top of page
  • Writer's picturePeter Seroter

15 Mortgage Terms You Need to Know Before Buying a Home


Purchasing a home is a significant milestone for many people, but the process can be daunting, especially when it comes to understanding the jargon used in the mortgage industry. Knowing the mortgage terms and concepts will help you make informed decisions and ensure that you get the best deal on your home loan. In this blog post, we'll discuss 15 essential mortgage terms you need to know before buying a home.


  1. Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates refer to the interest rate charged on a home loan. It's crucial to compare mortgage rates from different lenders to find the most favorable rate. The mortgage rate can affect your monthly payments and the overall cost of your loan.


2. Down Payment

A down payment is a percentage of the home's purchase price paid upfront. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. Most lenders require a down payment of at least 3% to 20% of the purchase price.


3. Closing Costs

Closing costs are fees associated with closing the mortgage loan. They can include appraisal fees, title insurance, loan origination fees, and more. Closing costs typically range from 2% to 5% of the purchase price.


4. Amortization

Amortization refers to the process of paying off your mortgage over time. Each monthly payment you make goes towards paying off the principal and interest on your loan. Over time, the balance of your mortgage decreases until it's paid in full.


5. Escrow

An escrow account is a third-party account used to hold funds for your property taxes and homeowners' insurance. The lender manages the escrow account and pays these bills on your behalf.


6. Equity

Equity refers to the value of your home that you actually own. It's calculated by subtracting the outstanding mortgage balance from the current market value of your home.


7. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

PMI is insurance that lenders require borrowers to purchase when the down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. PMI protects the lender in case the borrower defaults on the loan.


8. Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR is the total cost of borrowing money, including interest and other fees, expressed as a percentage. It's a more accurate reflection of the true cost of the mortgage loan than the mortgage rate alone.


9. Pre-Approval

Pre-approval is the process of getting approved for a mortgage loan before you start shopping for a home. Pre-approval gives you an idea of how much you can afford to spend on a home and strengthens your bargaining power when making an offer.


10. Appraisal

An appraisal is an evaluation of your home's value by a licensed appraiser. Lenders require an appraisal to ensure that the home is worth the amount of the loan.


11. Title Insurance

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects lenders and buyers from financial loss due to defects in the title of the property.


12. Home Inspection

A home inspection is a thorough examination of the home's condition, including the structural and mechanical systems. It's essential to identify any potential issues before closing on the home.


13. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

The LTV is the ratio of the loan amount to the home's appraised value. Lenders use the LTV to determine the risk of the loan and may require PMI if the LTV is higher than 80%.


 14. Refinance

 The process of replacing an existing mortgage with a new one, typically to take advantage of lower interest rates.


 15. Mortgage Broker

 A mortgage broker is a professional who helps borrowers find and apply for mortgage loans. They work with a variety of lenders to find the best loan options for their clients.



As you can see, there are a variety of mortgage terms that can be helpful to understand when you are looking to purchase a home. While this list is not exhaustive, it provides a good starting point for familiarizing yourself with some of the most commonly used terms in the mortgage industry.


By understanding these terms, you can be better equipped to navigate the home buying process and make informed decisions about your mortgage. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned pro, having a solid understanding of these mortgage terms can help you to feel more confident and secure in your decision-making.


Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, Life and Loans is here to provide you with helpful tips, advice, and resources for all things related to home financing. Visit our website to learn more and take the first step towards achieving your homeownership goals.


Peter Seroter

NMLS 997692


Keywords: mortgage terms, home buying, real estate, mortgage lender, first-time homebuyer, interest rate, down payment, closing costs, credit score, amortization, equity, pre-approval, mortgage insurance, appraisal, adjustable-rate mortgage, mortgage terms to know, longest mortgage term

5 views0 comments
bottom of page