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AmortizationThe period of time, most often 15, 20 or 25 years, required to reduce a debt to zero when payments are made regularly.
AppraisalA process for estimating the market value of a particular property.
Approved LenderA lending institution authorized by the Government of Canada through CMHC to make loans under the terms of the National Housing Act. Only Approved Lenders can negotiate mortgages which require mortgage loan insurance.
Assumption AgreementA legal document signed by a home buyer that requires the buyer to assume responsibility for the obligations of a mortgage by the builder or the original owner.
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Blended PaymentA mortgage payment that includes principal and interest. It is paid regularly during the term of the mortgage. The payment total remains the same, although the principal portion increases over time and the interest portion decreases.
Building PermitA certificate that must be obtained from the municipality by the prop- erty owner or contractor before a building can be erected or repaired. It must be posted in a conspicuous place until the job is completed and passed as satisfactory by a municipal building inspector.
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Closing CostsCosts, in addition to the purchase price of the home, such as legal fees, transfer fees and disbursements, that are payable on the closing date. Closing costs typically range from 1.5%-4% of a home's selling price.
Closing DateThe date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner takes possession.
CMHCCanada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Crown corporation that administers the National Housing Act for the federal government and encourages the improvement of housing and living conditions for all Canadians. CMHC also creates and sells mortgage loan insurance products.
Conditional Offer/ Conditions of SaleAn Offer to Purchase that is subject to specified conditions, for example, the arranging of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time limit within which the specified conditions must be met.
Collateral MortgageA mortgage which secures a loan by way of a promissory note. The money which is borrowed can be used to buy a property or for another purpose such as home renovation or for a vacation.
Commitment Letter/ Mortgage ApprovalWritten notification from the mort- gage lender to the borrower that approves the advancement of a specified amount of mortgage funds under specified conditions.
Conventional Mortgage LoanA mortgage loan up to a maximum of 75% of the lending value of the property. Mortgage loan insurance is not required for this type of mortgage.
CovenantA clause in a legal document which, in the case of a mortgage, gives the parties to the mortgage a right or an obligation. For example, a covenant can impose the obligation on a borrower to make mortgage payments in certain amounts on certain dates. A mortgage document consists of covenants agreed to by the borrower and the lender.
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DeedA legal document which is signed by both the vendor and purchaser, transferring ownership. This document is registered as evidence of ownership.
DefaultFailure to abide by the terms of a mortgage loan agreement. A failure to make mortgage payments (defaulting on the loan) may give cause to the mortgage holder to take legal action to possess (foreclose) the mortgaged property.
DepositMoney placed in trust by the purchaser when an Offer to Purchase is made. The sum is held by the real estate representative or lawyer until the sale is closed, and then paid to the vendor.
Discharge of MortgageA document signed by the lender and given to the borrower when a mortgage loan has been repaid in full.
Down PaymentThe portion of the house price the buyer must pay up front from personal resources, before securing a mortgage. It generally ranges from 5%-25% of the purchase price.
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EasementA right acquired for access to or over, or for use of, another person's land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or public utilities.
EncumbranceA registered claim for debt against a property, such as a mortgage.
EquityThe difference between the price for which a home could be sold and the total debts registered against it. Equity usually increases as the outstanding principal of the mortgage is reduced through regular payments. Market values and improvements to the property also affect equity.
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ForeclosureA legal procedure in which the lender gets ownership of the property if the borrower defaults on the mortgage loan.
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Gross Debt Service Ratio (GDS)The percentage of the borrower's gross monthly income that will be used for monthly payments of principal, interest, taxes, heating costs and half of any condominium maintenance fees.
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High-ratio MortgageA mortgage loan in excess of 80% of the lending value of the property. This type of mortgage must be insured-for example, by CMHC-against payment default.
HoldbackAn amount of money withheld by the lender during the progress of construction of a house to ensure that construction is satisfactory at every stage. A standard holdback amount is 10% of the total cost of the building project.
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InterestThe cost of borrowing money. Interest is usually paid to the lender in instalments along with repayment of the principal loan amount.
Interest Adjustment Date (IAD)A date from which interest on the mortgage advanced is calculated for your regular payments. This date is usually one payment period before regular mortgage payments begin. Interest due from the date your mortgage is advanced to the IAD is due on closing.
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Lending Value

The purchase price or market value of a property, whichever is less.
Lien (Mechanic's)A claim against a property for money owing. A lien may be filed by a supplier or a subcontractor who has provided labour or materials but has not been paid. A lien must be properly filed by a claimant. It has a limited life, prescribed by statute that varies from province to province. If the lienholder takes action within the prescribed time, the homeowner may be obliged to pay the amount claimed by the lien- holder. Alternatively, the lienholder may force a sale of the property to pay off the debt.
Loan-to-value RatioThe ratio of the loan to the lending value of a property expressed as a percentage. For example, the loan- to-value ratio of a loan for $90,000 on a home which costs $100,000 is 90%.
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Maturity DateThe last day of the term of the mortgage agreement. On this day the mortgage loan must be either paid in full or the agreement renewed.
MortgageA mortgage is security for a loan on the property that you own. It is your personal guarantee to repay the loan as well as a pledge of the property as security for the loan.
Mortgage Loan InsuranceIf you have a high-ratio mortgage (more than 75% of the purchase price), your lender will require mortgage loan insurance- available from CMHC or a private insurer. The insurance premium will cost between 0.5% and 3.75% of the amount of the mortgage (additional charges may apply).
Mortgage Life InsuranceThis insurance guarantees that if you die your mortgage will be paid in full. This insurance can be conveniently purchased through your lender and the premium added to your mortgage payments. However, you may want to compare rates for equivalent products from an insurance broker.
Mortgage PaymentA regularly scheduled payment that is blended to include both principal and interest.
MortgageeThe lender who provides the mortgage loan.
MortgagorThe borrower who pledges the property as security for the loan.
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Net WorthYour total financial worth, calculated by subtracting your total liabilities from your total assets.
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Offer To PurchaseA written contract setting out the terms under which the buyer agrees to buy. If accepted by the seller, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.
Option AgreementA document stipulating that, in exchange for a deposit, a specified individual is to be given the first chance of buying a property at or within a specified period of time. An option holder who does not buy at or within the specified period loses the deposit and the agreement is cancelled.
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P.I.T.Principal, interest and taxes - payments due on a regular basis under the terms of the mortgage agreement. Generally, payments are made monthly and include one-twelfth of the estimated annual municipal and school taxes. Since these taxes change from year to year, this section of the mortgage will change accordingly.
P.I.T.H.Principal, interest, taxes and heating-costs used to calculate the Gross Debt Service ratio (GDS).
PrincipalThe amount of money actually borrowed.
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RealtorA real estate representative who is a member of an organization of persons engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate, such as the Canadian Real Estate Association.
RefinanceTo pay off a mortgage or other registered encumbrance and arrange for a new mortgage, sometimes with a different lender.
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Second MortgageAn additional mortgage on a property that already has a mortgage.
Statement of AdjustmentA balance sheet statement that indicates credits to the vendor, such as the purchase price and any prepaid taxes, and credits to the buyer, such as the deposit and the balance due on closing.
SurveyA document that illustrates the property boundaries and measurements, specifies the location of buildings on the property, and indicates any easements or encroachments.
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TermThe length of time during which a mortgagor pays a specific interest rate on the mortgage loan. The entire mortgage principal is usually not paid off at the end of the term because the amortization period is normally longer than the term.
TitleA freehold title gives the holder full and exclusive ownership of land and buildings for an indefinite period of time. In condominium ownership, land and common elements of buildings are owned collectively by all unit owners, while the residential units belong exclusively to the individual owners. A leasehold title gives the holder a right to use and occupy land and buildings for a defined period of time.
Total Debt Service Ratio (TDS)The percentage of gross monthly income required to cover all monthly payments for housing and all other debts, such as car payments.
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Vendor Take Back MortgageMortgage financing arranged between the seller of the property and the buyer. The title is trans- ferred to the buyer. Often this type of loan is a second mortgage which the seller is willing to arrange at below market rates to ensure the buyer can purchase the house. Most of these arrangements are not renewable or transferable to the next owner of the house.
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Zoning BylawsMunicipal or regional laws that specify or restrict land use.
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