Real Estate 101- Quick Reference Guide

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Real Estate

Real estate contracts are full of terms that may be new to you. Review this quick reference guide to get up to speed before your next home transaction.  

Appraisal:  An appraisal determines the value of the home to ensure that the price reflects the home's condition, age, location, and features such as the number of bedrooms. Also, appraisals help banks and lenders avoid loaning more money to the borrower than what the house is worth.

Closing Costs: The expenses buyers and sellers normally incur to complete a real estate transaction. They are the various fees paid in addition to the down payment to finalize the mortgage and occur when the title of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.

Escrow Deposit: This deposit is made by the buyer in a transaction according to terms negotiated in the contract. The escrow deposit is held by a third party, such as a title company. When the real estate transaction is closed, the deposit is applied to the buyer's funds needed for down payment and closing costs.

Inspection Period: This is the length of time that the buyer has to fully inspect the property and decide to continue with the contract or cancel with no penalty to the escrow funds. The length of time is negotiated as part of the contract.

Mortgage: A type of loan you can use to buy or refinance a home. Mortgages are a way to buy a home without having all of the cash up front. Examples of types of mortgages are Conventional, FHA and VA.

Survey: The process of locating and measuring a property's boundary lines to determine the exact amount of land that a homeowner owns. A survey also identifies easements and encroachments, allowing buyer to resolve issues before closing.

Title Insurance: A form of indemnity insurance that protects lenders and home buyers from financial loss sustained from defects in a title to a property.

Do you have a real estate question? Call Shannon Riva, Realtor at 813.789.7532. Email: