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Real Estate and Mortgage Terms Glossary

If you need a more in-depth understanding of a particular term, or have additional questions on any of these definitions, please contact us directly and we'll be happy to assist you.

Glossary Index

A | B | C | D | E | F | G-H | I-K | L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T | U-Z


Terms starting with Letter B

BACKFILL

The slope of the ground around a house.

BALANCED MARKET

Also known as a Transitional Market, this is when there are 4-6 months of listing inventory available.

BALANCE SHEET

A financial statement showing the assets, liabilities and net worth of an individual or company.

BALL COCK VALVE

The valve inside a toilet tank that controls the filling of the tank with water.

BALLOON MORTGAGE

A mortgage loan in which the monthly payments are not large enough to repay the loan by the end of the term. So, at the end of the term, the remaining balance comes due in a single large payment. Examples are 5 or 7 year balloon programs. See Interest Rates.

BALLOON PAYMENT

The final large payment at the end of a balloon mortgage term. In a five year balloon program, you make monthly payments for the first five years based on a 30 year amortization. Then at the end of five years the balance (remaining 25 years) becomes due. You must then either pay the loan in full, refi to another loan product or convert to a 25 year loan at the prevailing rates at that time.

BANKRUPTCY

When a person or business is unable to pay their debts and seeks protection of the state against creditors. Bankruptcies remain on credit records for up to ten years and can prevent a person from being able to get a mortgage loan in the future.

BEAM

A structural support. Typically used in the roof or ceiling of a building.

BILL OF SALE

A physical receipt indicating the sale of property.

BIWEEKLY MORTGAGE

A mortgage where you make "half payments" every two weeks, rather than one payment per month. This results in making the equivalent of 13 monthly payments per year, rather than 12, significantly reducing the time it takes to pay off a 30 year mortgage.

BLIGHTED AREA

Any region of a city or town that has fallen into disrepair or otherwise has become undesirable.

BLOCKBUSTING

The illegal practice of inducing homeowners to sell their property by making misrepresentations regarding the entry or prospective entry of minority persons in order to cause a turnover of properties in the neighborhood; discriminatory acts against a seller.

BONA FIDE

Any genuine offer, made without intent to defraud or deceive.

BRIDGE FINANCING

An interim loan made to facilitate the purchase of a new home before the buyer's current residence sells and its equity is available to fund the new purchase.

BRIDGING

Structural supports used between beams to strengthen the structure.

BROKER

An individual who facilitates the purchase of property by bringing together a buyer and a seller.

BTU

British Thermal Unit. A unit of measurement used to describe heating or cooling capacity.

BUFFER ZONE

A segment of land between two disparate municipal zones which acts as a shield to keep one zone from encroaching upon the other. Often used to separate residential districts from commercial areas.

BUILD and LOCK

Interest rate during the construction of a property will float with the market. Upon completion, the borrower locks the final interest rate and product type at the prevailing/current rates. See Locking Interest Rates.

BUILDING CODE

Regulations that ensure the safety and material compliance of new construction within a municipality. Building codes are localized to ensure they are adequate to meet the risk of common hazards. See Florida State Information.

BUILDING LINE OR SETBACK

The statutory distance between buildings and the property line, imposed by municipalities, home associations, or other agreements.

BUILT-INS

Specific items of personal property which are installed in a real estate improvement such that they become part of the building. Built-in microwave ovens and dishwashers are common examples.

BUNGALOW

A one-story, home-style dating from the early twentieth century. Often characterized by a low-pitched roof.

BUY DOWN

Extra money paid in a lump sum to reduce the interest rate of a fixed rate mortgage for a period of time. The extra money may be paid by the borrower, in order to have a lower payment at the beginning of the mortgage. Or paid by the seller, or lender, as incentive to buy the property or take on the mortgage.

BUYERS MARKET

When the supply of a commodity (i.e. homes for sale) exceeds the demand.

BX CABLE

Electrical cable (wiring) shrouded in a galvanized steel outer cover.

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Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors