Assumability, Encumbrance, Irrevocable, Portability?


Glossary Of Key Real Estate Terms

There are a great deal of phrases and terminologies unique to real estate.  Listed below are just a sample of the common terms you will encounter in the process of buying or selling a home. 

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with them so you will know where to look if you need a definition.


Amortization Period      The actual number of years it will take to pay back your mortgage loan.

Appraised Value               An estimate of the value of the property. Conducted for the purpose of  mortgage lending by a certified  appraiser. This appraisal is not to be confused with a building inspection.

Assumability                     Allows the buyer to take over the seller's mortgage on the property.

Chattels                              Personal property which is tangible and moveable, such as electrical appliances, blinds, etc.

Closed Mortgage              A mortgage that locks you into a specific payment schedule. A penalty usually applies if you repay the loan in full before the end of a closed term.

Condominium Fee           A common payment among owners which is allocated to pay expenses.

Conventional Mortgage A mortgage loan issued for up to 80% of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less.

Deed                                  An instrument in writing, duly executed and delivered, that conveys title or interest in real property.

Down Payment               The buyer's cash payment toward the property. The difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage loan.

Encumbrance                 Outstanding claim or lien recorded against property or any legal right to the use of the property by another person who is not the owner.

Equity                              The difference between the home's selling value & the debts against it.

Fiduciary Duties           The duties required by an agent (the brokerage firm and its representatives) acting for the principle in an agency relationship.  They include loyalty, disclosure, confidentiality, diligence, accounting and obedience.

High Ratio Mtge.           A mortgage that exceeds 80% of the home appraised value. These mortgages must be insured for payment.

Interest Rate                 The value charged by the lender for the use of the lender's money. Expressed as a percentage.

Irrevocable                    Incapable of being recalled or revoked.  Unchangeable, unalterable.

Land Transfer               A fee paid to the municipal and/or provincial government

Deed Tax                        An instrument in wirting duly executed and delivered for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.

Maturity Date               The end the term, at which time you can pay off the mortgage or renew it.

Mortgagee                     The person or the financial institution that lends the money.

Mortgage Insurance   Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.

Mtge. Life Insurance  Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.

Mortgagor                    The borrower.

Open Mortgage           Allows partial or full payment of the principal at any time, without penalty.

Portability                   A mortgage option that enables borrowers to take their current mortgage with them to another property, without penalty.

Preapproved Mtge.    Qualifies you for a mortgage before you start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend and are free to make a "firm" offer when you find the right home.

Prepayment Privileges  Voluntary payments in addition toregularmortgage payments.

Principal                         The amount borrowed or still owing on a mortgage loan. Interest is paid on the principal amount.

Refinancing                  Paying off the existing mortgage and arranging a new one or re-negotiating the terms and conditions of an existing mortgage.

Renewal                         Re-negotiation of a mortgage loan at the end of a term for a new term.

2nd Mortgage                Additional financing. Usually has a shorter term and higher interest rate than the first mortgage.

Survey                            The accurate mathematical measurement of land and buildings thereon, made with the aid of instruments.

Term                               The length of time the interest rate is fixed. It also indicates when the principal balance becomes due and payable to the lender.

Title                                Legal ownership in a property.

Variable Mtge.              A mortgage with fixed payments, but fluctuates with interest  rates. The changing interest rate determines how much of the payment goes towards the principal.

Vendor Take Back Mortgage    When the seller provides some or all of the mortgage financing in order to sell their property.

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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s always good to have a little bit of clarity on what good criteria are. Thanks for posting!

Jan 30, 2018 05:54 PM #1
Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent
REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!

Laura Cerrano , thank you for stopping by and for your feedback!

Jan 30, 2018 05:56 PM #2
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Gloria Valvasori, Accredited Senior Agent

REAL Experience | REAL Commitment | REAL Results!
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