HOMEBUYER EDUCATION GLOSSARY

Capacity: Your ability to make your mortgage payments on time. This depends on your income and income stability, your assets and reserves, and the amount of your income each month that is available after you have paid for your housing costs, debts and other obligations.

Closing (Closing Date): When the real estate transaction between buyer and seller is completed. The buyer signs the mortgage documents and the closing costs are paid. Also known as the settlement date.

Closing Agent: A person that coordinates closing-related activities, such as recording the closing documents and disbursing funds.

Closing Costs: The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing. They include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs and items that must be prepaid or escrowed and other costs. Ask a lender or real estate professional for a complete list of closing cost items.

Collateral: Property which is pledged as security for a debt. In the case of a mortgage, the collateral would be the land, the house, and other buildings and improvements.

Commitment Letter: A letter from your lender that states the amount of the mortgage, the number of years to repay the mortgage (the term), the interest rate, the loan origination fee, the annual percentage rate and the monthly charges.

Concession: Something yielded or conceded in negotiating a transaction.

Condominium: A unit in a multiunit building. The owner of a condominium unit owns the unit itself and has the right, along with other owners, to use the common areas but does not own the common elements such as the exterior walls, floors and ceilings or the structural systems outside of the unit; these are owned by the condominium association. There are usually condominium association fees for maintenance for building and property upkeep, taxes and insurance on the common areas and reserves for improvements.

Counter-offer: An offer made in return by the person who rejects the previous offer.

Credit: The ability of a person to borrow money, or obtain goods with payments over time, as a consequence of the favorable opinion held by a lender as to the person's financial situation and reliability.

Credit Bureau: A company that gathers information on consumers who use credit and sells that information in the form of a credit report to credit lenders.

Credit History: A credit history is a record of credit use. It is comprised of a list of individual consumer debts and an indication as to whether or not these debts were paid back in a timely fashion or "as agreed." Credit institutions have developed a complex recording system of documenting your credit history. This is called a credit report.

Credit Report: A document used by the credit industry to examine an individual's use of credit. It provides information on money that individuals have borrowed from credit institutions and a history of payments.

Credit Score: A computer-generated number that summarizes an individual's credit profile and predicts the likelihood that a borrower will repay future obligations.

Creditworthy: Your ability to qualify for credit and repay debts.