Mortgage Terms

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THE MORTGAGE DICTIONARY

Please find in the section below a comprehensive list of terms used in the property industry relating to mortgages with a brief explanation of it's meaning.
Buildings insurance

Covers the property you are buying against damage - take it out from the day you exchange contracts.

Completion

The final legal transfer of ownership of the property - when the property becomes yours and the start of the mortgage.

Early repayment charge (ERC)

A charge payable on certain types of loan if it is repaid or partly repaid within a certain period e.g. during a fixed-rate period.

Equity

The difference between the value of the property and the amount of any loan secured against it.

Essential repairs

Work required on the property before the mortgage loan can be issued.

Exchange of contracts

In England and Wales (not Scotland), the point when both buyer and seller are legally bound to the transaction and at which point the buyer should take outbuildings insurance on the property.

First mortgage payment

This is usually higher than the normal monthly payments as it includes interest from the day that we release the loan money to the conveyancer to that month end plus the first full monthly payment.

Gazumping

When the seller, having already accepted an offer but before contracts are exchanged, accepts another, higher offer from someone else.

Ground rent

An annual charge payable by leaseholders to the freeholder.

Land Registry Certificate

Provides details of the property including a plan and, if the property is leasehold, a copy of the lease.

Land Registry fee

A fee paid to the Land Registry to register ownership of a property.

Latest completion date

Fixed or variable rates that you choose when you apply are only available for a certain period of time and you must be able to start your mortgage before this date.

Leasehold

The right to possession, but not ownership, of a property for an agreed period of time. Ultimate ownership remains with the freeholder.

Lender

The bank/building society who lend you the money to buy your property.

Lessee

The person to whom a lease is granted - the tenant.

Lessor

The person who grants a lease - the landlord.

Life assurance

An insurance policy that pays a lump sum on death. Often taken out with a mortgage to provide money for the loan to be repaid if the borrower dies during the term.

Loan to Value (LTV)

The size of a mortgage as a percentage of the value of the property or its purchase price.

Local authority search

Questions to the local authority regarding plans for new road building, planning permission for any building work previously carried out, connection to the mains sewer, etc.

Mortgage

The mortgagee is the lender who lends money in return for the mortgage granted by the borrower, who is the mortgagor.

Mortgage term

The term over which you agree to repay the loan.

Remortgage

Repaying one mortgage by taking out another secured on the same property, possibly to take advantage of a particular mortgage product or better interest rate from a different lender.

Repayment mortgage

You pay interest and part of the capital each month, so your mortgage will be paid off

Title deeds/title documents

The legal documents which provide proof of ownership of a property.

Transfer deed

A form which provides details of the transfer of ownership to be entered on the Land Registry register.

Valuation

An inspection of the property to help the lender decide if the property seems to be worth enough to lend you the amount you want to borrow. A surveyor's report on a property which is less extensive than a building survey and is paid for by the purchaser.

Vendor

The person(s) you are buying your property from.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The total charge for the loan including fees and interest expressed as a percentage.

Arrears

Mortgage payments which have not been paid as requested and have become overdue.

Balance

The amount you owe, after taking payments (credits) and any debits into account.