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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"u" Terms

A federal agency that oversees the Federal Housing Administration and a variety of housing and community development programs.
A layer of wood between the subfloor and the floor.
The process that lenders go through to evaluate the risks posed by a particular borrower and to set appropriate conditions for the loan.
A person who claims the right to a piece of property after the death of an owner without a will.
An unidentified marital partner who can claim the right to a piece of property.
An unrecorded deed transfers ownership from one party to another without being officially recorded.
Any loan that is not backed by collateral.
The fees charged to homeowners by the lender at the time of closing a mortgage loan. This includes points, broker's fees, insurance and other charges.
Options other than the standard carpeting, lighting, finish carpentry and other amenities offered to all buyers in a new-home project.
The process in which a property is zoned from a lower to a higher use.
The unplanned expansion of development over a large area.
A reference to illegally excessive interest charged on any loan.
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