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: C

Our glossary results: 136 matches!

Call option

A clause in a loan agreement that allows a lender to ask for the balance at any time.

Cancellation clause

A clause that details the conditions under which each party may terminate the agreement.

Cap

A limit on the amount the interest rate or monthly payment can increase in an adjustable rate mortgage.

Cap & collar mortgage

This is a mortgage that has both a top and bottom limit set for the interest rate. It is a very safe and risk free type of mortgage, as you are protected against intetrest rate rises above a certain point, but you are losing some of the potential gains if interest rates drop.

Capital

This is the amount of money that you invest in property or another vehicle such as an ISA, or which is lent to you by a bank or some other creditor.

Capital appreciation / depreciation

The increase or decrease in the value of the individual's investment in the property.

Capital employed

This represents the amount of a company's share capital, reserves and debt the it is currently using to fund its activities and is a value on its balance sheet.

Capital expenditure

The cost of making improvements on a property.

Capital gains

Profits an investor makes from the sale of real estate or investments.

Capital gains tax

A tax placed on the profits from the sale of real estate or investments.

Capital growth

Where the original amount you invest increases over a period of time. Generally this is achieved by interest or dividends being added back to an account for reinvestment.

Capped rate mortgage

As with all variable rate mortgages, the rate follows the lender's SVR up and down. The difference with this type of mortgage is that the rate is guaranteed not to go above the level at which it is 'capped'. This type of mortgage is popular in times of steadily rising interest rates.

Carbonation

A process which naturally occurs on the outer layers of concrete. Can adversely affect metal reinforced concrete causing fracturing.

Cash

Actual notes and coins which can always be accessed and therefore be used as a claim to goods and services. For this reason cash is deemed to be then most liquid form of money.

Cash buyer

A person or persons who do not require a mortgage in order to buy a home and who do not have a property to sell. Other cash buyers are those with a mortgage arranged and no property to sell or those who have already sold their property.

Cash deficit

In relation to a loan, this is money still owed and the end of the repayment period of an interest only mortgage.

Cash Flow Statement

Statement in the Annual Accounts that indicates all the sources of cash, both from internal activities and from external sources of finance, and how this has been used for trading, capital preservation, investment and taxation purposes for the financial period.

Cash securities

The value of all liquid assets employed by a business either as ready cash at hand or money invested in short term securities which are readily convertible into cash.

Cash surplus

In relation to a loan, this is money left, over and above the level required to pay off the debt.

Cashback mortgages

Cashback mortgages provide you with a single lump sum of cash immediately on completion of the mortgage transaction. The amount of the lump sum is usually calculated as a percentage of the overall loan amount, though it can be a set figure. The percentage of the loan that is given as cashback can be as high as 5%, though amounts in the region of 1 to 3% are more common. Various different types of rate can come with cashback - capped, discounted, fixed and variable. There are also a lot of mortgages that award you three or four hundred pounds to go towards your solicitor's fees. Although this is a form of cashback, it would generally be classed as an incentive and not specifically as a cashback mortgage.

CAT standard

These are a set of standards proposed by the government aimed at ensuring a certain level of standard amongst financial products such as mortgages and ISAs. Whilst they are a sign that a lender or provider is a reputable business and offers products that are of a certain quality, a CAT mark does nott ensure that a product is the most suitable one for you.

Catalogue

This provides details of the properties for sale at an auction.

Catchment area

An area surrounding a school in which you must live for your children to be eligible to attend.

Caveat

A formal notice, that asks a court to suspend action until the party which filed the challenge can be heard.

Caveat emptor

A legal principle derived from Latin than means "let the buyer beware."

Cavity wall

Standard building method for new homes where two layers of brick are separated by a gap of around 50mm. Usually filled with an insulating material of either: Polystyrene beads, Urea formaldehyde form pumped into the cavity or Rockwool (an Inert mineral fibre).

Cavity wall-tie

Small metal pin embedded into a cavity wall to increase its strength.

CCJ

Whenever someone fails to pay for something and is subsequently taken to court, the magistrate may issue a County Court Judgement against that individual to pay the outstanding debt. This may well affect your ability to raise finances in the future.

CCJ - County Court Judgement

Whenever someone fails to pay for something and is subsequently taken to court, the magistrate may issue a County Court Judgement against that individual to pay the outstanding debt. This may well affect your ability to raise finances in the future.

Central heating

Heating, usually in the form of radiators, which is supplied centrally form a boiler to all parts of a home.

Ceramic tiles

Any of a wide range of sturdy floor and wall tiles made from fired clay and set into the floor or wall with grout. Colours and finishes vary and they can be used indoors or out, and can be glazed, matt, or painted.

Certificate of deposit (CD)

A document which shows that the bearer has a specified amount of money on deposit with a bank, stock-brokerage firm or other financial institution.

Certificate of title

A written opinion on the status of a piece of property based on an examination of the public record.

Chain

Occurs when a seller needs the sale of their house to occur before they can complete the purchase of another property. This can be the situation for many people in the chain, all relying on the sale of their current home. The whole chain can collapse if one buyer is unable to sell their home and a link breaks causing a knock on effect. Always check what your buyer and seller's positions are. First time and cash buyers do not have these problems.

Chain breaker

A person or company who buys a property to in order to allow a chain of sales to proceed.

CHAPS

Clearing House Automated Payment System. An electronic way of transferring money between accounts.

Charge

Security the lender relies on when granting a mortgage.

Charge certificate

A certificate from the Land Registry that shows the boundaries of a property and gives details of covenants affecting it.

Chartism

The key aspect of technical analysis which involves the graphical representation of share and stock market performance. Used to establish trends from the historical data and therefore predict future movements.

Chattel mortgage

A lien on personal property used as collateral for a loan.

Chief rent

A payment made on freehold land to the original freeholder for an infinite period. Distinct from ground rent which has a finite period.

Chipboard

Small wood shavings and chippings compressed and adhered using a glue. Provides a cheap material for flooring and often found in kitchen surfaces and units.

CIA

Official body covering complaints relating to surveyors who are members of the RICS and ISVA professional bodies. Any complaints which cannot be rectified directly with the surveyor in question should be referred here.

CII

Covers an individual for life or for a set period against a number of serious illnesses, diseases and medical conditions. It pays out a single tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of one of the illnesses specified in the policy details. The most common of these included in a policy of this sort are: Heart attack, Stroke, Cancer, Kidney or liver failure paralysis and multiple sclerosis. AIDS is not usually included.

Clear title

A title to a property that is free of legal challenges to ownership.

Closing

The final procedure in which documents are signed and recorded, and the property is transferred.

Closing costs

Costs associated with the purchase of a home that must be paid at the sale closing. These can include mortgage fees, title insurance, appraisal and inspection fees.

Closing date

This only usually applies to property transactions in Scotland. On the closing day at a pre-specified time, the seller and his or her solicitor will open all the offers that have been received on a property and decide which to accept. Most people accept the highest offer, but the other factors can sometimes sway them one way or another. For instance, they may be very keen to get the funds in place and move out quickly, so the entry date (the equivalent of completion in England) could become an important factor.

Closure fees

A fee charged by the lender when you pay off the homeloan at the end of the mortgage term.

CML

An institution that sets out code a code of good practice which mortgage lenders volunteer to stick to - they are not regulated by the government.

Code of practice

An agreement that certain professions can sign up to in which they agree to act or serve in a certain way and which therefore protects the consumer in areas (such as estate agency) which are not regulated by an institution.

Cohabitation agreement

This is a financial / legal arrangement that sets our terms of living together - what happens if you split etc

Collar

A piece of timber placed between opposing roof slopes to reduce strain.

Collateral

The property or other asset which the lender can sell to repay the loan if the borrower does not keep up the mortgage payments. In most cases, the home is collateral on a mortgage. If the borrower fails to repay the loan, the property will be repossessed.

Collateral security

Additional security a borrower supplies to obtain a loan.

Collection

The series of steps a lender takes to bring a delinquent mortgage up to date.

Collision damage waiver

An extra insurance premium you may have the option to take which removes your liability to pay any insurance excess in the event of a collision or damage to a vehicle such as a hire van.

Collusion

The action of two or more people to break the law.

Commission

A percentage of the sale price which the selling party receives. This can be an estate agent in relation to a property, a broker selling you a mortgage or other products and even a dorr to door salesman selling you a nice new set of double glazing.

Commission amount

An amount deducted to reflect the costs of providing a service.

Commitment

A promise by a lender to make a loan with specific terms for a specified period.

Commitment fee

The fee a lender charges for promising to make a loan.

Common area

An area inside a housing development that is owned by all residents.

Common law

A body of laws based on custom, usage and rulings by courts in various jurisdictions.

Comparables

Properties used as comparisons to determine the value of a certain property.

Comparative market analysis

A list of homes recently sold in a neighbourhood and used as a comparison tool.

Competent

A term for a buyer who is "legally fit to enter into a sales contract".

Completing the missives

This is a process unique to buying a house in Scotland that is a bit like finalising the contracts in England, but which happens much sooner in the conveyancing process. The two solicitors exchange letters and iron out any of the finer details that were not explicitly mentioned in the original. This may include such things as details of any fixtures and fittings that are actually staying, or perhaps a slight alteration to the entry date. Once both parties are agreed on all of the details of the offer, which usually does not take long, the missives are said to be 'concluded'. This means that both parties have now entered into a legally biding contract from which withdrawal will undoubtedly incur a hefty compensation bill running into many thousands of pounds. Once missives are completed, you are also legally responsible for the structure of the property.

Completion

This is a process unique to buying a house in Scotland that is a bit like finalising the contracts in England, but which happens much sooner in the conveyancing process. The two solicitors exchange letters and iron out any of the finer details that were not explicitly mentioned in the original. This may include such things as details of any fixtures and fittings that are actually staying, or perhaps a slight alteration to the entry date. Once both parties are agreed on all of the details of the offer, which usually does not take long, the missives are said to be 'concluded'. This means that both parties have now entered into a legally biding contract from which withdrawal will undoubtedly incur a hefty compensation bill running into many thousands of pounds. Once missives are completed, you are also legally responsible for the structure of the property.

Completion date

The point at which contracts have been exchanged and legal transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer is finalised. The buyer can take possession of the property from this day.

Completion statement

This is a record of all the payments made and monies received during the transaction of buying your home.

Compound interest

The interest paid on the principal balance in a mortgage and on the accrued and unpaid interest of the loan.

Comprehensive PMI

These private medical insurance products offer a wide range of in-patient, outpatient and at-home treatments. Other benefits usually include a private ambulance, accommodation for parents of children receiving in-patient treatment, dental work, eye treatment, childbirth, alternative medicine (as long as you are referred by a GP or specialist) and even cash incentives for using the NHS.

Comprehensive Private Medical Insurance

These private medical insurance products offer a wide range of in-patient, outpatient and at-home treatments. Other benefits usually include a private ambulance, accommodation for parents of children receiving in-patient treatment, dental work, eye treatment, childbirth, alternative medicine (as long as you are referred by a GP or specialist) and even cash incentives for using the NHS.

Compulsories

This is shorthand for compulsory insurance. Some lenders, at least for certain mortgages, insist that you take out their buildings insurance – which is not usually the most cost effective on the market.

Conclusion of missives

Scottish term for exchanging contracts.

Concrete

Cement mixed with coarse and fine aggregate including pebbles, crushed stone, brick, sand and water in specific proportions. There are three types of concrete: precast, reinforced and prestressed.

Condition of the sale

This is a legally binding clause in the contract of the property sale. A buyer may insist upon the removal of the ridiculous garish carpets in a house, as a condition of the sale, or insist that some minor repair work is completex before the transaction is finalised.

Conditional insurance

The borrower must sign up to one or more insurance policy with the lender in order to take out a specific mortgage.Check that the insurance premiums are competitive.

Confirming your offer

This means that you are formally offering to purchase a property and any fixtures, fittings, furnishings and carpets you may wish to include, at a certain price. This is usually done in writing to the estate agents and should state that it is subject to survey and contract. All such offers must be passed by the agent to the seller. This is not legally binding in England or Wales.

Conformation of mortgage offer

This is when you get a written confirmation of your mortgage offer from your lender-to-be. You usually receive two things - a standard covering letter and a written mortgage confirmation. This will normally set out some of your personal details, some facts about the property, your salary details, your solicitors (if appointed), and will require a signature.

Conservatory

A greenhouse type construction built adjoining a house.

Construction loan

Short-term loans a lender makes for the construction of homes and buildings. The lender disburses the funds in stages.

Consumer credit act

Act of legislation to define the rules relating to lending money and aimed at protecting the consumer when credit is agreed with a third party.

Containerised storage

Your property is placed in secure timber or steel boxes. The size of these containers can vary from three to ten feet high and anything up to 40 feet in length. These are often owned and managed by the removals company - hence the common grouping of removals and storage. You may not have access to your goods in this type of storage.

Contents insurance

This protects your belongings and possessions that are not part of the fabric of your house.

Contingency

Provision within a contract that renders an agreement incomplete until a designated event such as a survey or inspection occurs

Contingent fee

A fee that must be paid if a certain event occurs.

Contingent Liabilities

Potential liabilities that a company may face in the future if certain scenarios should arise. An example would be the costs arising from guarantees of loans given to third parties and this would be documented in a company's Notes to the Accounts.

Contract

A legal document between two parties confirming any sort of agreement such as terms of sale, employment or service.

Contract for deed

A contract in which the seller agrees to defer all or part of the purchase price for a specified period of time.

Contract Note

The record an investor receives from his stockbroker confirming the terms of a deal that the stockbroker has undertaken on their behalf.

Contractual liability

The terms of a contract to which you must abide. There may be financial or even criminal penalties which you incur if if you do not meet your contractual liabilities.

Contractual lien

A voluntary obligation such as a mortgage or trust deed.

Contribution

An amount of money paid into an account. This can be a 'one off' payment or on a regular basis.

Conventional loan

A long-term loan a lender makes for the purchase of a home.

Conversion

The transformation of the usage of a building which usually involves substantial building work, such as the conversion of a house into several flats.

Conveyance

The transfer of title of property.

Conveyance tax

A tax imposed on the transfer of real property.

Conveyancer

A specialist in the legal aspects of buying a house. This may be a solicitor but not all solicitors are skilled conveyancers, so be sure they undertake this type of work regularly as it is complicated and very important.

Conveyancing

This is the legal work required for buying and selling a property. The conveyancing process essentially involves the transfer of "good title" or ownership from one party to another. It is a fairly complicated and longwinded process that involves untangling the legal jargon found in the title deeds, and checking the background of your property with the local authority and title searches.

Conveyancing fees

A solicitor will charge you a basic fee for undertaking the conveyancing work associated with the purchase of your property. This covers their time spent on taking your instruction, advising you, working on the contract refinements, liasing with the other party's solicitor, explaining the contract to you, obtaining your signature, exchanging contracts, investigating the title deeds, and basically dealing with all other related matters.

Cooperative mortgages

Any loans related to a cooperative residential project.

Cooperative project

A project in which a corporation holds title and sells shares representing individual units to buyers who then receive a proprietary lease as their title.

Copy statement

This is an additional statement of your mortgage account. You are usually charged by your lender when you request a copy of an annual statement previously issued or when you request a statement outside of the normal annual statement period. Costs £10 - £20

Corporate Governance

Describes the policies and procedures that the company’s directors’ employ in their conduct of the company’s affairs, and their relationships with shareholders to whom they are responsible.

Co-signer

A person who assumes joint liability for a loan such as a mortgage but who does not necessarily co-own a property.

Council of Mortgage Lenders

An institution that sets out code a code of good practice which mortgage lenders volunteer to stick to - they are not regulated by the government.

Council tax

A tax which is paid to your local council to provide local services such as refuse collection. the sum paid can be different depending upon the borough in which you live and is also determined by the price of the property you own. Living by yourself can reduce the tax and you may be exempt in some circumstances.

Counter cheque

A cheque withdrawal made over the counter, issued by the cashier.

Counter offer

The response of a seller to an offer made by a purchaser for their property. This is part of the negotiation process.

County court fee

This is charged when a lender provides information to solicitors relating to county court rules when your mortgage payments are in arrears. Costs £25 - £30

County court fee

This is charged when a lender provides information to solicitors relating to county court rules when your mortgage payments are in arrears. Costs £25 - £30

County Court Judgement

Whenever someone fails to pay for something and is subsequently taken to court, the magistrate may issue a County Court Judgement against that individual to pay the outstanding debt. This may well affect your ability to raise finances in the future.

County Court re-issue fee

This fee will apply when county court papers are re-issued by your mortgage lender to solicitors within three or six months of the issuing of the original information. Costs £25 - £20

Covenants

These are the rules and conditions affecting the property and are contained in either the Title Deeds or Lease.

Cover

In the context of insurance, cover describes the specific risk a given policy protects you against. Life cover protects your family against the financial consequences of your death, buildings cover against damage to the property that you live in.

Coving

Concave moulding produced by the sloped or arched junction of a wall and ceiling which is often popular in living rooms.

Creative accounting

A term used to indicate accounting and financial reporting practices which, whilst not illegal, creates a position of profitability that may not be totally valid or conveys a circumstance or position that is either misleading or illusory.

Credit

A measurement of a person's ability to pay bills on time. Several companies track individuals' credit histories by detailing late or missed payments on loans, credit cards and other debts.

Credit agencies

Companies such as Equifax or Experian that are often used by lenders to assess your financial background and determine the level of risk involved with lending you money.

Credit averse

When a borrower has a poor credit history, has previously been declared bankrupt or has outstanding County Court Judgements, they are often described as credit averse. People with averse credit ratings often have to pay higher interest rates on a mortgage.

Credit checks

These are checks made when you try to borrow money or purchase goods on hire purchase, and are used to determine the risk of lending you money. They will examine your credit history and check for payment defaults and what you owe to other financial organisation. A credit agency is often used.

Credit history

If you have a history of bad debts, county court judgements or bankruptcy to your name, you may not be eligible for a mainstream mortgage. To help ensure you are a good credit risk, a lender may require references from your existing lender, bank or landlord. In addition to this, many lenders will make use of the services of one of the two large credit agencies, Experian and Equifax. These offer a credit inquiry or a full credit application, which show details of any existing credit arrangements or county court judgements against you.

Credit period

The time frame for which the lender agrees to provide you with credit.

Credit rating

The degree of credit worthiness assigned to a person based on credit history and financial status.

Credit reference agency

When assessing your application, a mortgage lender will study your records. These records are held centrally by credit reference agencies, and contain information for many different aspects of your life.

Credit union

Nonprofit cooperative organizations that provide banking and financial services, including mortgages, home improvement loans and home equity loans, to their members.

Creditor

An individual or institution to whom a debt is owed.

Critical Illness Insurance

Covers an individual for life or for a set period against a number of serious illnesses, diseases and medical conditions. It pays out a single tax-free lump sum on the diagnosis of one of the illnesses specified in the policy details. The most common of these included in a policy of this sort are: Heart attack, Stroke, Cancer, Kidney or liver failure paralysis and multiple sclerosis. AIDS is not usually included.

Cum

Applies to shares and means 'including'. If shares you are buying are quoted cum dividend, you will receive the next announced dividend.

Cumulatively

In total.

Curable defect

A deficiency in a property that is easy or inexpensive to fix, such as chipping paint.

Currency swings

These affect foreign currency mortgages. In pound sterling terms, the value of the capital outstanding on your mortgage can rise or fall dramatically if there is movement in the value of either the currency of the loan or UK pounds sterling. If the value of the pound increases, you should benefit from lower repayments, as the value of the foreign currency you have borrowed decreases. Less sterling is required to buy the same amount of foreign currency necessary to meet the repayments and vice versa.

Current assets

The value of the assets held by a company at the Balance Sheet date that are represented by cash, or can be expected to be converted into cash within the next 12 months.

Current Liabilities

The value of liabilities held by a company at the Balance sheet date for which payment is required on demand, or within the next 12 months.
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