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Real Estate Glossary

Listed below are a glossary of real estate terms in alphabetical order that you may find usefull when considering a real estate transaction.

Manufactured home: A structure (transportable in one or more sections) when in the traveling mode, is eight body feet or more in width, or 40 body feet or more in length, or, when erected on site, is 320 or more square feet. It is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without a permanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includes the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems contained therein.

Margin: The difference between the interest rate and the index on an adjustable rate mortgage. The margin remains stable over the life of the loan. It is the index which moves up and down.

Market value: The most probable price a property should bring in a competitive and open market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale. Such such conditions include the assumption that the buyer and seller acted prudently and knowledgeably and that the price is not affected by undue stimulus.

Maturity: The date on which the principal balance of a loan, bond, or other financial instrument becomes due and payable.

Mechanics' lien: A statutory lien in favor of a building contractor (architects and designers in some states) to secure payment for materials supplied and services rendered in the improvement, repair or maintenance of real property.

Merged credit report: A credit report which reports the raw data pulled from two or more of the major credit repositories. Contrast with a Residential Mortgage Credit Report (RMCR) or a standard factual credit report.

Mineral rights: Rights to subsurface land and profits. Nornally, when real property is conveyed, it includes everything above and below the surface of the land, except where specified by the grantor.

Modification: Occasionally, a lender will agree to modify the terms of your mortgage without requiring you t refinance. If any changes are made, it is called a modification.

Mortgage: A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt. Instead of mortgages, some states use First Trust Deeds.

Mortgage banker: For a more complete discussion of mortgage banker, see "Types of Lenders." A mortgage banker is generally assumed to originate and fund their own loans, which are then sold on the secondary market, usually to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae. However, firms rather loosely apply this term to themselves, whether they are true mortgage bankers or simply mortgage brokers or correspondents.

Mortgage broker: A mortgage company that originates loans, then places those loans with a variety of other lending institutions with whom they usually have pre-established relationships.

Mortgage: The lender in a mortgage agreement.

Mortgage insurance (MI): Insurance that covers the lender against some of the losses incurred as a result of a default on a home loan. Often mistakenly referred to as PMI, which is actually the name of one of the larger mortgage insurers. Mortgage insurance is usually required in one form or another on all loans that have a loan-to-value higher than eighty percent. Mortgages above 80% LTV that call themselves "No MI" are usually a made at a higher interest rate. Instead of the borrower paying the mortgage insurance premiums directly, they pay a higher interest rate to the lender, which then pays the mortgage insurance themselves. Also, FHA loans and certain first-time homebuyer programs require mortgage insurance regardless of the loan-to-value.

Mortgage insurance premium (MIP): The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (MI) company.

Mortgage life and disability insurance: A type of term life insurance often bought by borrowers. The amount of coverage decreases as the principal balance declines. Some policies also cover the borrower in the event of disability. In the event that the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the debt is automatically satisfied by insurance proceeds. In the case of disability insurance, the insurance will make the mortgage payment for a specified amount of time during the disability. Be careful to read the terms of coverage, however, because often the coverage does not start immediately upon the disability, but after a specified period, sometime forty-five days.

Mortgagor: The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

Multi-dwelling units: Properties that provide separate housing units for more than one family, although they secure only a single mortgage.

Multiple-listing service (MLS): A marketing organization composed of member brokers who agree to share their listing agreements with one another in the hope of procuring ready, willing and able buyers for their properties more quickly than they could on their own. Most multiple-listing services accept exclusive-right-to-sell or exclusive agency listings from their member brokers.

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