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Appraisal An opinion of the value of property, made by a qualified professional called an "appraiser".

Appraiser Someone who practices appraisal. Appraisers' work involves appraising, review (the process of critically studying a report prepared by another), or consulting (the process of providing information, analysis of real estate data, and recommendations on diversified problems in real estate, other than estimating value).

APR - Annual Percentage Rate The actual interest rate taking into account the points and other prepaid fees expressed in annual percentage terms. Not to be confused with initial interest rate.

Equity The value of the property less the amount of unpaid mortgages and any outstanding liens.

Escrow Money or other valuables given to a third party with directions to deliver them to another party upon the fulfillment of a specific act or condition.

Home or Property Inspection A detailed inspection of the physical structure, the plumbing, electrical and heating systems and the overall condition of the home.

Homeowners Insurance Insurance that protects the homeowners from Casualty losses or damage to the home or personal property and from liability damages to other people or property. Homeowners insurance is required by the lender and may be included in the monthly mortgage payment

Mortgage Insurance A policy that provides protection for the lender in case of default and or which guarantees repayment of the loan if the borrower becomes disabled or dies.

PMI - Private Mortgage Insurance Insurance issued to a lender to protect it against loss on a defaulted mortgage loan. Its use is usually limited to loans with high loan-to-value ratios, generally in excess of 80%. The borrower pays the premiums.

Refinance Obtaining a new mortgage loan on a property already owned. Often to replace existing loans on the property.

Survey A map or plat made by a licensed surveyor showing the results of measuring the land with its elevations, improvements, boundaries, and its relationship to surrounding tracts of land.

Title Ownership of real property. Title is transferred from one party to another through a document called a deed.

Uniform Standards in Appraisal Practice (USPAP) There are uniform standards by which all real estate appraisals should conform to unless otherwise specifically stated within the report. Every appraiser is responsible for being knowledgeable about these standards and how they apply to each appraisal performed. These standards help to insure uniformity in rendering opinions of value.

Zoning Ordinances The acts of an authorized local government establishing building codes, and setting forth regulations for property land usage.