such as residential space above a commercial establishment or an entire development combining commercial, residential and public accommodations.
A change in any of the terms of the loan agreement.
Accounts that work like money market funds and allow individual investors to participate in certain managed investments and withdraw funds under most conditions.
A mutual fund that pools the resources of individuals to invest in certain managed investments.
A legal document specifying a certain amount of money to purchase a home at a certain interest rate, and using the property as collateral.
A clause that allows a lender to demand that the entire balance of the loan be repaid in a lump sum under certain circumstances. The acceleration clause is usually triggered if the home is sold, title to the property is changed, the loan is refinanced or the borrower defaults on a scheduled payment.
A company that provides home loans using its own money. The loans are usually sold to investors such as insurance companies and Fannie Mae.
A company that matches lenders with prospective borrowers who meet the lender's criteria. The mortgage broker does not make the loan, but receives payment from the lender for services.
Required by lenders in some loans to protect them from a possible default. All conventional loans with less than 20 percent down payments require private mortgage insurance, or PMI.
A special type of insurance that will pay off a mortgage if the borrower dies before the debt is paid in full.
The tax write-off that the Internal Revenue Service allows most owners to claim for the annual interest payments they make on their real estate loans.
A bank or other financial institution that lends money to the borrower. The borrower is considered the mortgagor.
The person who borrows money to purchase a house. The lender is called the mortgagee.
Any buyer with a strong motivation to make a purchase.
Any seller with a strong motivation to make a sale.
A house that is ready for a new occupant.
A buyer who has purchased a home before and is looking for a bigger or more expensive home.
A property that contains individual units for several households but carries only one mortgage.
A mortgage on a multifamily dwelling with more than four families, typically an apartment building.
The service combines the listings for all available homes in an area, except For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) properties, in one directory or database.
Multiple purchase offers are submitted in markets or neighborhoods with high real estate activity.
Inspectors employed by cities or counties to check all construction sites and verify that contractors are meeting building codes.
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