Dictionary

Search for real estate and mortgage terms

Real Estate Dictionary contains a comprehensive list of real estate and mortgage terms and definitions for home buyers, home sellers, and real estate consumers with expanded definitions of the most important real estate and mortgage home loan terms. This dictionary is made available by Houston area REALTORS®. Please use the real estate dictionary term index section containing an alphabetical list of words with information about them.
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Balance Sheet
A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.
 
Balloon Mortgage
A mortgage that has level monthly payments that will amortize it over a stated term but that provides for a lump sum payment to be due at the end of an earlier specified term.
 
Balloon Payment
The final lump sum payment that is made at the maturity date of a balloon mortgage.
 
Bankrupt
A person, firm, or corporation that, through a court proceeding, is relieved from the payment of all debts after the surrender of all assets to a court-appointed trustee.  
 
Bankruptcy
A proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor who owes more than his or her assets can relieve the debts by transferring his or her assets to a trustee.
 
Basis Point
A basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point. For example, a fee calculated as 50 basis points of a loan amount of $100,000 would be 0.50% or $500.
 
Before-Tax Income
Income before taxes are deducted.
 
Beneficiary
The person designated to receive the income from a trust, estate, or a deed of trust.
 
Binder 
A preliminary agreement, secured by the payment of an earnest money deposit, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate.  
 
Biweekly Payment Mortgage
A mortgage that requires payments to reduce the debt every two weeks (instead of the standard monthly payment schedule). The 26 (or possibly 27) biweekly payments are each equal to one-half of the monthly payment that would be required if the loan were a
 
Blanket Mortgage
The mortgage that is secured by a cooperative project, as opposed to the share loans on individual units within the project.
 
Bond
An interest-bearing certificate of debt with a maturity date. An obligation of a government or business corporation. A real estate bond is a written obligation usually secured by a mortgage or a deed of trust.
 
Breach
A violation of any legal obligation.
 
Bridge Loan
A form of second trust that is collateralized by the borrower's present home (which is usually for sale) in a manner that allows the proceeds to be used for closing on a new house before the present home is sold. Also known as "swing loan."  
 
Broker
A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.
 
Buydown Mortgage 
A temporary buydown is a mortgage on which an initial lump sum payment is made by any party to reduce a borrower's monthly payments during the first few years of a mortgage. A permanent buydown reduces the interest rate over the entire life of a mortgage.