Glossary of Terms

Additional services
These are services such as packing, appliance servicing, unpacking, or stair carries that you request or need and may result in additional charges.
Advanced charges
These are charges for services performed by a third party at your request. These charges are paid for by the mover and added to your total charges.
Adjacent
Near or next to but not necessarily touching.
Adjoining
Actually touching that which it is next to; abutting.
Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM)
A mortgage whose interest rate is adjusted periodically corresponding with changes in a specified index.
Affordability analysis
A calculation of an amount that a person can borrow to purchase a home. An affordability analysis takes into consideration your income, expenses, and available funds, along with the type of mortgage you plan to use, and the closing costs you might expect to pay.
Agent
A licensed representative given power to act on behalf of another, who provides information, advice, and assessment of current market conditions.
Amortization schedule
A timetable of periodic payments of a mortgage loan. The amortization schedule shows the how each payment is allocated between interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.
Amortization term
The amount of time required to fully repay the mortgage loan expressed as a number of months. For example, for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the amortization term is 360 months.
Application
A form used to apply for a mortgage loan. The application records financial information of a prospective mortgagor.
Appreciation
An increase in the value of a property (the opposite is depreciation). Property can appreciate due to a number of reasons including changes in economic conditions.
Asking price
The price at which the owner wishes to sell a property.
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).
Attorney-in-fact
An individual with the ability to execute documents on behalf of another as a result of a power of attorney.
Balance sheet
A financial statement for a business that shows assets, liabilities, and net worth as of a specific date.
Balloon mortgage
A loan which is amortized for a longer period than the term of the loan. Usually this refers to a thirty-year amortization and a five-year term. At the end of the term of the loan, the remaining outstanding principal on the loan is due. This final payment is known as a "balloon payment."
Bankruptcy
A proceeding in a federal court in which a debtor is relieved from the responsibility of all debts after transferring all assets to a trustee.
Bill of lading
Your bill of lading is the contract between you and the mover. It is also your receipt. It is important to understand everything on the bill of lading before you sign it.
Binder
A preliminary agreement, secured by a cash deposit, under which a buyer offers to purchase real estate. See earnest money deposit.
Binding estimate
A flat price based upon a given inventory. No matter how long the job takes, the flat price is always paid.
Broker
A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them. See mortgage broker.
Budget
A detailed list of anticipated income and expenses. A budget can provide guidelines for managing future investments and expenses.
Buydown
When the home builder (or seller) subsidizes the mortgage by lowering the interest rate during the first few years of a loan. Payments will increase when the subsidy expires. This process allows a buyer to qualify for a larger loan with the expectation of future income increases to enable the borrower to afford the increased payments.
Buyer's agent
An agent that represents the buyer in the real estate transaction.
Cap
A provision of an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that limits how much the interest rate or mortgage payments may increase or decrease. See lifetime payment cap, lifetime rate cap, periodic payment cap, and periodic rate cap.
Carrier
This refers to the mover that you are working with.
Certificate of deposit (CD)
A document written by a bank or other financial institution evidencing a deposit that will be returned with interest at a specified interest rate within a specified time period.
C.O.D.
Cash on delivery.
Common area assessments
Levies against individual unit owners in a condominium or planned unit development (PUD) project for funds to defray homeowners' association costs and expenses and to repair, replace, maintain, improve, or operate the common areas of the project. The allocation of the proportionate individual share of the common expenses
Common areas
Portions of a building, land, and amenities owned (or managed) by a planned unit development (PUD) or condominium project's homeowners' association (or a cooperative project's cooperative corporation) that are for equal use by all of the unit owners, who share in the expenses of their operation and maintenance. Common areas include swimming pools, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities. In a condominium or cooperative, the buildings, parking areas, and other commonly-owned assets.
Comparables
A common-use term meaning "comparable properties". Comparables are properties similar to property under consideration; they have reasonably the same size, location, and amenities and have recently been sold. Comparables help the appraiser determine the approximate fair market value of the subject property.
Condominium
A real estate project (may be dwelling, office, garage, marina) in which each unit owner has title to a unit and an undivided interest in the common areas of the project, and sometimes the exclusive use of certain limited common areas.
Condominium conversion
Changing the ownership of an existing building (usually a rental project) to the condominium form of ownership
Contingency
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.
Cooperative (co-op)
A type of multiple ownership in which the residents of a multiunit housing complex own shares in the cooperative corporation that owns the property, giving each resident the right to occupy a specific apartment or unit.
Counter-offer
A rejection of the original offer by proposing a new offer, thereby terminating the original offer.
Credit
An agreement in which a borrower receives something of value in exchange for a promise to repay the lender at a later date.
Credit history
A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts used by a lender to determine whether the individual has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.
Closing
A meeting between a buyer and seller (and their respective agents and/or attorneys) at which a sale of a property is finalized and the deed is delivered to the buyer in exchange for the purchase price. Also called "settlement."
Commission
The fee paid to a broker for successfully concluding a real estate or loan transaction. A commission is generally a percentage of the price of the property or loan.
Consumer reporting agency (or bureau)
An organization that prepares reports used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit history. The agency obtains data for these reports from a credit repository as well as from other sources.
Contingency
A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.
Contract
An oral or written binding agreement between two or more competent parties to do or not to do some legal act for a legal consideration.
Contract for Sale (or Deed)
A contract between purchaser and a seller of real estate to convey title after certain conditions have been met; a form of installment sale.
Credit
An agreement in which a borrower receives something of value in exchange for a promise to repay the lender at a later date.
Credit history
A record of an individual's open and fully repaid debts used by a lender to determine whether the individual has a history of repaying debts in a timely manner.
Creditor
A person to whom money is owed.
Credit report
A report of an individual's credit history prepared by a credit bureau and used by a lender in determining a loan applicant's creditworthiness. See merged credit report.
Credit repository
An organization that gathers, records, updates, and stores financial and public records information about the payment records of individuals who are being considered for credit.
Debt
An amount owed to another. See installment loan and revolving liability.
Debt-to-Income Ratio
The ratio of a borrower's monthly payment obligation on long-term debts divided by gross monthly income expressed as a percentage. See housing expenses-to-income ratio.
Deed
A legal document conveying title to a property.
Deed-in-lieu (of foreclosure)
A deed given by a mortgagor to the mortgagee to satisfy a debt and avoid foreclosure. Also called a "voluntary conveyance."
Deed of trust
The document used in some states instead of a mortgage when title is conveyed to a trustee.
Deposit
A sum of money or other valuable consideration given to bind the sale of real estate, or to ensure payment or an advance of funds in the processing of a loan. See earnest money deposit.
Down payment
Money paid to make up the difference between the purchase price and the mortgage amount.
Earnest money deposit
A deposit made by the potential home buyer at the time of an offer. See binder, deposit.
Effective gross income
All annual income including salary, overtime and bonus that is regular or guaranteed from all sources.
Encumbrance
Limitations against a person's interest in a property, such as mortgages, leases, easements, or restrictions.
Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA)
A federal law requiring lenders and other creditors to make credit equally available without discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, or receipt of income from public assistance programs.
Equity
The difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount of debt outstanding against it.
Escrow
Money, documents or other items of value in the care of a third party to be released upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay real estate taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.
Escrow account
The account in which escrow payments are held.
Examination of title
The report on the title of a property from the public records or an abstract of the title.
Fair Credit Reporting Act
A law that regulates the disclosure of consumer credit reports and histories by reporting agencies and establishes procedures for correcting mistakes on one's credit record.
Fair Housing Act
A law that prohibits discrimination in sales of property or the granting of loans on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, familial status, or handicap.
Fannie Mae (FNMA)
A New York Stock Exchange Company providing the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. It operates pursuant to a federal charter and is and the largest non-bank financial services company in the world. (Federal National Mortgage Association)
Fannie Mae's Community Home Buyer's Program
A plan under which mortgage insurers and Fannie Mae offer flexible underwriting guidelines to increase a low or moderate income family's buying power by decreasing the total amount of cash needed to purchase a home.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
An agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which insures residential mortgage loans made by private lenders. While the FHA sets standards for construction and underwriting, it does not lend money or plan or construct housing.
Fixed-rate mortgage (FRM)
A mortgage in which the interest rate remains constant during the entire term of the loan, regardless of the change in market interest rates.
Fixture
Personal property that is attached to real property becoming part of the real property.
Foreclosure
The legal process by which a borrower is deprived of their interest in the mortgaged property. This usually is the last action taken by a lender to collect from a borrower in default. Foreclosure involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied against the mortgage debt.
Home inspection
An examination conducted by a person (usually a licensed professional) contracted by the buyer to evaluate the structure, systems and mechanical condition of a property. A satisfactory home inspection is often included as a contingency by the purchaser.
Homeowners association
A nonprofit association comprised of all owners that manages the assets (physical and monetary) of any common-ownership-type property such as a condominium, cooperative, planned unit development (PUD) or any other property developed with common ownership. In a condominium project, it has no ownership interest in the common elements. In a PUD project, it holds title to the common property. In a cooperative, it owns all the property.
Homeowner's insurance
An insurance policy that protects a dwelling and its contents from personal liability and damage. Sufficient coverage is required by lenders.
Income
Amount earned or gained; not a return of capital.
Index
A number used to compute the interest rate for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The index is generally a published number or percentage, such as the average interest rate or yield on Treasury bills. An amount known as a margin is added to the index to determine the interest rate that will be charged on the ARM.
Interest
The fee charged for borrowing money.
Inventory
The detailed descriptive list of your household goods showing the quantity and condition of each item.
Judgment lien
A lien on the property of a debtor resulting from the decree of a court.
Lien
A legal claim on property of some obligation or debt.
Local moving
Local moving usually refers to moves of less than 100 miles within the same state. This type of move is based on hourly rates and is regulated by the states DOT or other regulatory body.
Lock-in
An agreement guaranteeing a specific interest rate and points if a transaction is closed by a certain date.
Lock-in period
The time period during which the lender has guaranteed an interest rate to a borrower. See lock-in.
Long distance
These refer to moves of more than 100 miles within one state or moves between two states.
Margin
The amount added to an index to establish the interest rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) on each adjustment date, subject to any limitations on the interest rate change. See index.
Money market account
An account that provides depositors with a slightly higher rate of interest than an ordinary savings account. Money market accounts are not FDIC insured.
Money market fund
A mutual fund that invests in short-term debt securities, such as certificates of deposit and Treasury bills.
Monthly payment mortgage
A mortgage that requires payments to be made once each month.
Mortgage
A contract in which a lender loans funds and receives secured interest in property until the funds are repaid.
Non-binding or hourly rate
Customers are charged by the hour per man, per truck.
Offer
An intentional proposal or promise made by one party to act or perform provided the other party acts or performs in the manner requested.
Order for service
This is the authorizing document that allowing movers to move your goods.
Order Number
This also refers to the Bill of Lading. It's the number used to identify and track your shipment.
Peak season rates
A premium rate is typically charged at certain times of the year, usually summer. You can sometimes get a break on fees in the winter.
PMI
Private mortgage insurance, which protects the lender in case of default by the borrower. PMI is often used when buyers obtain financing with less than a 20% down payment.
Point
A charge by the lender representing 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage.
Points (loan discount points)
Prepaid interest assessed at closing by the lender. Each point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.
Pre-qualification
A determination of how much money a prospective home buyer will be eligible to borrow before he or she applies for a loan.
Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance (PITI)
The four components of a monthly mortgage payment often referred to as one. See principal and interest. Taxes and insurance represent amounts that are paid into an escrow account for property taxes and hazard and/or mortgage insurance.
Property
A bundle of legal rights for real estate.
Property Tax
A charge imposed on the assessed value of real estate, to be used to support the State or municipality who in turn utilizes the funds in the best interest of the general public.
Qualifying Ratios
Housing and debt ratios used by lenders to determine a potential borrower's credit-worthiness. The ratios are expressed as numbers like 28/36 where 28 would be the housing ratio and 36 would be the debt ratio. The housing ratio of 28 means that housing expenses should not exceed 28 percent of gross monthly income and the debt ratio of 36 means that housing expenses plus long term debt should not exceed 36 percent of gross monthly income.
Record
To place any document or instrument affecting title or an interest in real property in the public records of the county in which the property is located.
Recorder
The public official sometimes called a "Registrar of Deeds" or "County Clerk." or "Clerk of the Court" who keeps records of legal transactions in a jurisdiction.
Recording
Entering into the public records the written documents affecting title to real property, such as a properly executed legal document (deeds, mortgage notes, satisfactions of mortgage) thereby making it a part of the public record. Constructive notice. See recorder.
Real estate
Land including the air above and the earth below plus any permanent improvements affecting the utility of the land. Property that is not personal property.
Real estate agent
A person licensed to negotiate and transact the sale of real estate on behalf of the property owner. See agent.
Real estate broker
An agent who buys, sells, or rents real estate for a company, firm, or individual on a commission basis. The broker does not hold title to the property but generally represents the owner.
Settlement
See closing.
Settlement disclosure statement
A list giving a complete breakdown of costs involved in a real estate transaction prepared by the lenderís agent at closing.
Simple Interest
Interest computed only on the principle balance.
Stair-carry charge
This is an extra charge for carrying items up or down flights of stairs.
Storage-in-Transit (SIT)
This refers to temporary warehousing of your goods pending further transportation or transportation to your new home if it isn't ready for occupancy. You may not exceed a total of 180 days of storage.
Survey
A professionally created drawing or map indicating precise legal boundaries of a property, location of improvements, easements, rights of way, encroachments, and other physical features. The method of measuring boundaries and determining land areas.
Tax
An enforced charge imposed on persons, property or income. Compulsory payment by a citizen to a unit of government.
Taxable Value
The assessed value less allowable exemptions resulting in an amount to which the tax rate is applied to determine property taxes due.
Title
The group of rights that represent ownership of real property and the quality of the estate owned. A legal document evidencing a person's right to or ownership of property.
Title company
A company that specializes in examining and insuring titles to real estate.
Title insurance
Insurance policies that protect the lender or the buyer against errors or omissions or defects in the title of a property.
Title search or examination
An examination of municipal records to determine the legal ownership of property and to confirm any liens, special assessments, other claims or restrictive covenants filed in the record
Trustee
A person or party, either appointed or required by law to administer or manage anotherís property. An escrow agent.
VA mortgage
A long-term, low- or no-down payment loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Restricted to individuals qualified by military service or other entitlements.
Valuation
The amount your goods are worth.
Walk-through inspection
Final inspection of a propertyís condition by the buyer, done before closing, to ensure that all conditions noted in the offer-to-purchase have been met.