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Home » Real Estate Terms  
Real Estate Terms
 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M

N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Factor
1. A financial intermediary that purchases receivables from companies. 2. In terms of mortgages, the ratio of principal outstanding to the original balance.

Fair Market Value
The price that a given property or asset would fetch in the marketplace, subject to the following conditions: 1. Prospective buyers and sellers are reasonably knowledgeable about the asset; they are behaving in their own best interests and are free of undue pressure to trade. 2. A reasonable time period is given for the transaction to be completed. Given these conditions, an asset's fair market value should represent an accurate valuation or assessment of its worth.

Fallout Risk
The lending risk that occurs when the terms of a loan are confirmed simultaneously with the terms of a property sale. Because the mortgage terms are set but the sale is not finalized, there is a risk that the transaction may not be completed. This represents a risk to the mortgage pipeline, as the loan may not be issued.

Finder's Fee
A commission paid to an intermediary or the facilitator of a transaction. The finder's fee is rewarded because the intermediary discovered the deal and brought it forth to interested parties. Depending on the circumstance, the finder's fee can be paid by either the transaction's buyer or seller. Also known as "referral income" or "referral fee".

First Mortgage
A mortgage in a first lien position on the property that secures the mortgage. A first mortgage has priority over all other liens or claims on a property in the event of default.

First-Time Home Buyer
An individual who is purchasing a principal residence for the first time. First-time home buyers are more commonly recognized according to several criteria with regards to an individual retirement account (IRA). If these criteria are met the owner can be granted special privileges, such as exemption from the early-distribution penalty.

Fixed-Period ARM
An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with an initial fixed-interest-rate period. After the fixed-interest rate expires, the interest rate starts to adjust based on an index plus a margin. The amount by which the interest rate can adjust after the fixed period is usually subject to an interest rate cap structure. These are often called "hybrid ARMs".

Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A mortgage that has a fixed interest rate for the entire term of the loan. The distinguishing factor of a fixed-rate mortgage is that the interest rate over every time period of the mortgage is known at the time the mortgage is originated. The benefit of a fixed-rate mortgage is that the homeowner will not have to contend with varying loan payment amounts that fluctuate with interest rate movements.

Flat

Flexible Payment ARM
A type of adjustable-rate mortgage that allows the borrower to select from four different payment options each month: a 30-year, fully amortizing payment; a 15-year, fully amortizing payment; an interest-only payment or a "minimum payment". Flexible payment ARMs are also known as "payment option ARMs".

Flipping
A type of real estate investment strategy in which an investor purchases properties with the goal of reselling them for a profit. Profit is generated either through the price appreciation that occurs as a result of a hot housing market and/or from renovations and capital improvements. Investors who employ these strategies face the risk of price depreciation in bad housing markets.

Flood Insurance
A financial instrument that protects real property owners from water damage to the structure and/or contents of their property. While flood insurance can be purchased through many different insurance companies, all policies are federally regulated so that the same policy costs the same amount no matter which company it is purchased through.

Floor Area Ratio - FAR
The total square feet of a building divided by the total square feet of the lot the building is located on. FAR is used by local governments in zoning codes. Higher FARs tend to indicate more urban (dense) construction.

Floor Loan
In real estate construction, the minimum loan that a lender agrees to advance in order to enable the builder to commence construction and development of a project. Floor loans apply to buildings that will be occupied by tenants.

Floor plan

Floor rise

For Sale By Owner - FSBO
A method of selling property without the use of an agent or broker. Generally, the reason that the seller does not use the services of an agent or broker is because they want to avoid paying a hefty commission for the transaction.

Foreclosure - FCL
A situation in which a homeowner is unable to make principal and/or interest payments on his or her mortgage, so the lender, be it a bank or building society, can seize and sell the property as stipulated in the terms of the mortgage contract.

Foreclosure Action
The legal proceedings initiated by a lender in the case of mortgage default. When a borrower fails to make mortgage payments or otherwise fails to fulfill any of the obligations set forth in the mortgage agreement, the lender can enforce its rights through a foreclosure. Foreclosure is the process of selling the mortgaged property and using the proceeds of the sale to repay debt; Foreclosure action is the actual filing of and carrying through of the foreclosure process.

Foreclosure Buyout
A refinancing program that allows a homeowner to avoid foreclosure on their home. Foreclosure buyouts are typically a refinancing loan which the homeowner obtains to cover the portion of the current mortgage that is in default. Of course, finding a lender that will lend to a borrower that is in the process of being foreclosed on can be difficult and if successful, the loan will usually be accompanied by a high interest rate.

Foreclosure Filing
The initial legal process of selling a mortgaged property that is in default. When a borrower defaults in making mortgage payments or otherwise fails to fulfill the terms of the mortgage agreement, the lender can enforce its rights through the foreclosure process. Foreclosure filings refer to the statutory procedural requirements followed by the lender and all involved parties, including any documentation and court hearings. The procedure depends on state laws.

Fractional Ownership
Percentage ownership in an asset. Fractional ownership shares in the asset are sold to individual shareholders who share the benefits of the asset such as usage rights, income sharing, priority access and/or reduced rates. The usage benefits that the fractional owners receive are similar to those of timeshare owners.

Front-End Ratio
A ratio that indicates what portion of an individual's income is used to make mortgage payments. It is calculated as an individual's monthly housing expenses divided by his or her monthly gross income and is expressed as a percentage. Monthly gross income is simply annual income divided by 12 (months). Lenders use the front-end ratio in conjunction with the back-end ratio to approve mortgages.

Fully Amortizing Payment
A periodic loan payment, part of which is principal and part of which is interest, where if the borrower makes payment according to the loan's amortization schedule, the loan will be paid-off by the end of its set term. If the loan is a fixed-rate loan, each fully amortizing payment will be equal an amount. If the loan is an adjustable-rate loan, the fully amortizing payment may change as the interest rate on the loan changes.

Future Advance
A clause in a mortgage which enables the lender to advance funds after the loan closing. The initial agreement of the loan remains intact in that no additional collateral is required, and no refinancing is necessary. Future advance can refer to a variety of loans such as home equity loans, construction loans and commercial loan advance mortgages where the amount of the loan has not been fully used at the time of loan closing.

 

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