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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 D

DEBT

An obligation to repay some amount owed. This may or may not be monetary. See Loan Closing Costs.

DEBT EQUITY RATIO

The ratio of the amount a mortgagor still owes on a property to the amount of equity they have in the home. Equity is calculated at the fair-market value of the home, less any outstanding mortgage debt.

DEED

A document indicating the ownership of a property.

DEED-IN-LIEU (OF FORECLOSURE)

A document given by a borrower to a lender, transferring title of the property. Often used to avoid credit-damaging foreclosure procedures.

DEED OF TRUST

A document which transfers title in a property to a trustee, whose obligations and powers are stipulated. Often used in mortgage transactions.

DEED OF RECONVEYANCE

A document which transfers ownership of a property from a Trustee back to a borrower who has fulfilled the obligations of a mortgage.

DEED OF RELEASE

A document which dismisses a lien or other claim on a property.

DEED OF SURRENDER

A document used to surrender any claim a person has to a property.

DEFAULT

The condition in which a borrower has failed to meet the obligations of a loan or mortgage.

DELINQUENCY

The state in which a borrow has failed to meet payment obligations on time.

DEPOSIT

Cash given along with an offer to purchase property. Also called Earnest Money.

DEPRECIATION

The natural decline in property value due to market forces or depletion of resources.

DETACHED SINGLE-FAMILY HOME

A single building improvement intended to serve as a home for one family.

DISCLOSURE

A very important term in both real estate and mortgage transactions. It is required by statute and should not be overlooked. For real estate it means: Disclosing all known facts that materially affect the value of a residential real property and are not readily observable to the buyer. For mortgages it means: Disclosing all known facts that affect your ability to obtain a home loan. In both cases, if your not sure, always disclose. See Disclosures.

DISCOUNT POINTS

Points paid in addition to the loan origination fee to get a lower interest rate. One point is equal to one percent of the loan amount. See Locking Interest Rates.

DISCRIMINATION

Making a distinction against or in favor of a person because of the group or class of people with whom the person is identified. Illegal discrimination is the failure to treat people equally under the fair housing or equal opportunity laws because of the group with which they are identified.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Mediation and arbitration services for resolving disputes; a speedy and affordable alternative to resolving disputes in civil court.

DISTRESSED PROPERTY

A mortgaged property which has been foreclosed on.

DOC STAMPS

An abbreviated term for documentary stamp tax.

DOCUMENTARY STAMPS ON DEEDS, STATE

Tax required on all deeds or other documents used as conveyances. Currently $0.70 per $100 of purchase price in Florida.

DOWN PAYMENT ASSITANCE PROGRAM

These programs (financial assistance) are provided by nonprofit charitable organizations that pool gift funds together to help eligible buyers purchase a home.

DOWN PAYMENT

An amount paid in cash for a property, with the intent to mortgage the remaining amount due.

DOWNSPOUT

The pipe that water moves through to reach the ground from the rain gutter.

DRAWS

A system of payments made by the lender to a contractor as designated stages of a building's construction are completed.

DUAL AGENT

When the listing agent also acts as the agent for the buyer. Known as transaction broker status in Florida.

DUE-ON-SALE PROVISION

A clause in a mortgage giving the lender the right to demand payment of the full balance when the borrower sells the property.

DUPLEX

A single-building improvement which is divided and provides two units which serve as homes to two families.

DWELLING

A house or other building which serves as a home.

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Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors