Real Estate Glossary

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, or comparative market analysis.

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

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:
The owner has title to a single unit, as well as a share in the common elements such as elevators or surrounding land.

CONDOMINIUM FEE:
A common payment among owners which is allocated to pay expenses.

CONVENTIONAL MORTGAGE:
A mortgage loan issued for up to 75% of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less.

DOWN PAYMENT:
The buyer's cash payment toward the property. The difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage loan.

EQUITY:
The difference between the home's selling value and the debts against it.

HIGH-RATIO MORTGAGE:
A mortgage that exceeds 75% of the home's 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.

LAND TRANSFER TAX, DEED TAX, OR PROPERTY PURCHASE TAX:
A fee paid to the municipal and/or provincial government for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.

MATURITY DATE:
The end of the term, at which time you can pay off the mortgage or renew it.

MORTGAGEE:
The person or financial institution that lends the money.

MORTGAGOR:
The borrower.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE:
Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.

MORTGAGE LIFE INSURANCE:
Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.

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.

PRE-APPROVED MORTGAGE:
Qualifies you for a mortgage before you start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend.

PREPAYMENT PRIVILEGES:
Voluntary payments in addition to regular mortgage 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.

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-RATE MORTGAGE:
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.