Glossary of Terms
Don't be confused about the terminology used in the industry, find out what it all means here.
An agreement which is not reduced to writing but is created, under the common law, on the basis of the behavior of the parties which suggests that they are acting under an agreement.
A guarantee of the condition of a thing or the truth of a statement which is created as a result of the actions of a party but not written down.
The portion of a borrowers periodic payment on a loan that is collected to pay for items other than principal, interest or penalties (such as realty taxes, insurance premiums, etc.).
The trust account held by a lender into which payments for insurance, taxes, etc., paid by the borrower are placed prior to being disbursed by the lender.
Also known as developed land. Opposite of raw or vacant land. Land which someone has, by dint of their labour, taken out of the state of nature.
A comparison of the value of the improvements of a property with the value of the property without the improvements.
Things added to vacant land with the view to increasing its usefulness and value, such as buildings, parking areas, drainage works, etc.
Interest which is deemed to have been charged on a loan by a court.
Latin term meaning Against the thing. Used to describe a legal action which is taken against land rather than against the land owner, such as a banks foreclosure on a defaulted mortgage.
Describes something that has been begun but never completed or a right that has arisen but is not yet enforceable (such as Dower rights).
An appraisal technique whereby the potential of the property to produce income is used to assess its value.
A property which is owned or developed specifically to produce income for its owner.
Not capable, usually in the mental sense. When referring to a contract or will, a person who is not legally capable of signing and being bound to such a document.
Real estate in which a person has a legal interest but no right of possession and occupation.
The presence of a defect in an asset (i.e. a building) which is too costly to fix.
To take responsibility for the losses and damages suffered by another person.
A document in which one party agrees to take responsibility for the losses and damages suffered by another party or parties.
Similar to a contract. An agreement between two or more parties, often referring to land.
An estimate of the value of a property prepared by someone who has no interest in the property or, if a mortgage is involved, in the lender.
A legal term for a person who is hired to do work for another person but who is not an employee or agent of that person. The hiring person is not responsible for the actions of the Independent Contractor nor does she owe that Independent Contractor the same legal duties owed by an Employer to an Employee under labor and employment laws.
Any rate published by an independent third party (the government, the federal bank, etc.) which serves as the base for calculating a variable item in a contract. (A Variable or Adjustable Rate Mortgage may use the Federal Banks monthly prime interest rate as the index for the interest charged under that mortgage).
A rental agreement where the amount of the rent to be paid changes in accordance with changes in a specified index (i.e. the cost of living index).
Any loan whose interest rate is adjusted in accordance with a rate published by an independent third party (an index).
Also known as soft costs, those costs which are not automatically considered in a construction project.
A parcel of land specifically developed to provide lots for industrial activities.
A plot of land used for a factory or other industrial use.
Term for the public-use improvements made to an area such as sewers, roads, bridges, and public utility installations.
The right to enter over a parcel of land not owned by you but not to occupy the land.
An assessment payable to a level of government based on the value of assets inherited.
INITIAL INTEREST RATE
The rate chargeable on a mortgage on the day it is signed.
INITIAL RATE PERIOD
The period of time for which the initial interest rate is guaranteed on a Variable or Adjustable Rate mortgage before it begins to change according to its index.
An order of a court to stop a party from committing the act specified in the order.
A slang term for the older, central residential area of a municipality which, in many cases, has deteriorated into poverty.
Term for a property that is not on a corner at the intersection of two roads.
A physical examination of a person, document or other thing, such as a home.
Any person charged with the task of making a physical examination of a person, document or other thing. Could be employed by a government body (i.e. an electrical inspector, fire inspector) or by a potential purchaser (a home inspector).
A regular periodic payment.
A loan which is paid back in periodic payments.
The sale of a property with the Vendor taking back a mortgage from the purchaser and paying the taxes on the sale proceeds as they are collected.
An accredited financial organization (i.e. a bank, trust company, credit union, etc.) which offers loans.
A loan secured against real property offered to the land owner by a bank, credit union, trust company or other accredited financial organization. Opposite of private mortgage.
A legal document in written form setting out certain rights of parties to it.
A legal right to a property which results in the holder of that right suffering damages in the event of the destruction of the property.
Ownership of land which a Title Insurance Company is willing to insure.
The cost of replacement of all improvements to a property which could conceivably be destroyed.
A contract in which one party agrees to compensate another party for any losses or damages caused by risks identified in the contract in exchange for the payment of a lump sum or periodic amounts of money to the first party.
Written evidence that insurance is in effect with regard to the property and the risks set out in the binder. Temporary in nature, the binder assures coverage until permanent coverage can be arranged.
Term to describe the monetary limits and risks covered as set out in a contract or policy of insurance.
INSURED CLOSING LETTER
A promise by a Title Insurance Company to a lender to pay for all costs and losses to the lender which might result from the actions of the Companys closing agent while closing a transaction.
A loan secured against land for which an insurance policy exists promising to compensate the lender for all losses and costs resulting from the borrowers failure to meet her obligations under the loan agreement.
Latin meaning during life. Used to describe a gift made during a persons lifetime (as opposed to a bequest in a will) or a trust.
The cost of borrowing money, charged as a percentage of the outstanding amount owed.
INTEREST ACCRUAL RATE
The rate, stated as a percentage, at which interest accumulates on a mortgage.
INTEREST ADJUSTMENT DATE
The date upon which the borrower is required to pay accrued interest on the borrowed principal under a mortgage, which date falls one full payment interval before the first payment date as set out in the agreement. For example, if a mortgage is advanced on May 15 to be paid on the first day of each month, June 1 would be the interest adjustment date and July 1 the first payment date. On June 1, the borrower would be required to pay the interest that has accrued on the principal since the date of the advance (May 15).
The portion of each periodic payment on a loan, expressed in dollars, which is allocated toward accrued interest.
INTEREST RATE ADJUSTMENT PERIOD
The length of time between changes in interest rate on an Adjustable or Variable Rate Mortgage.
INTEREST RATE BUY DOWN PLAN
A method of reducing the effective interest charged to a borrower. A third party (often a vendor) deposits a lump sum into an account, portions of which are then used to reduce the amount required from the borrower for each periodic payment over a set period of time.
INTEREST RATE CAP
A clause in an Adjustable or Variable Rate Mortgage which limits the change in the interest rate charged. May limit change within a single adjustment period or over the life of the mortgage.
INTEREST RATE CEILING
The highest rate of interest chargeable under a Variable or Adjustable Rate Mortgage, as set out in the mortgage contract.
INTEREST RATE FLOOR
The lowest rate of interest chargeable under a Variable or Adjustable Rate Mortgage, as set out in the mortgage contract.
A debt for which the periodic payments are enough to pay only the interest which accumulates on the principal over the payment period. Principal is due at maturity.
2. Another name for a bridge loan, a short-term loan designed to cover a gap of time between the purchase of a new home and the sale of the old when equity becomes available.
Simple style of house, with little or no ornamentation.
INTERSTATE LAND SALES ACT
Federal law administered by HUD regulating the practice of the sale of land between people in different states.
Where title in a property is shared among a group of people, each of whom is entitled to occupation of the property for a specified period of time each year. Also known as time-sharing.
A court remedy for a private land owner whose interest or ownership in land has been interfered with or taken away outright by a governmental body.
A piece of real estate that is owned for the purposes of financial gain, either through appreciation in value or through income from the property
Loss of land through natural forces or through government action.
A claim registered against a property without the consent (and sometimes without the knowledge of) the owner of the land.
Time and day specified in an offer until which the offeror may not retract the offer, until which the offeree may accept the offer.
Unchangeable. Not able to be recalled.
A large, two- or three-storey house in the Latin style, with overhanging eaves and masonry construction.