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Realty and Mortgage Terms and Definitions



Habendum Clause - The “to have and to hold” clause that defines the amount of the estate granted in the deed.

Half Bath - A half bathroom in a home that contains a wash sink and a toilet, but no bathtub or shower stall.

Hangout - The principal balance of a loan remaining when the term of the loan is beyond the term of a lease.

Hazard Insurance - Insurance that protects a homeowner against the cost of damages to property caused by fire, windstorms, and other common hazards.  Also referred to as homeowner's insurance.

Hold Harmless - An executed agreement that an agency, organization or individual is not responsible for damages caused by error or dispute regarding a piece of property.

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) - A special type of mortgage that enables seniors to convert the equity in their homes

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) - A loan secured by real property, usually in a subordinate position, that allows the borrower to receive the loan proceeds in the form of multiple advances up to a limit that represents a maximum percentage of the borrower's equity in a property.

Home Equity Loan - A loan secured by a subordinate mortgage on one's principal residence, generally to be used for some non-housing expenditure. A traditional home equity loan provides lump-sum proceeds at the time the loan is closed.

Home Inspection - A complete and detailed inspection that examines and evaluates the mechanical and structural condition of a property. A complete and satisfactory home inspection is often required by the homebuyer. Compare with appraisal.

Homeowner's Insurance - Insurance that protects a homeowner against the cost of damages to property caused by fire, windstorms, and other common hazards. Also referred to as hazard insurance.

Homeowner’s Warranty - A type of insurance policy that covers repairs to certain parts of a home for an agreed upon period of time. It is typically provided by the contractor or seller as a condition of the sale

Homeowners Association - A nonprofit association that manages the common areas of a condominium project or planned unit development (PUD). In a condominium development, the association has no ownership interest in the common elements. In a PUD, it holds title to the common elements of the project.

Homeowners Association Dues - Payments made to an association responsible for the maintenance of the common areas in a condominium or subdivision development.

Homeowners Insurance - Insurance coverage at least equal to the amount of the mortgage loan which protects a residential property against loss. Required by all lenders.

Homestead - One's recorded interest in a peice of property.

Housing Ratio - A standard calculation performed by mortgage lenders to determine if a borrower qualifies for a specific loan type and amount. It is calculated by dividing the monthly housing expense (Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance) by the borrower’s monthly gross income. Also referred to as a front-end ratio or a top ratio.

Housing Starts - Economic indicator that measures the number of residential units on which construction is begun each month. Monthly percent changes reflect the rate of change of such activity. The level of housing starts is widely followed as an indicator of residential construction activity. Frequency: monthly. Source: Commerce Department.

HUD - HUD, also known as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, insures home mortgage loans made by lenders meet minimum standards for such homes.

HUD Median Income - Median family income for a particular county or metropolitan statistical area, as estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD-1 Statement - Also referred to as the closing statement or the settlement statement, this is the document that provides line by line detail of the financial details related to a specific real estate transaction such as the fees paid by the seller and the buyer for a purchase transaction or the fees paid by the borrower for refinances.

HVAC - The heating and cooling delivery systems of any enclosed property.