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Qualifying ratios
Calculations that are used in determining whether a borrower can qualify for a mortgage. There are two ratios. The “top” or “front” ratio is a calculation of the borrower’s monthly housing costs (principle, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowner’s association fees) as a percentage of monthly income. The “back” or “bottom” ratio includes housing costs as will as all other monthly debt. [Top]

Quitclaim deed
A deed that transfers without warranty whatever interest or title a grantor may have at the time the conveyance is made.


Rate lock
A commitment issued by a lender to a borrower or other mortgage originator guaranteeing a specified interest rate for a specified period of time at a specific cost.

Real estate agent
A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate.

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)
A consumer protection law that requires lenders to give borrowers advance notice of closing costs.

Real property
Land and appurtenances, including anything of a permanent nature such as structures, trees, minerals, and the interest, benefits, and inherent rights thereof.

A real estate agent, broker or an associate who holds active membership in a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.

The public official who keeps records of transactions that affect real property in the area. Sometimes known as a “Registrar of Deeds” or “County Clerk.”

The noting in the registrar’s office of the details of a properly executed legal document, such as a deed, a mortgage note, a satisfaction of mortgage, or an extension of mortgage, thereby making it a part of the public record.

Refinance transaction
The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as security.

Remaining balance
The amount of principal that has not yet been repaid. See principal balance.

Remaining term
The original amortization term minus the number of payments that have been applied.

Rent loss insurance
Insurance that protects a landlord against loss of rent or rental value due to fire or other casualty that renders the leased premises unavailable for use and as a result of which the tenant is excused from paying rent.

Repayment plan
An arrangement made to repay delinquent installments or advances.

Replacement reserve fund
A fund set aside for replacement of common property in a condominium, PUD, or cooperative project — particularly that which has a short life expectancy, such as carpeting, furniture, etc.

Revolving debt
A credit arrangement, such as a credit card, that allows a customer to borrow against a preapproved line of credit when purchasing goods and services. The borrower is billed for the amount that is actually borrowed plus any interest due.

Right of first refusal
A provision in an agreement that requires the owner of a property to give another party the first opportunity to purchase or lease the property before he or she offers it for sale or lease to others.

Right of ingress or egress
The right to enter or leave designated premises.

Right of survivorship
In joint tenancy, the right of survivors to acquire the interest of a deceased joint tenant.


A technique in which a seller deeds property to a buyer for a consideration, and the buyer simultaneously leases the property back to the seller.

Second mortgage
A mortgage that has a lien position subordinate to the first mortgage.

Secondary Market
FNMA and FHLMC together primarily make up what is know as the Secondary Market. Although these organizations do not originate any loans, they purchase home loans originated by banks and lenders which returns the investment used by those banks and lenders to make the original loans. The return of investment is then used to originate more home loans, which are in turn are usually sold. This Secondary Market is what makes the entire process work. If banks and lenders could only lend out what they had in their savings accounts, they would soon run out of money to lend and the real estate market would come to a screeching halt. secured loan. A loan that is backed by collateral.

The property that will be pledged as collateral for a loan.

Seller carry-back
An agreement in which the owner of a property provides financing, often in combination with an assumable mortgage.

Seller’s Agent
As opposed to a Dual Agent or Buyer’s Agent a Seller’s Agent has a contractual relationship only to the home seller. This agent’s trust or fiduciary relationship is with the home seller.

Seller’s Market
A Real Estate market where the number of home buyers is more than the number of home sellers. Or where the demand is high and the supply is low. This generally gives home sellers favorable negotiating power. Often home prices will tend to rise as multiple buyers tend to bid against each other for the available homes.

An organization that collects principal and interest payments from borrowers and manages borrowers’ escrow accounts. The servicer often services mortgages that have been purchased by an investor in the secondary mortgage market.

The collection of mortgage payments from borrowers and related responsibilities of a loan servicer.

Settlement statement
See HUD1 Settlement Statement

Showing State
When selling a home, it is important to present the home to potential buyers in such a way as to be appealing to the average buyer. This means keeping the home neat and clean as well as free from unusual odors and bold colors or unusual patterns.

Silent Second
Typically funded by Government Agencies from the federal level town to the county or city level. These loans are typically 2nd Trust Deeds used for your down payment and/or closing costs. The loans are silent in that they do not require any monthly payments. Interest will accrue on the loan for as long as you keep the property. Upon selling your home, you will have to pay back the silent loan and any interest that has accumulated. The interest is usually very low and sometimes will be forgiven if you do not profit enough from the sell of your home.

A housing development that is created by dividing a tract of land into individual lots for sale or lease.

Subordinate financing
Any mortgage or other lien that has a priority that is lower than that of the first mortgage.

A drawing or map showing the precise legal boundaries of a property, the location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features.

Sweat equity
Contribution to the construction or rehabilitation of a property in the form of labor or services rather than cash.


Tax Deduction
We can reduce the amount of income tax due the government by reducing the gross amount on which our tax is calculated (Taxable income). The government allows us to reduce our taxable income by taking legitimate and IRS defined Tax Deductions. These defined Tax Deductions include all the interest and Property Taxes we pay.

Tax Savings
When a home buyer moves from renting a home to owning a home, they will probably experience greater Tax Deductions. Where Qualified, they may also receive Tax Credits. This can substantially reduce the income tax owed to the government by the home buyer By filing a new “W-4” form with their employer, the borrower can receive these Tax Savings, which may be several hundred dollars each month, right in their pay checks.

Tenancy in common
As opposed to joint tenancy, when there are two or more individuals on title to a piece of property, this type of ownership does not pass ownership to the others in the event of death.

Third-party origination
A process by which a lender uses another party to completely or partially originate, process, underwrite, close, fund, or package the mortgages it plans to deliver to the secondary mortgage market.

A legal document evidencing a person’s right to or ownership of a property.

Title company
A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.

Title insurance
Insurance that protects the lender (lender’s policy) or the buyer (owner’s policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

Title search
A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.

Transfer of ownership
Any means by which the ownership of a property changes hands. Lenders consider all of the following situations to be a transfer of ownership: the purchase of a property “subject to” the mortgage, the assumption of the mortgage debt by the property purchaser, and any exchange of possession of the property under a land sales contract or any other land trust device.

Transfer tax
State or local tax payable when title passes from one owner to another.

Treasury index
An index that is used to determine interest rate changes for certain adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) plans. It is based on the results of auctions that the U.S. Treasury holds for its Treasury bills and securities or is derived from the U.S. Treasury’s daily yield curve, which is based on the closing market bid yields on actively traded Treasury securities in the over-the-counter market.

A federal law that requires lenders to fully disclose, in writing, the terms and conditions of a mortgage, including the annual percentage rate (APR) and other charges.

Trust Deed
When a lender makes a loan on real estate they record a Trust Deed with the county recorder’s office. The Trust Deed is a document showing a lien against the property by a lender so when the property is transferred or sold, the lender is sure to be repaid. This is similar to a lien holder on a pink slip for a car.

Two-step mortgage
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that has one interest rate for the first five or seven years of its mortgage term and a different interest rate for the remainder of the amortization term.

Two- to four-family property
A property that consists of a structure that provides living space (dwelling units) for two to four families, although ownership of the structure is evidenced by a single deed.

A fiduciary who holds or controls property for the benefit of another.


VA Mortgage
A home loan for Veterans and offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This program is a self insuring program designed to help Veterans and Active Duty Personnel purchase a home. The program offers no down payments and easier qualifying than most conventional or other conforming loans. The loan is insured by the government, however you must apply and get the loan from a VA approved lender or broker like Nationwide Realty Services, Inc.

Having the right to use a portion of a fund such as an individual retirement fund. For example, individuals who are 100 percent vested can withdraw all of the funds that are set aside for them in a retirement fund. However, taxes may be due on any funds that are actually withdrawn.

Veterans Administration (VA)
An agency of the federal government that guarantees residential mortgages made to eligible veterans of the military services. The guarantee protects the lender against loss and thus encourages lenders to make mortgages to veterans.


Wholesale Lender
Many banks and lenders have Loan Officers who are paid a commission to originate home loans. A Wholesale Lender is a bank or lender who does not have Loan Officers, processors, or appraisers. Instead, they contract with Mortgage Brokers who will originate the loan, submit and fund the loan with the Wholesale Lender. The Wholesale Lender offers their programs to Mortgage Brokers at a low, wholesale price. A home buyer can not take advantage of a Wholesale Lender’s loan programs unless they go through a Mortgage Broker.


Zoning Ordinances
The acts of an authorized local government establishing building codes, and setting forth regulations for property land usage.

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