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  Acceleration clause:

A provision in a mortgage that gives the lender the right to demand payment of the entire outstanding balance if a monthly payment is missed.

Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM):

A mortgage in which the interest rate changes over time based on an index and a margin. Rate changes are made at prescribed times and within prescribed limits (caps) as defined in the mortgage contract.


The gradual repayment of a mortgage by installments.

Amortization schedule:

A timetable for payment of a mortgage showing the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and the remaining balance on the loan.

Annual percentage rate (APR):

The total yearly cost of a mortgage stated as a percentage of the loan amount. This includes the base interest rate, mortgage insurance, origination fees, and some other related fees. See your lender for a more complete explanation of what fees are used to calculate your APR.


A professional opinion of the market value of a property.


An increase in the value of a house due to changes in market conditions or other causes.

Assessed value:

The valuation placed upon a property by a public tax assessor for purposes of taxation.

Assumable mortgage:

A mortgage that can be taken over ("assumed") by the buyer when a home is sold.


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