Resources

Glossary

S&L - top

Savings and Loan Association.

Safe Harbor - top

A set of rules and regulations that will guarantee compliance with the law, if followed.

Safe Rate - top

An interest rate provided by low-risk investments such as high grade bonds or secured first mortgages.

Sale-leaseback - top

A technique in which a seller deeds property to a buyer, who simultaneously leases the property back to the seller.

Sales Contract - top

An agreement between a buyer and seller to purchase real estate.  A sales contract, also known as an offer to purchase or a binder, secures the right to purchase real estate upon agreed terms for a limited period of time.  If the buyer changes his mind or is unable to purchase, the earnest money that was paid is forfeited unless the binder expressly provides that it is to be refunded.

Sales Disclosure - top

A state specific form that may need to be filed, disclosing everything about the sale of the home.

Salesperson - top

A person who is licensed to make real estate transactions while under the supervision of a broker licensed by the state.

Search and Exam Fee - top

A fee charged by a title company or attorney in some states to perform a check of the title records that verifies the buyer is purchasing a house from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue assessments, or other claims filed that would adversely affect the transfer of the title.  For our comparison purposes, a search and exam fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Search and Survey - top

A fee charged by a title company in some states to perform a check of the public record to verify that the buyer is purchasing a home from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue assessment, or other claims that would adversely affect the transfer of title.  In addition, a search is performed to insure that there are no issues that a survey would show that could affect the property.  For our comparison purposes, a search and survey fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Search Fee - top

A fee charged by a title company or attorney in some states to cover the cost of searching the public record to make sure the buyer is purchasing a house from the legal owner and there are no liens, overdue assessments, or other claims filed that would adversely affect the transfer of the title.  For our comparison purposes, a search fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Second Mortgage - top

A loan that has a lien position subordinate to the first mortgage.

Secondary Mortgage Market - top

The buying and selling of existing mortgages, primarily residential first mortgages.

Secured Loan - top

A loan that is backed by collateral.

Security - top

The collateral offered to a lender in exchange for a loan.  When a lender provides a mortgage, you provide your home as the security.  This means that if payments are in default, the lender has the right to take title to the property.

Security Interest - top

The lender’s right to take property that has been offered as security.

Seller take-Back - top

An arrangement in which the owner of a property provides financing.

Servicer - top

A company that collects principal and interest payments from borrowers and manages borrowers’ escrow accounts. The servicer may or may not be the original lender.

Settlement - top

A meeting of parties involved in a real estate transaction to finalize the process. In the case of a purchase, the settlement usually involves the seller, the buyer, the real estate broker and the lender. In the case of a refinance, the settlement involves the borrower and the lender. Sometimes referred to as the closing or the close of escrow.

Settlement or Closing Fee - top

A fee charged by a title company, closing agent or attorney to act as a representative and agent for the lender to perform the closing of a real estate transaction.

Settlement Statement - top

Also referred to as the HUD-1 or the closing statement, this is the document that provides line by line detail of the financial details related to a specific real estate transaction such as the fees paid by the seller and the buyer for a purchase transaction or the fees paid by the borrower for refinances.

Standard Payment Calculation - top

The process used to determine the monthly payment required to repay the remaining principal balance of a loan in fairly equal installments, over the remaining term of the loan at the current interest rate.

State Tax Stamps - top

A tax charged by some state or local governments at the time of transfer of real estate title from one owner to another.  For our comparison purposes, these fees are considered to be a tax or other unavoidable fee.

State/Local Tax Fees - top

A tax charged by some state or local governments at the time of transfer of real estate title from one owner to another.  For our comparison purposes, these fees are considered to be a tax or other unavoidable fee.

Step Mortgage - top

A type of adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that allows for the interest rate to increase according to a specified schedule. At the end of the specified period, the rate and payments will remain constant for the remainder of the loan. Sometimes called a step-rate mortgage.

Subdivision - top

A housing development that is created by dividing a large parcel of land into many individual lots for sale.

Subordinate Financing - top

Any mortgage or other lien that has a lower priority than that of the first mortgage.

Survey - top

A fee associated with obtaining a precise measurement of a piece of property by a licensed surveyor.  The survey is typically a written map of the property showing locations of buildings and boundaries.  In some states a survey is required by a title company to issue a title insurance policy.  For our comparison purposes, a survey fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Survey Affidavit - top

A fee charged by a title company to issue an insurance policy without requiring that a full survey be completed.  For our comparison purposes, a survey affidavit fee is considered to be a third party fee and may be included in the title insurance fee by some lenders.

Sweat Equity - top

Contribution to the construction of a property in the form of labor or services, instead of cash.

Swing Loan - top

Sometimes called a bridge loan, a swing loan is generally a loan that is secured by a borrower’s current residence to obtain the funds needed to purchase a new home if the current residence will not be sold prior to the purchase of a new home.

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