Appraiser
A person qualified by education, training, and experience to estimate the value of real property and personal property.

Appreciation
An increase in the value of a property due to changes in market conditions or other causes. The opposite of depreciation.

ASHI (American Society Of Home Inspectors):
Association of independent home inspectors.

Asking Price:
The price the seller is asking for a property.

Assessed Value
The valuation placed on property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

Assessment
The placing of a value on property for the purpose of taxation.

Assessor
A public official who establishes the value of a property for taxation purposes.

Asset
Anything of monetary value that is owned by a person. Assets include real property, personal property, and enforceable claims against others (including bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds, and so on).

Assignment
The transfer of a mortgage from one person to another.

Assumable Mortgage
A mortgage that can be assumed by the buyer when a home is sold. Usually, the borrower must “qualify” in order to assume the loan.

Assumption
The transfer of the seller’s existing mortgage to the buyer.

Assumption Clause
A provision in an assumable mortgage that allows a buyer to assume responsibility for the mortgage from the seller. The loan does not need to be paid in full by the original borrower upon sale or transfer of the property.

Assumption Fee
The fee paid to a lender (usually by the purchaser of real property) resulting from the assumption of an existing mortgage.

Balance Sheet
A financial statement that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.

Balloon Loan:
A loan, in which monthly installments are not enough to repay the full amount of the loan by the end of the loan term, therefore a final lump sum payment is made at the end of the loan to cover the remaining principal amount. Balloon payment:

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
By filing in federal bankruptcy court, an individual or individuals can restructure or relieve themselves of debts and liabilities. Bankruptcies are of various types, but the most common for an individual seem to be a “Chapter 7 No Asset” bankruptcy which relieves the borrower of most types of debts. A borrower cannot usually qualify for an “A” paper loan for a period of two years after the bankruptcy has been discharged and requires the re-establishment of an ability to repay debt.

Basis Point:
A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point. A loan of 6.75 percent versus a loan of 6.82 percent has a difference of 7 basis points.

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.

Bill Of Sale
A written document that transfers title to personal property. For example, when selling an automobile to acquire funds which will be used as a source of down payment or for closing costs, the lender will usually require the bill of sale (in addition to other items) to help document this source of funds.

Binder
A preliminary agreement, secured by the payment of an earnest money deposit, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate.

Biweekly Mortgage
A mortgage in which you make payments every two weeks instead of once a month. The basic result is that instead of making twelve monthly payments during the year, you make thirteen. The extra payment reduces the principal, substantially reducing the time it takes to pay off a thirty year mortgage. Note: there are independent companies that encourage you to set up bi-weekly payment schedules with them on your thirty year mortgage. They charge a set-up fee and a transfer fee for every payment. Your funds are deposited into a trust account from which your monthly payment is then made, and the excess funds then remain in the trust account until enough has accrued to make the additional payment which will then be paid to reduce your principle. You could save money by doing the same thing yourself, plus you have to have faith that once you transfer money to them that they will actually transfer your funds to your lender.

Read the or page.