Thursday, July 11, 2019

Learning Mortgage Jargon

Vocabulary surrounding mortgages can confuse the best of us. Whether you have purchased many homes, or you’re buying your very first vacation home at the Lake of the Ozarks, having a helpful guide is always welcome. Team Lasson wants to make your mortgage process as easy as possible. If that means you need a quick guide to language and verbiage that you may hear throughout the mortgage process, then that is what you will get!

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) 

This is a loan that has an initial fixed-rate period, generally 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. After the fixed-rate period is over, your interest rate may change once per year, either up or down depending on the current market conditions.


This refers to a gradual reduction of a debt over the term of the loan. Amortization occurs through the repayment of principal.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR refers to the yearly cost of a mortgage including interest and other expenses or charges. Those additional charges could be private mortgage insurance and points expressed as a percentage.


This will refer to a written estimate of a property’s current market value.


Hooray! This is the conclusion of your real estate transaction. The legal documents will be signed, the funds are disbursed, and it’s time to get your keys.

Closing Costs

This refers to expenses over and above the cost of the property and may include items like:

  • Title insurance
  • Appraisal
  • Processing
  • Underwriting
  • Surveying Fees

Pre-Paid Costs

This is typically your home owner’s insurance premium and any escrow amounts for the insurance and property taxes put in your escrow account


This will be a report from an independent agency which details the credit history, including previous, and current debt to help determine your creditworthiness.

Credit Score

This is a mathematical formula that will predict the creditworthiness of an applicant. It’s specifically based on credit card history, outstanding debt, type of credit, bankruptcies, late payments, collection judgments, too little credit history, and too many credit lines.

Warranty Deed

This is the legal document that transfers the property from one owner to another.

Down Payment

A down payment refers to the difference between a property’s purchase price and the amount of financing you are obtaining.

Earnest Money

This is a deposit made by a buyer toward the down payment to show good faith when the purchase agreement is signed. This is typically written to the title company to be held in escrow until closing.


This refers to Tthe monetary difference between your mortgage balance and the actual market value of your home.

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

This is a mortgage with an interest rate and payment that will not change over the term of the loan. If the market interest rate falls below your fixed rate, it’s time to contact Team Lasson at the Lake of the Ozarks to discuss the benefits of refinancing.


The balance (not counting the interest) owed on a loan is called the principal. A 30 year fixed rate mortgage is amortized so that the longer you have the loan, the more principal you reduce with each payment.

Title Search

The is an examination of municipal records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of a property, determine any easements that may exist, as well as to make certain that there are no liens or other claims against the property.


In mortgage lending, this is the process of determining the risks involved in a particular loan and establishing suitable terms and conditions for the loan.

Ready to Buy a Home?

Team Lasson is ready to help you make your homeownership dreams a reality with mortgages at the Lake of the Ozarks. From first time home buyers to luxury vacation homes at the Lake of the Ozarks, we are ready to assist. Visit our website to learn more about our company, or you can apply for your mortgage right there! Now is a great time to buy a home, and Team Lasson is ready!

For Lake area news, resources and tips on financial services, please 

Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065

Direct: (573) 746-7211

**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

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