Soldier to Soldier Hawaii

40 Real Estate Terms and Expressions You Should Know


Cracking the Code: 78 Real Estate Terms and Expressions You Should Know

Navigating the real estate world can sometimes feel like learning a new language. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, an investor, or someone interested in the real estate market, understanding the jargon can be a powerful tool. Here are 78 essential real estate terms and expressions you should know:

1. Appraisal: An evaluation of a property’s market value, typically conducted by a professional appraiser.

2. Appreciation: The increase in a property’s value over time.

3. Amortization: The process of gradually reducing a loan balance over time through regular payments.

4. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM): A type of mortgage where the interest rate can change over the loan term.

5. Balloon Mortgage: A type of mortgage that requires a large final payment (the “balloon”) at the end of the loan term.

6. Broker: A professional who acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

7. Buyer’s Market: A market condition characterized by low prices and a large number of properties for sale, favoring buyers.

8. Closing: The final step in a real estate transaction, where ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

9. Closing Costs: Fees and expenses, beyond the property price, that buyers and sellers incur to complete a real estate transaction.

10. Comparative Market Analysis (CMA): An estimate of a property’s value based on similar, recently sold properties in the same area.

11. Contingency: A condition specified in a real estate contract that must be met for the contract to be fulfilled.

12. Conventional Loan: A mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government.

13. Deed: A legal document that transfers ownership of a property.

14. Depreciation: The decrease in a property’s value over time.

15. Down Payment: The upfront payment made by a buyer towards the purchase price of a property.

16. Equity: The difference between the market value of a property and the amount owed on the mortgage.

17. Escrow: A neutral third party or account that holds funds or documents until the completion of a transaction.

18. Fair Market Value: The price that a property would sell for on the open market.

19. Fixed-Rate Mortgage: A type of mortgage where the interest rate remains the same throughout the loan term.

20. Foreclosure: The process by which a lender takes possession of a property after the borrower fails to make mortgage payments.

21. Home Inspection: A professional examination of a property’s condition, often performed before a sale.

22. Homeowners Association (HOA): An organization that manages a community of homes and enforces rules for the properties and their residents.

23. Interest Rate: The cost of borrowing money, expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.

24. Listing: A property for sale, represented by a real estate agent.

25. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): The ratio of a mortgage loan amount to the property’s appraised value or sale price.

26. Mortgage: A loan used to purchase a property.

27. Pre-Approval: A lender’s preliminary approval of a borrower, including an estimate of how much the borrower can afford to borrow.

28. Principal: The original amount of a loan, not including interest.

29. Real Estate Agent: A professional licensed to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

30. Seller’s Market: A market condition characterized by high prices and a limited number of properties for sale, favoring sellers.

31. Short Sale: A sale in which the proceeds fall short of what the owner still owes on the mortgage.

32. Title: The legal right to ownership of a property.

33. Zoning: Government regulations controlling the use of land within a certain area.

34. Gross Rent Multiplier (GRM): A ratio used in real estate to evaluate the value of income-producing properties.

35. Easement: A right to cross or use someone else’s land for a specified purpose.

36. Due Diligence: The process of investigating a property before finalizing a deal.

37. Capital Gains: Profit from the sale of real estate or investments.

38. Rent-to-Own: A contract that allows potential buyers to lease a property with an option to buy.

39. Assessed Value: A value placed on a property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

40. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): Insurance that protects the lender against loss if a borrower defaults on a loan.


With a solid understanding of these terms, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the real estate world. Always seek advice from real estate professionals if you’re unsure about any terms or concepts.

Celester Thomas

Company Blog – Soldier to Soldier Hawaii Realty