Real Estate Glossary



  • Fair Housing Act - A law that prohibits discrimination in all facets of the homebuying process on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability.
  • Fair Market Value - The hypothetical price that a willing buyer and seller will agree upon when they are acting freely, carefully, and with complete knowledge of the situation.
  • Fannie Mae - Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA); a federally-chartered enterprise owned by private stockholders that purchases residential mortgages and converts them into securities for sale to investors. By purchasing mortgages, Fannie Mae supplies funds that lenders may loan to potential homebuyers.
  • FHA - Federal Housing Administration; established in 1934 to advance homeownership opportunities for all Americans; assists homebuyers by providing mortgage insurance to lenders to cover most losses that may occur when a borrower defaults; this encourages lenders to make loans to borrowers who might not qualify for conventional mortgages.
  • FHA Loans - Mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The FHA's 203(b) loan program provides low-rate mortgages to buyers who make a down payment as small as 3 percent. The agency also operates loan plans for investors and purchasers of rural property.
  • First Mortgage - A mortgage that has first claim in the event of default.
  • Fixed Rate Mortgage - A mortgage in which the interest rate does not change during the entire term of the loan.
  • Fixer-upper - A house that needs refurbishment or remodeling It usually sells at a below-market price.
  • Flood Insurance - Insurance that protects homeowners against losses from a flood; if a home is located in a flood plain, the lender will require flood insurance before approving a loan.
  • Foreclosure - A legal process in which mortgaged property is sold to pay the loan of the defaulting borrower.
  • Freddie Mac - Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLM); a federally-chartered corporation that purchases residential mortgages, securitizes them, and sells them to investors; this provides lenders With funds for new homebuyers.