Definition of Common Terms

Los Angeles and Ventura County Real Estate

Sometimes the real estate world can seem a little overwhelming and daunting – and it doesn’t help that much of the terminology is uncommon. These are some of the more common real estate terms that are thrown around in the housing market, along with their definitions. Whether you are a home buyer or home seller looking for Westlake Village real estate or property in another LA or Ventura County location, knowing these definitions will help you navigate the housing market more successfully.

  • Adjustable-rate loan / mortgage (ARM) – a mortgage tied to certain economic indicators, meaning the interest rate periodically changes on the adjustment date
  • Appraisal – the amount an appraiser considers a property to be worth
  • Assumable mortgage – when a buyer assumes the seller’s mortgage
  • Closing – the final step in the transaction when the deed is transferred and escrow is closed
  • Contingency – a provision in the contract that requires certain actions from one or both parties, such as sale of the buyer’s home, or holds the process of final sale until certain events take place, such as a home inspection
  • Deed – the legal document that conveys title to the real estate
  • Down payment – the initial cash the buyer gives the seller to buy their real estate
  • Earnest money deposit – a sum included by the potential buyer in his or her offer, demonstrating their seriousness and the “good faith” of the proposal
  • Equity – a property’s value over and above their mortgage debt; for example, if your property is worth $200,000 and you owe $50,000 on your mortgage, your equity would be $150,000
  • Escrow – money deposited with a third party between the signing of the sales contract and the final recording of the deed
  • Loan processing fee – some lenders charge this flat fee for administering the loan process
  • Mortgage – a debt in which real estate is the collateral, or security for the payment of the debt
  • Prime rate – the interest rate preferred clients receive from banks
  • Principal – what a borrower owes on a loan
  • Real estate agent – a licensed individual who transacts and negotiates property sales
  • Realtor® – a real estate agent who is an active member the National Association of Realtors®
  • Refinance – paying off one loan with the funds obtained in a new loan, with the same property as collateral
  • Title – evidence of property ownership
  • Trustee – an individual who holds or manages another’s property

Do you have questions? Call Lydia Gable!

Don’t hesitate to call our team if you have questions about buying or selling property in Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Oak Park, Conejo Valley, or Calabasas. We’ve helped many families and individuals enjoy successful real estate transactions, and we’re prepared to do the same for you. Call the team at Lydia Gable Realty Group today!


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