Real Estate Glossary

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Balloon loan
Mortgage loan in which a larger final payment becomes due because the loan amount was not fully amortized.

Short purchase contract used in some areas to secure a real estate transaction until a more formal contract can be signed at a later date; usually accompanied by an earnest money deposit.

Blanket mortgage
Single mortgage that covers more than one real property, i.e. – a house plus the vacant lot next door.

Illegal practice of creating panic selling in a neighborhood for financial gain. Typically exploits racial and religious bias to get homeowners to sell low so the properties can be resold at a mark up.

Breach of contract
When one party fails to live up to the terms and conditions of a contract, without a valid, legal excuse.

Licensed individual who acts independently in conducting a real estate brokerage business; also a person who buys and sells for another for a commission.

Business of a broker. Also, the amount charged for a broker’s service.

Builder’s warranty
Written statement by a builder assuring that a dwelling was completed according to a stipulated set of standards. It protects the buyer from any latent defects.

Building codes
Minimum construction standards set by state or local laws for public safety and health. Includes the design, construction, repair, and quality of building materials, as well as the use and occupancy of structures.

Cash payment to a lender to reduce the interest rate a borrower must pay on a new mortgage loan. Commonly used by builders to sell new homes.

Buyer’s market
Describes an excess supply of homes for sale, in which there are few buyers and many sellers. In such a market, the buyer can typically negotiate more favorable prices and terms.

Rules and regulations that govern how a homeowners’ association will be run.

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