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Making the Right Decisions

Mortgage and Refinance Glossary


a verbal or written acceptance of an offer to buy a home, made from the seller to the buyer.

Adjustable rate mortgage, ARM

a type of mortgage loan characterized by interest rates that automatically adjust or fluctuate in concert with certain market indexes. Generally an ARM begins with an introductory or initial interest rate, which then may rise or fall, but monthly payments may not exceed the ARM loan cap.


the measurable value that increases on a home or property. Market improvements and home renovations often drive appreciation value.


the formal documented sale of a home and/or property that includes signing all documents associated with the exchange and payment of required closing fees. A closing agent usually oversees this process.

Closing agent

the person responsible for mediating the closing, documenting the process and assuring all associated paperwork is completed. May be an attorney or official from a title or mortgage company.


a legal document between a mortgagor and a mortgagee that establishes a home and/or property as security for a home loan.