Real Estate Glossary


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  • Backup Offer - A secondary bid for a property that the seller will accept if the first offer fails.

  • Balloon Mortgage - A mortgage that typically offers low rates for an initial period of time (usually 5, 7, or 10) years; after that time period elapses, the balance is due or is refinanced by the borrower.

  • Bankruptcy - A federal law whereby a person's assets are turned over to a trustee and used to pay off outstanding debts; this usually occurs when someone owes more than they have the ability to repay.

  • Bi-weekly Mortgage - A mortgage that requires payments every two weeks and helps repay the loan over a shorter term.

  • Borrower - A person who has been approved to receive a loan and is then obligated to repay it and any additional fees according to the loan terms.

  • Bridge Loan - A short-term loan for borrowers who need more time to find permanent financing.

  • Budget - A detailed record of all income earned and spent during a specific period of time.

  • Building Code - Based on agreed upon safety standards within a specific area, a building code is a regulation that determines the design, construction, and materials used in building.

  • Building Line or Setback - Distances from the ends and/or sides of the lot beyond which construction may not extend. The building line may be established by a filed plat of subdivision, by restrictive covenants in deeds or leases, by building codes, or by zoning ordinances.

  • Building Permit - A permit issued by a local government agency that allows the construction of home or renovation of a house.

  • Built-ins - Appliances or other items that are framed into a home or permanently attached.

  • Buydown - Money advanced by an individual to reduce the monthly payments for a home mortgage either during the entire term of for an initial period of years.

  • Buyer Broker - A real estate broker who exclusively represents the buyer's interests in a transaction and whose commission is paid by the buyer rather than the seller.

  • Buyer's Market - A slow real estate market in which buyers have the advantage.