Adirondack Country Homes Realty Inc.

   Serving the "ENTIRE" Adirondack Park with offices at:

            Schroon Lake Region (HQ):  PO 488, 1098 US Route 9, Schroon Lake, NY 12870 * 518.532.7900

            High Peaks Region/Auction Sales :  2918 US Route 9, North Hudson, NY 12855 * 518.532.9323

            Lake George Region:  2022 State Route 9, Lake George, NY 12845  *  518.668.2677

            North Country Region:  113 Flynn's Line Road, Burke, NY 12917   * 518.483.4538 

            Washington County Region:  4156 County Route 30, Salem, NY 12865 * 518.854.3294 



















"What do you mean?"  is often a question we hear from our customers.  To help answer some of those questions or concerns, we have included a 'Glossary of Real Estate Terms' to assist you.  Our Compliments.  


Quick Pick:  Appraisal Terms, Banking Terms (A-C, D-O, P, S-Z), For Buyers (A-D, H-P, R-Z), For Sellers (A-C, E-Z), General Terms (A-C, E-P, P-T, R-Z)

                                 Other Resources:   Q&A Blog, Glossary of Survey TermsInfo Center, and News

                                 FWT Homepage Translator


FOR BUYERS________________________________________________________________________________________________

Appreciation The increase in the property's value due to changes in market condition, inflation, or other causes.
Assessed Value The value placed on a property by the public tax assessor for purposes of taxation
Banking Terms See Banking glossary below.
Commission A fee form charged for services rendered from licensed sales brokers, loan officers, and others.   The fee is usually a percent of the proceeds. 
Closing Costs Closing costs are both 'non-recurring closing costs' and 'pre-paid items."  Non-recurring costs are any items which are paid just once as a result of the purchase or obtaining the loan.  Pre-paid items are items which recur such as property taxes, homeowner's insurance, etc.   A lender will estimate the amounts of non-recurring closing costs and prepaid items on the Good Faith Estimate that they must issue to the borrower within three days of closing on their loan.
Clear Title A title that is free of liens or legal issues as to ownership of the property.
Closing The closing is a meeting whereby all of the documents are signed and money is exchanged to procure the property.
Contingency A condition that must be met before the contract is binding.  A common contingency is a satisfactory home inspection, or a mortgage contingency.  Any tasks that a buyer wishes to do before the the contract becomes legally binding to the buyer.
Co-Op (Cooperative) A type of multiple ownership in which residents own a share in a corporative corporation that owns the property.   For more info, click here.)
Earnest Money Deposit A deposit made by the purchaser to show that he/she is serious about purchasing said property.  These funds are held in an escrow account by the listing agency.
Escrow An valuable item, money or documents deposited with a 3rd party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition, such as the sale of the property.  Both attorneys and real estate brokers have secured escrow accounts for monies escrowed.
Down Payment A payment that the buyer pays a deposit toward the purchase of the property
Home Inspection A professional inspection of the property done by a certified home inspector.  He/she will evaluate the condition of the property and provide the buyer with a complete report as ordered.  It is common that a purchase contract is contingent upon a satisfactory property inspection.
Line of Credit An agreement by a financial institution to extend credit up to a certain value for a certain time period to the borrower.
Mortgage A legal document the commits a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.  (For more info, click here.)
Mortgage Banker A mortgage banker assumes to originate and fund their own bank's loans. 
Mortgage Broker A mortgage broker the representative of a mortgage company that originates loans, then places them with a variety of lending institutions of which they have established business affiliations with.
Mortgagee The lender is the mortgage agreement.
Mortgagor The borrower in the mortgage agreement
Mortgage Insurance Insurance that covers the lender against losses resulting from default
Mortgage Life & Disability Insurance A type of term life insurance bought by the borrowers.  The amount will decrease as the principal decreases. 
Pre-Approval A term used to mean that the borrower has completed a loan application and has provided the necessary information the lender (i.e. income, debt, savings and all documents for an underwriter's review). 
Pre-Qualification Pre-Qualification refers to the loan offer's written opinion of the ability of the borrower to qualify for their loan.   Pre-Qualification letters are often used to assist buyer's in their real estate decisions.
Rights of First Refusal A provision in an agreement that means the owner of the property will give another party the first opportunity to purchase (or lease) the property before they offer it for sale to others.
Title A legal document identifying a person's right to ownership of a property.
Title Company A company that examines and will insure that the title to real estate is correct.
Title Insurance Insurance that protects the lender, or the buyer, against loss arising out of disputes over ownership of the property.  There are two types:  Lender's title insurance (protecting the lender for the full amount of the loan) and Owner's title insurance (covering the homeowner against title search flaws).  More info (click here)
Title Search A check of the title reports to insure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or outstanding issues.


FOR SELLERS______________________________________________________________________________________________

Appreciation The increase in the value of the property due to market changes, inflation and other causes.
Assessed Value A valuation placed on a property by the public tax assessor for purposes of local government taxation.
Assessment The placing of a value on a property
C M A (Comparable Market Analysis) A report done by real estate agent to determine the fair market value.   Comparable sales will include similar properties currently for sale, properties recently sold and properties that failed to sell.   The Agent will render a professional opinion on the data to assist the seller to set a marketing price.
Commission A fee form charged for services rendered from licensed sales brokers, loan officers, and others.   The fee is usually a percent of the proceeds. 
Comparable Sales Sales data of recent sales of similar properties in the local area to help determine the market value of a subject property. Also referred to as "comps'.
Exclusive Listing A written contract that gives a licensed sales firm the exclusive right to sell the property for a determined time period.
Encroachment An improvement that legally intrudes on another's property.
Effective Age An appraiser's estimate of the physical condition of the property.  The actually age may be shorter or longer than the 'effective age.'
Encumbrance Anything that affects, or limits, the title to a property such as, mortgages, leases, easements or restrictions.
Depreciation A decline ir property value; also used as an accounting term for decline of monetary value of the asset.
Equity The property owner's financial interest in the property.  Equity is the difference between the fair market value, the amount still owed on the property and other liens.
Fair Market Value The highest price a buyer is willing to pay for the property; and the lowest the seller is willing to accept.
Purchase Agreement A written contract signed by buyer and seller stating the terms and conditions that the property will be sold.
Seller Carry-Back An agreement in which the property owner provides financing, and often in combination with an assumable mortgage.


APPRAISAL TERMS_________________________________________________________________________________________

Appraisal A written analysis report performed either by a Realtor for estate evaluation, or a Certified Appraisal for bank loans, or court proposes, to establish the price of the property.  Certified appraisals have to meet stringent NY regulations.  For more info, click here.
Appraised Value The opinion of of fair market value, based on an appraiser's knowledge.  This value is based on comparable sales, using three or more recent sales in the vicinity.
Appraiser An individual qualified by education, training and experience to estimate the value or real property and personal property.   Banking and legal institutions will require a certified appraiser to perform their appraisal.   However, a Realtor can serve as an non-certified appraiser for estate planning, tax grievance, or market pricing.
Comparable Sales Sales data of recent sales of similar properties in the local area to help determine the market value of a subject property. Also referred to as "comps'.
CRV (Certificate of Reasonable Value) For a VA loan, the appraisal is performed on the property being purchased.  Thereafter the Veterans Administration issues a CRV.


BANKING TERMS____________________________________________________________________________________________

Accelerated Clause A clause in your mortgage agreement that allows the lender to demand payment of the outstanding loan balance for various reasons.  The most common reasons is for default on the loan, or transfer of title without informing the lender
A P R (Annual Percentage Rate) A value created by government formula to reflect the true annual costs of borrowing.  It is expressed as a percentage. 
A R M (Adjustable-Rate Mortgage) A mortgage that charges interest periodically according to a corresponding fluctuations in an index.  ARMS are tied to indexes.  A Life Cap is a limit on the interest rate (increase and decrease) on a ARM mortgage; however, the interest rate can increase and decrease during any one adjustment period, regardless of how high or low the index might be.  (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
Amortization The loan payment has a portion which will be applied to pay the accruing interest on the loan, with the remainder of the payment being applied to the principal.  Over time, the interest portion decreases as the balance decreases and principal increases so that the loan is paid off in a specific time
Amortization Schedule A table showing how much money is applied toward the principal and how much is applied toward the interest over the life of the loan.  The schedule will gradually decrease the balance until it reaches zero.
Asset Items of value owned by an individual.  "Liquid assets" are valued items that can be converted quickly into cash (bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.)
Assignment When an ownership of your mortgage is transferred from one company to another, or individual to another.
Assumable Mortgage A mortgage agreement that can be transferred to the buyer.  The buyer must qualify however to assume the mortgage.
Balloon Mortgage A mortgage loan that requires the principal balance be paid off at a specific point in time.  A balloon payment is due as the final lump sum payment at the termination of a balloon mortgage.  Example:  10 year loan w/balloon payment at 5 year would reflect a monthly payment plan based on a 10 year amortization schedule; but the balance (balloon payment) due on the 5th year.   (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
Bridge Loan A short term loan to cover a purchase when the buyer has yet sold their home. 
Buy Down Terms refers to a fix rate mortgage, when the interest rate is 'brought down' for a temporary period (usually 1 to 3 years).  After that time, the note is calculated at the note's rate.     To 'buy down' the initial rate for the temporary payment, a lump sum is paid and held in an account to supplement the borrower's month payment.  Often these funds come from the seller as an incentive.  A 'lender buy down, is when the lender pays the initial lump sum.  Reason being, because the borrower may get to qualify at the start rat and can quality for a higher loan amount, or another reason is that borrower may expect his/her earnings to go up substantially up in the future and wants a lower payment now.
C O F I (Cost of Fund Index) One of the indexes used to determine interest rate change for ARM.  It represents the weighted-average costs of savings, borrowings, and advances of the banks.
Cap ARM loans will have fluctuating interest rates, but those fluctuations are usually limited to a certain amount.  That is referred to as  "caps"  and may apply to how much a loan may adjust over 6 months, or annually, or for the life of the loan.  Some ARMS, may limit how much that payment can change each year.
Cash-Out Refinance When a borrower refinances for a higher amount than the balance of the current loan with the intent to pull money out for personal use.
Chain of Title An analysis of the transfers of title to a property throughout the years.
Collection When a borrowers falls behind on their loan, the loan goes into 'collection.'   The lender must mal and record certain documents in case they have to eventually go through the actions of foreclosure.
Certificate of Eligibility A document issued by the Veteran's Administration that qualifies a veteran's eligibility for a VA loan.
Co-Borrower An additional borrower on a loan who is obligated on the loan and is on the title to the property
Collateral In a mortgage loan, the collateral is the property itself. 
Construction Loan A short-term loan for financing the costs of construction.  The bank will make payments to a builder at periodic times as the work progresses.
Convention Mortgage A home loan other than a government loan (VA and FHA).   (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
Convertible ARM An adjustable rate mortgage that allows the borrower to change to a fixed-rate mortgage within a designated time period.
Credit History A historical record of an individual repayment of debt.
Deed A legal document conveying title to a property.
Deed-In Lieu A short term for "Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure" and conveys title back to the lender when the borrower is in default.  If the lender excepts such conveyance, the non-repayment of debt will likely still be shown on the credit report; but it does prevent having the documents of foreclosure recorded as pubic record.
Discount Points A term used in reference to government loans, in reference to any 'points' paid in addition to the one percent loan origination fee.  A "Point" is one percent of the loan amount.
Due on Sale Provision A provision in the mortgage that allows the lender to demand full repayment if the borrower sells the property that is security for the mortgage.
Escrow Account A lender may establish an escrow account on your behalf to impound funds required to pay your principal, interest, and extra money for payments of items like taxes, homeowner's insurance.  When they come due, the bank pays them with your money. 
F H A Mortgage A mortgage issued by the Federal Housing Administration; like the VA loan, it is a government loan.  (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
Loan Origination A term lenders use to refer to the process of obtaining new loans.
Loan Servicing After you obtain a loan, the lender you make payments to is "servicing" your loan.  They send you statements, collect payments, manage escrow funds and a variety of other services necessary to take care of your loan.
Lock-In An agreement where the lender guarantees an specific interest rate for a period of time at a certain cost.  A lock in period is a time period which the lender guarantees that rate to the borrower.
L T V (Loan-to-Value) The percentage relationship between the amount of the loan and the appraised value or sales price (or the one that is lower).
M I P (Mortgage Insurance Premium) An amount paid by the mortgagor for mortgage insurance.
Margin On a AMR, margin is the value that is different between the interest rate and the index.  The margin remains the same over the life of the loan.   The index moves up and down.
Original Principal Balance The total amount of the principal owed on the mortgage prior any payments being made.
Origination Fee On government loans, the loan origination fee is 1% of the loan amount.  On a conventional loan, the origination fee refers to the total number of points the borrower pays.
Pre-Approval A term used to mean that the borrower has completed a loan application and has provided the necessary information the lender (i.e. income, debt, savings and all documents for an underwriter's review). 
Prepayment Penalty A fee that can be charged to a borrower who pays off the note before it is due. 
P M I (Private Mortgage Insurance) Insurance that is provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect the lender against the lost if a borrower defaults.  Most lenders require PMI with a loan-to-value percentage in excess of 80%.
Rate Log A commitment issued by a lender to a borrower guaranteeing a specific interest rate for a specific time period at a specific costs.
Modification Sometimes a lender will agree to modify the terms of the loan without refinancing.  It is called 'modification' of the loan.
Negative Amortization Some ARM allow the interest rate to fluctuate independently of the required minimum payment.  If a borrower makes only minimum payment, it may not cover the interest rate that would be due at that time.  Therefore, the borrower is deferring the interest payment and the deferred interest is added to the balance of the loan.  The loan balance will grow larger instead of smaller, and it is called 'negative amortization.'
No Cash-Out Refinance A refinance transaction whereby the borrower does not pull out money from the transaction, as opposed to a "Cash Out Refinance."   The balance is calculated to cover the balance due on the loan, and obtaining a new mortgage. 
No-Cost Loan A program whereby the lender offers loan at no costs and the lender will cover the normal cost to purchase (such items as, title insurance, escrow fees, settlement fees, appraisal, recording fees, and other fees associated for generating the loan).  These loans are normally have higher interest rates.  (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
P I T A (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) Four components of a monthly mortgage payments.  Principal - the part of the payment that is reducing the remaining balance of the mortgage.  Interest - fee charged for borrowing the money.  Taxes and Insurance - the amounts paid into the escrow account each month for the property taxes and and any insurance.
P I T A Reserves A cash amount that a borrower holds on hand after making a down payment and paying the closing costs for the purchase of the property.  
Points A point is one percent of the amount of the mortgage.
Prime Rate The interest rate charged by the banks to their customers.  The prime rates are used as indexes in some ARM, and home equity loans.
Principal The amount borrowed, or remaining unpaid. 
Principal Balance The outstanding balance of principal on the mortgage (not including interest, or other charges).
Promissory Note A written promise to repay a specific amount over a specific time period.
Qualifying Ratios Calculations used to determine whether a borrower qualifies for a mortgage.  The two ratios are:  Top, or front, ratio is calculated from the borrower's monthly housing costs (principle, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance, homeowner's fees) as a percentage of the monthly income.  The back, or bottom, ratio includes housing costs as well as all other monthly debt of the borrower.
Refinance Transactions The process of paying off one loan with the proceeds from a new loan using the same property as the security.
Sale-Leaseback When a seller deeds the property to a buyer for a consideration, and the buyer leases the property back to the seller.
Second Mortgage A mortgage that is subordinate to the first mortgage.
Secondary Market The buying and selling of existing mortgages; a part of a pool of mortgages.
Servicer The organization that collects principal and interest payments from borrowers and manages the borrower's escrow accounts.
Servicing The collection of mortgage payments from borrowers and other responsibilities of a loan servicer.
Third-Party Originator The process in which the lender uses another party to complete, or partially originate, process, underwrite, close, fund, or package the mortgage it plans to deliver to the secondary market.
Transfer of Ownership Any means in which the ownership of a property changes hand. 
Two-Step Mortgage An ARM that has one interest rate for the first 5 or 7 years, and a different interest rate for the balance of the amortization terms. (For more info on mortgage types, click here.)
Truth-in-Lending A federal law that requires lenders to full disclose in writing the terms and conditions of the mortgage.  (For info on the truth-in-lending act, click here.)


GENERAL TERMS___________________________________________________________________________________________

Broker In the mortgage industry, the Broker is company or individual that does not lend money themselves, but brokers loans to large lenders or investors.

In the real estate industry, a Broker is a real estate broker has to be licensed by the State.  A real estate broker either oversees a group of agents working with him/her, or can act as a Real Estate Agent working direct with the public

Cloud on Title A condition revealed in a title search that negatively affects the title to the real estate.  Clouds on Titles usually can not be removed except by deed, release or court action.
Common Area Assessment Often referred to as "Homeowners Association Fees."  They are fees charged by the homeowner's association for the general care and maintenance of the property and common areas.
Common Areas A portion of a building, land and amenities owned by a PUD (planned unit development) or condominium homeowner's association, that are used by all of the unit owners; example, swimming pools, tennis courts, recreational facilities, corridors, parking areas and green areas.
Condominium A type of ownership where all of the owners own the property, common areas and buildings together, with the exception of the interior of the unit.  (For more info, click here.)
Condominium Hotel A condominium project that has a registration desk, food and telephone services, daily cleaning, rental services, etc.  The hotel is operated as a hotel although the units are individually owned.
Credit Repository An organization that gathers, records, updates and stores financial and public records.
Bankruptcy By filing in federal bankruptcy court, an individual(s) can restructure or relieve themselves of debts and liabilities.   Bankruptcies have various types.  Chapter 7 is the most common, whereby the borrower is relieved of most types of debt.
Credit A person to whom money is owed.
E C O A (Equal Credit Opportunity) A federal law that requires creditors/lenders to make credit equally available without discrimination (race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, martial status, etc.)
Easement A R.O.W. (right of way) giving a party, other than the owner, access over a property
Examination of Title The report on the title of a property on the abstract of title, or public records.
Executor A person named in a will to administer the estate.   Executrix is the female form.
Fair Credit Reporting Act A law that regulates the disclosure of consumer credit reports by credit reporting agencies. 
F H A (Federal Housing Administration) An agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  They set standards for construction and underwriting, and insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders.
F N M A (Fannie Mae) The Federal National Mortgage Association that is congressionally chartered, is a shareholder-owned company that is the nation's largest supplier of home mortgage funds. 
Fee Simple Estate An unconditional, unlimited estate of inheritance which represents the estate and most extensive interest in land.  It is of perpetual duration.  Fee simple is the greatest possible interest a personal can have in real estate
H U D -1 Settlement Statement A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are paid at closing.  Items that will appear on the statement may include real estate commissions, fees, points, and other fees associated with the cost of closing.  Each expense goes on a specific identified number line, and totals at the bottom what the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payments area at closing.  The form is provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and is often known as the 'closing statement' or 'settlement sheet.'
Liquid Asset A cash asset, or one that can be easily converted into cash.
Owner Financing A purchase transaction where the seller provides all, or part, of the financing.
P U D (Planned Unit Development) A type of ownership where an individual actually own the building or the unit they live in; however, the common areas are owned jointly. 
Personal Property Any property that is not real property
Power of Attorney A legal document giving authorization to another person to act on one's behalf.   This document can grant complete authority, or can be limited to certain acts for a certain time period.
Quick Claim Deed A deed that transfers without warranty.
R E S P A (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) A consumer protection law requiring lenders to give borrowers advance notice of the closing costs.  (For more info, click here.)
Real Property Land, appurtenances and including anything of permanent nature (such as structures, trees, minerals, even perennials)
RealtorŪ A real estate agent, broker, or associate broker who is a member of a local real estate board that is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors.  RealtorsŪ are held to a higher ethical standard.
Recorder A pubic official who keeps records of the transaction that affects real property.  Sometimes known as the "Registra of Deeds' or "County Clerk."
Replacement Reserve Fund Funds set aside for replacement of common property (such as carpeting, furnishings and items of short life expectancy)
Right of Ingress or Egress The right to enter and leave the premises.
Right of Survivorship In joint tenancy, the survivor has the right to acquire the interest of the deceased joint tenant.


A drawing, or map, showing the legal boundaries of the property, location of improvements, right of ways, easements and another physical features on the property

Subordinate Financing

A mortgage or lien that has priority lower than the first mortgage.


A housing development that was created by dividing a larger tract of land into individual lots for sale (or lease).

Tenancy in Common

Two ore more individuals have title to a piece of property.   In the event of the death of one individual, the ownership of the deceased does not pass to the other party

Transfer Tax

State and local tax payable when title is transferred to one owner to the other.


A fiduciary who holds property for the benefit of another.

V A (Veterans Administration)

The agency of the federal government that guarantees residential mortgages to eligible veterans.





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