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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 F

FACADE

The front exposure of any building. Often used to describe an artificial or false front which is not consistent with the construction of the rest of the building.

FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT

A federal law regulating the way credit agencies disclose consumer credit reports and the remedies available to consumers for disputing and correcting mistakes on their credit history. See FICO Scores.

FAIR MARKET VALUE

The price at which two unrelated parties, under no duress, are willing to write a purchase contract.

FANNIE MAE

A private, shareholder-owned company that works to make sure mortgage money is available for people to purchase homes. Created by Congress in 1938, Fannie Mae is the nation's largest source of financing for home mortgages. Visit www.FannieMae.com

FASCIA

The boards that enclose the eaves.

FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION (FDIC)

The U.S. Government agency created in 1933 which maintains the stability of and public confidence in the nation's financial system by insuring deposits and promoting safe and sound banking practices.

FEDERAL HOUSING ADMINISTRATION (FHA)

A sub-agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development created in the 1930's to facilitate the purchase of homes by low-income, first-time home buyers. It currently provides federally-subsidized mortgage insurance for private lenders. Visit www.hud.gov

FEE APPRAISER

A certified, professional appraiser who forms an opinion of the fair market value of property and receives a set fee in exchange.

FEE SIMPLE

A complete, unencumbered ownership right in a piece of property.

FEE SIMPLE ESTATE

A form or ownership, or holding title to real estate. It is the most complete form of title, having an unconditional and unlimited interest of perpetual duration.

FHA MORTGAGE

A mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). For more information, please visit our Mortgage Information Library.

FIDUCIARY

A relationship that implies a position of trust or confidence wherein one person is usually entrusted to hold or manage property or money for another. Also a person who represents another in a position of trust or confidence; an agent.

FINAL VALUE ESTIMATE

The opinion of value of a piece of property resulting from an appraisal following the USPAP guidelines.

FIRST MORTGAGE

The primary loan or mortgage secured by a piece of property.

FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE (FRM)

A mortgage which has a fixed rate of interest over the life of the loan. See Interest Rates.

FIXTURE

Any piece of personal property which becomes permanently affixed to a piece of real property. See Real Property.

FLASHING

The metal used around the base of roof mounted equipment, or at the junction of angles used to prevent leaking.

FLIPPING

This is when you buy properties with the intent of quickly selling them again for a profit.

FLOOD INSURANCE

Supplemental insurance which covers a homeowner for any loss due to water damage from a flood. Often required by lenders for homes located in FEMA - designated flood zones. See Homeowners Insurance or visit www.fema.gov

FLOOR PLAN

The representation of a building which shows the basic outline of the structure, as well as detailed information about the positioning of rooms, hallways, doors, stairs and other features. Often includes detailed information about other fixtures and amenities.

FLUE

The furnace exhaust pipe, usually going through the roof.

FLUSH VALVE

The valve between the toilet bowl and the tank.

FOOTING

The partially buried support for a vertical structural member such as a post.

FORECLOSURE

The process whereby a lender can claim the property used by a borrower to secure a mortgage and sell the property to meet the obligations of the loan.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN REAL PROPERTY TAX ACT (FIRPTA)

A federal law that subjects nonresident aliens and foreign corporations to U.S. income tax on their gains from the disposition of an interest in real property.

FORFEITURE

The loss of property or money due to the failure to meet the obligations of a mortgage or loan secured by that property.

FOUNDATION

The solid structural element upon which a structure is built.

FRAUD

An intentional deceptive act or statement with which one person attempts to gain an unfair advantage over another. It may be either a misstatement or silence about a defect.

FRONTAGE

The segment of a property that runs along a point of access, such as a street or water front.

FUNCTIONAL OBSOLESCENCE

A decrease in the value of property due to a feature or lack thereof which renders the property undesirable. Functional obsolescence can also occur when the surrounding area changes, rendering the property unusable for its originally intended purpose.

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Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors