Anyone interested in real estate should be able to talk talk. Here is a list of common phrases and words with a short explanation. Use it as a reference:
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). A type of mortgage loan whose interest rate changes periodically up or down, usually once or twice a year. They are tied to an interest rate index like 11th District Cost of Funds.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Everything financed in your mortgage loan package (interest, loan fees, points or other charges) expressed as a percentage of loan amount (usually slightly above actual interest rate alone).
Assumable Loan. A loan in which lender is willing to "transfer" from previous owner of home to new owner, sometimes at same interest rate, sometimes at a new rate. An assumable loan can make your home more attractive to buyers when you want to sell. Often new buyer has to qualify for assumption just as he/she would for a new loan.
Closing Costs. Costs buyer must pay at time of closing in addition to down payment: including points, mortgage insurance premium, homeowners insurance, prepayments for property taxes, etc. Closing costs average 3% to 4% of loan amount.
Contingency. A condition put on an offer to buy a home; such as prospective buyer making an offer contingent on his or her successful sale of a present home.
Conventional Mortgage. A type of mortgage not insured by either Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and thus usually requiring a 10% to 20% down payment.
Earnest Money. Funds submitted with an offer to show "good faith" to follow through with purchase. Earnest money is placed by buyer into an escrow/trust account until closing, when it becomes part of down payment or closing costs.