Real Estate Glossary

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A limit, such as that placed on an adjustable rate mortgage, on how much a monthly payment or interest rate can increase or decrease. 

Cash Reserves
A cash amount sometimes required to be held in reserve in addition to the down payment and closing costs; the amount is determined by the lender. 

Certificate of Title
A document provided by a qualified source (such as a title company) that shows the property legally belongs to the current owner; before the title is transferred at closing, it should be clear and free of all liens or other claims. 

Also known as settlement, this is the time at which the property is formally sold and transferred from the seller to the buyer; it is at this time that the borrower takes on the loan obligation, pays all closing costs, and receives title from the seller. 

Closing Costs
Customary costs above and beyond the sale price of the property that must be paid to cover the transfer of ownership at closing; these costs generally vary by geographic location and are typically detailed to the borrower after submission of a loan application. 

An amount, usually a percentage of the property sales price, that is collected by a real estate professional as a fee for negotiating the transaction. 

A form of ownership in which individuals purchase and own a unit of housing in a multi-unit complex; the owner also shares financial responsibility for common areas. 

Conventional Loan
A private sector loan, one that is not guaranteed or insured by the U.S. government. 

Cooperative (Co-op)
residents purchase stock in a cooperative corporation that owns a structure; each stockholder is then entitled to live in a specific unit of the structure and is responsible for paying a portion of the loan. 

Credit History
History of an individual's debt payment; lenders use this information to gauge a potential borrower's ability to repay a loan. 

Credit Report
A record that lists all past and present debts and the timeliness of their repayment; it documents an individual's credit history. 

Credit bureau score
a number representing the possibility a borrower may default; it is based upon credit history and is used to determine ability to qualify for a mortgage loan.