Jo Ann Lowe

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Real Estate Glossary

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of words and phrases to help you understand Real Estate better.

Down Payment


Down payment (or downpayment) is a payment used in the context of the purchase of expensive items such as a car and a house, whereby the payment is the initial upfront portion of the total amount due and it is usually given in cash at the time of finalizing the transaction. A loan is then required to make the full payment.

HOA Dues


Usually, owners of townhouses or condos are required to pay the homeowners association dues, to pay for services related to the property such as, landscaping, trash removal snow plowing, pool maintenance, and hazard insurance.

Homeowners Insurance


Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowner's insurance (often abbreviated in the real estate industry as HOI), is the type of property insurance that covers private homes. It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one's home, its contents, loss of its use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory. It requires that at least one of the named insureds occupies the home.

Interest Rate


An interest rate is the rate at which interest is paid by a borrower for the use of money that they borrow from a lender. Specifically, the interest rate is a percent of principal paid at some rate.

Loan Term


The amount of a time set by the lender for a buyer to pay a mortgage. Standard loans have 30-year or 15-year terms.

Mortgage Insurance


Mortgage insurance, also known as mortgage guarantee, is an insurance policy which compensates lenders or investors for losses due to the default of a mortgage loan.

Property Tax


A property tax (or millage tax) is a levy on property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state, a county/region, or a municipality. Multiple jurisdictions may tax the same property.

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