Glossary of Terms

Amortization period:  The actual number of years it will take to pay back your mortgage loan.

Appraised value:  An estimate of the value of the property, conducted for the purpose of mortgage lending by a certified appraiser.

Assumability:  Allows the buyer to take over the seller's mortgage on the property.

Closed mortgage:  A mortgage that locks you into a specific payment schedule. A penalty usually applies if you repay the loan in full before the end of a closed term.

Condominium fee:  A payment among owners, which is allocated to pay expenses.

Conventional mortgage:  A mortgage loan issued for up to 75% of the property's appraised value or purchase price, whichever is less.

Down payment:  The buyer's cash payment toward the property that is the difference between the purchase price and the amount of the mortgage loan.

Equity:  The difference between the home's selling value and the debts against it.

High-ratio mortgage:  A mortgage that exceeds 75% of the home's appraised value. These mortgages must be insured for payment.

Interest rate:  The value charged by the lender for the use of the lender's money, expressed as a percentage.

Land transfer tax, deed tax or property purchase tax:  A fee paid to the municipal and/or provincial government for the transferring of property from seller to buyer.

Maturity date:  The end of the term of the loan, at which time you can pay off the mortgage or renew it.

Mortgage:  The financial institution or person that lends the money.

Mortgage insurance:  Applies to high-ratio mortgages. It protects the lender against loss if the borrower is unable to repay the mortgage.

Mortgage life insurance:  Pays off the mortgage if the borrower dies.

Mortgagor:  The borrower.

Open mortgage:  Allows partial or full payment of the principal at any time, without penalty.

Portability:  A mortgage option that enables borrowers to take their current mortgage with them to another property, without penalty.

Pre-approved mortgage:  Qualifies you for a mortgage before you start shopping. You know exactly how much you can spend and are free to make a firm offer when you find the right home.

Prepayment privileges:  Voluntary payments that are in addition to regular mortgage payments.

Principal:  The amount borrowed or still owing on a mortgage loan. Interest is paid on the principal amount.

Refinancing:  Paying off the existing mortgage and arranging a new one or renegotiating the terms and conditions of an existing mortgage.

Renewal:  Renegotiation of a mortgage loan at the end of a term for a new term.

Second mortgage:  Additional financing, which usually has a shorter term and a higher interest rate than the first mortgage.

Term:  The length of time the interest rate is fixed. It also indicates when the principal balance becomes due and payable to the lender.

Title:  Legal ownership in a property.

Variable rate mortgage:  A mortgage with fixed payments that fluctuates with interest rates. The changing interest rate determines how much of the payment goes towards the principal.

Vendor take-back mortgage:  When the seller provides some or the entire mortgage financing in order to sell their property.