A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is
serious about buying the house.
A right of way giving persons other than the owner access to or over a
An appraiser’s estimate of the physical condition of a building. The
actual age of a building may be shorter or longer than its effective age.
effective gross income
Normal annual income including overtime that is regular or guaranteed.
The income may be from more than one source. Salary is generally the
principal source, but other income may qualify if it is significant and
The right of a government to take private property for public use upon
payment of its fair market value. Eminent domain is the basis for
A special housing initiative that offers several different ways for
employers to work with local lenders to develop plans to assist their
employees in purchasing homes.
An improvement that intrudes illegally on another’s property.
Anything that affects or limits the fee simple title to a property,
such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.
A person who signs ownership interest over to another party. Contrast
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law that requires lenders and other creditors to make credit
equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion,
national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from
public assistance programs.
A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the
difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount
still owed on its mortgage.
An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to
be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit
by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums
when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an
attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of
The account in which a mortgage servicer holds the borrower’s escrow
payments prior to paying property expenses.
The periodic examination of escrow accounts to determine if current
monthly deposits will provide sufficient funds to pay taxes, insurance,
and other bills when due.
Funds collected by the servicer and set aside in an escrow account to
pay the borrower’s property taxes, mortgage insurance, and hazard
The use of escrow funds to pay real estate taxes, hazard insurance,
mortgage insurance, and other property expenses as they become due.
The portion of a mortgagor’s monthly payment that is held by the
servicer to pay for taxes, hazard insurance, mortgage insurance, lease
payments, and other items as they become due. Known as "impounds" or
"reserves" in some states.
The ownership interest of an individual in real property. The sum
total of all the real property and personal property owned by an
individual at time of death.
The lawful expulsion of an occupant from real property.
examination of title
The report on the title of a property from the public records or an
abstract of the title.
A written contract that gives a licensed real estate agent the
exclusive right to sell a property for a specified time, but reserving the
owner’s right to sell the property alone without the payment of a
A person named in a will to administer an estate. The court will
appoint an administrator if no executor is named. "Executrix" is the