Terms To Know

Amendment

A change – either to alter, add to, or correct – part of an agreement without changing the principle idea or essence.

Appraisal

An opinion of the value of a property at a given time, based on facts regarding the location, improvements, etc. of the property and surrounding provided by the appraiser.

Closing Statement (HUD)

Itemized worksheet prepared by the Title Company providing all fees associated with the transaction for both the Buyer and Seller.

Comparable Sales “Comps”

Sales that have similar characteristics as the subject property used for analysis to determine value of home.

Credit Report

A report on the past ability of a loan applicant to pay installment payments.

Deed Restrictions

Provides any and all restrictions and/guidelines for the neighborhood/community of the home.

Earnest Money

Deposit/down payment made by a Buyer of real property as evidence of good faith; a deposit or partial payment. Will be given to title company at time of executed Contract.

Escrow Fee

A fee charged by the title company to service the transaction, to escrow monies and cover documents. The amount varies with company; usually split between the Buyer and Seller.

Home Warranty

Several companies offer home warranties with different levels. Can be paid for by Buyer or Seller. Will cover home maintenance issues for one year after the purchase of the home.

Homeowners Association

Enforces the Deed Restrictions of the neighborhood and ensures all restrictions and guidelines are met. They can assess fees and put a lien on your home if you do not pay the annual dues or are in violation of Deed Restrictions.

Homeowners Insurance

Protects the property and contents in case of loss must be for at least the loan amount or for 80% of the value of the improvements, whichever is greater.

Inspections

An examination of property by a professional including pool/spa, well, septic and termite.

Interest

Cost of loan funds; always paid in arrears.

Legal Description

A description of land recognized by law, based on government surveys, spelling out the exact boundaries of the entire parcel fo land. It should so thoroughly identify a parcel of land that it cannot be confused with any other.

Lien

A form of encumbrance that usually makes a specific parcel of real property the security for the payment of a debt or discharge of an obligation. For example, judgments, taxes, mortgages, deeds of trust.

Loan Discount

The points a lender charges; may be paid by either buyer or seller on conventional loans; number of points fluctuates with mortgage money market.

Maintenance Fee

Charged by the homeowner’s association as set out in subdivision restrictions.

Mortgagee’s Title Policy

Required by the lender to insure that the lender has a valid lien; does not protect the buyer.

Option Fee

Fee Buyer pays for the option to terminate a contract. The option fee is for the option period in which the Buyer has their inspections done. It gives the Buyer the ability to “opt out” of the contract during the option period if they desire to. If Buyer opts out of the contract, this fee is NOT refundable. If Buyer closes the transaction, the fee is applied toward the home.

Origination Fee

A fee the buyer pays the lender to originate a new loan.

Owner’s Title Policy

Insures that the buyer has title to the property.

PITI

A payment that combines Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance – your ENTIRE monthly mortgage!

Point

1% of loan amount.

Power of Attorney

A written instrument whereby a principal gives authority to an agent. The agent acting under such a grant is sometimes called an “Attorney-In-Fact”. If you are unable to attend a closing yourself, you can appoint a Power of Attorney to sign for you.

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Insurance against a loss by a lender (Mortgagee) in the event of default by a borrower.

Recording Fees

Charged by the county clerk to record documents in the public records.

Survey

“Picture” of the home and property. Confirms lot size and any encroachments, easements or boundaries.

Tax Prorations

Seller pays their taxes from January 1 to close date by a credit to Buyer on the Closing Disclosure. Buyer is responsible for paying the entire tax bill at year end.

Tax Certificates

Certifications issued by taxing authorities showing the current year’s taxes, the last year the taxes were paid, and any delinquencies to be collected at closing.

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