Jargon Buster

At a loss to understand arrears, affidavits or air bricks? Bamboozled by balloon payments and back-to-back escrow? Confused by conveyancing, cash-flow and closing costs?

If so, our Jargon Buster will be just what you need.It's a glossary of terms packed full of property phrases, estate agent slang, financial words and other terms you may come across in your real estate or personal finance activities.

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Jargon Buster: B

Our glossary results: 65 matches!

Back title letter

A letter that a title insurance company gives to an attorney who then examines the title for insurance purposes.

Back to back

Term used by estate agents to describe the purchase and sale of the same property on the same day. This method if often used by land developers and investors. Common in busy markets when property prices are rising very quickly.

Back-to-back escrow

Arrangements that an owner makes to oversee the sale of one property and the purchase of another at the same time.

Bailiff

An official representative of the courts, who may call round to repossess your possessions or house if you cannot keep up on your mortgage repayments and fail to reach an agreement with your lender to ammend your repayments.

Balance breakdown

This is a fee that can be charged by your lender for a month-by-month breakdown of your account balance, over and above the information contained in your Annual Statement. Costs £15 - £30

Balance outstanding

The amount of loan owed at one time.

Balance sheet

Forms part of the annual report and is the statement of a value for a company's assets and liabilities and the end of the financial year (balance sheet date). It shows a company's financing through external debt, profit generation and the issuing of share capital.

Balanced flute

A small metal device used in gas appliances which allows air to be drawn in while air is allowed to escape.

Balloon mortgage

A mortgage in which monthly installments are not large enough to repay the loan by the end of the term. As a result, the final payment due is the lump sum of the remaining principal.

Balloon payment

The final lump sum payment due at the end of a balloon mortgage.

Bank of England base rate

The prevailing rate of interest set by the Bank of England which all lenders generally follow.

Bankers draft

A method for the payment of funds which is guaranteed by your bank and is therefore seen as more secure than a personal cheque.

Bankruptcy

A proceeding in which an insolvent debtor can obtain relief from payment of certain obligations. Bankruptcies remain on a credit record for seven years and can severely limit a person's ability to borrow.

Bankruptcy charge

This is an investigation carried out by the Land Charges Registry to check if a purchaser is or has ever been bankrupt. Most mortgage lenders will insist on this search being carried out and it usually carries a small charge.

Banks

Banks are profit-making businesses that return their profits to shareholders in the way of dividends and make money by providing a range of financial services.

BAR

This is the professional trade association representing the removals industry. Membership of the BAR means that a removals business is obliged to meet certain standards in its work and practices. All members of the BAR are regularly inspected to ensure they conform to membership requirements.

BAR conciliation service

When a complaint with a removals firm cannot be resolved privately, the BAR will step in and mediate between the removals company and the customer. This is a free service. An independent arbitration service is also available for the speedy and cost-effective resolution of the dispute should the conciliation service fail to provide an agreement.

Barrel tiles

Rounded clay roof tiles most often used on Spanish-style houses. Usually red, but available in many colours.

Base rate

The prevailing rate of interest set by the Bank of England which all lenders generally follow.

Basic valuation

This is carried out for the purposes of mortgage and is prepared for the lender. A survey will also help you to find out independently whether the price is reasonable. Your mortgage lender will almost certainly insist on a basic valuation to make sure that the property is worth the amount you are paying for it. They want to ensure that you will be able to sell it again and therefore that it is a safe investment. Although it is often referred to as a survey, it doesn't go into nearly as much detail as a homebyuyer or full survey would do.

Basis point

A basis point is one one-hundredth of one percentage point. For example, the difference between a loan at 8.25 percent and a mortgage at 8.37 percent is 12 basis points.

BBA - British Bankers Association

This is the trade organisation of the banks.

Bear

An investor who believe a share price will fall or continue to fall. Therefore a bear market is one in which share prices are dropping consistently across the market.

Before-tax income

Total income before taxes are deducted.

Beneficial owner

Person owning lands who is entitled to use it for his or her own benefit. Not, for instance, a trust that holds the land for the benefit of another.

Benefit period

A time period over which the interest rate of a loan is discounted, fixed or capped, for example.

Bid price

The price the market maker (buyer) will offer to pay you for your shares if you sell (see Spread).

Binder

A report issued by a title insurance company that details the condition of a home's title and provides guidelines for a title insurance policy.

Bitumen

Similar to asphalt in that it is adhesive and used in sealants and damp-proof courses.

Biweekly mortgage

A mortgage that requires payments every two weeks and helps repay the loan over a shorter term.

Blanket insurance policy

A policy that covers more than one person or piece of property.

Blanket mortgage

A mortgage that covers more than one property owned by the same borrower.

Blind bids

Applies in Scotland if there is more than one party who notes interest in a property. When there is competition for a property, you will probably only get the chance to make one offer. You do the groundwork and your research into the value (provided by your opinion, the valuation and the consultation of your solicitor) and you put in your sealed bid without knowing what the other interested parties have tabled. The seller usually gets an offer over the asking price and accepts it. However, they are under no obligation to accept any of the offers that are made to them and they can reject them all and open up the competition again, although this is rare.

Blue Chip

A term used to define a company which is deemed to be a safe investment. They are usually large, often market leaders but conservatively managed.

Bonds and Stock Office.

If you hold premium bonds you will need to notify the Bonds and Stock office. This can also be done at the Post Office by filling in the appropriate form.

Bonuses

Payments life assurance companies add to a 'with-profits' endowment. Usually made annually, possibly with a final (terminal) bonus when the endowment comes to the end of its term. Bonuses aren't guaranteed and the amount awarded can change each year.

Book value

The value of a property as a capital assetbased on its cost plus any additions, minus depreciation.

Boundaries

These are the areas around a property which identify the start and end of the land and ownership.

Breach of contract

The failure to perform provisions of a contract without a legal excuse.

Breach of covenant

The failure to obey a legal agreement. Breach of warranty A seller's inability to pass clear title to a buyer.

Breeze blocks

Hollow concrete or cement building blocks.

Brick & block

A house which is built with a brick outer skin and an inner Construction skin of blockwork or similar masonry products.

Bridging loan

This is a short term loan provided by a bank or building society which covers you if you need to pay for your next home, while still waiting for the money to come through from the sale of your current home. If you do require one of these, you must ensure that the funds to repay the loan will be in place when the loan period expires.

British Association of Removers

This is the professional trade association representing the removals industry. Membership of the BAR means that a removals business is obliged to meet certain standards in its work and practices. All members of the BAR are regularly inspected to ensure they conform to membership requirements.

Brochure charge

Most estate agents charge extra for printing a brochure for a property, although some agents subtract brochure costs from their final fee

Brokerage

The act of bringing together two or more parties in exchange for a fee or commission.

Brokers

Brokers and other intermediaries attempt to arrange suitable financial products or policies for you. They can be fully independent, part of a network that uses a panel of providers, or tied to certain institutions in which case they can only sell their products.

BSA - Building Societies Association

This is the trade organisation of the building societies.

Budget PMI

Budget PMI plans are often quite limited and only cover those treatments that are not available on the NHS within a six-week period. This normally includes only in-patient treatment. These plans will almost certainly have cash limits on certain types of treatment and an overall cash limit for the total value of any treatment received

Budget Private Medical Insurance

Budget PMI plans are often quite limited and only cover those treatments that are not available on the NHS within a six-week period. This normally includes only in-patient treatment. These plans will almost certainly have cash limits on certain types of treatment and an overall cash limit for the total value of any treatment received

Building societies

Building societies are mutually owned organisations, which exist not for profit but for the benefit of the members. The idea of this is that the society is able to offer cheaper products to its members, though this is not always the case.

Building society

Building societies are mutually owned organisations, which exist not for profit but for the benefit of the members. The idea of this is that the society is able to offer cheaper products to its members, though this is not always the case.

Building survey

Also known as a full survey, this is the fullest and most comprehensive of the options open to the property buyer. It involves an extensive investigation of the property and a thorough examination of all the major aspects and minor details that are visible. There is some flexibility as you can request the surveyor to concentrate on specific features of the property. It is most suitable for larger, older homes with more potential for problems and those more than 75 years old, property over three stories in height, buildings of unusual construction (such as thatched, timber etc.), or if you plan to extend, convert or renovate the property. A full structural survey can cost you anything from £400 to £1000.

Buildings and contents insurance

Buildings and contents insurance can often be purchased together protecting both the building structure and your belongings and possessions inside.

Buildings insurance

Buildings insurance is designed to give you financial protection for the basic structure of your home, such as the walls, roof and foundations. This usually includes any external parts of the property such as your shed, garage, conservatory or greenhouse

Buildmark

This is a structural guarantee from the National Home Builders Council that covers around 85% of new homes. It covers you against the developer going bust. It also means that builders are responsible for remedying any defects the building may have for the first two years after completion (known as the initial guarantee period). It also means that the developers are responsible for any major damage caused by structural defects for the entire life of the warranty

Bull

An investor who believes that share prices will rise. In a bull market share prices across the market are generally rising.

Bungalow

A property which is built all on one level and therefore has no upstairs.

Business storage service

A business storage service can be used for the housing of paper or electronic data that is not actively required by the company who owns it, but which it does not wish to discard. The storage company will almost certainly offer some form of fast retrieval system to allow rapid access to the information.

Buy to let mortgage

A mortgage designed for people who buy a property with the intention of letting it out. Largely similar to other mortgages, but the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is usually lower, meaning that a larger deposit is required. Other restrictions may also apply, such as minimum letting terms and rental income. Lenders will normally incorporate a proportion of the rental income when calculating how much money they are willing to lend you.

Buy-down mortgage

A home loan in which the lender receives a premium as an inducement to reduce the interest rate during the early years of the mortgage.

Buyer's position

Refers to whether the buyer has to sell a property in order to purchase, is a cash buyer, first time buyer etc.

Buying costs

Short term outlay required to secure the purchase of a home.

Buying signals

These are signs that you may give off - intentionally or otherwise - that you are very keen to buy a property. This can make the esate agent's job a lot easier, as they do not have to try very hard to sell you a property and can weaken your negotiating position as a result.

Bylaws

The rules and regulations that a homeowners association or corporation adopts to govern activities.
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