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September 29, 2008

 Glossary of Terms

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  • Impact fees
    Fees collected from developers of new homes to pay for schools, parks and other facilities.

  • Implied warranty of habitability
    Court cases which determined that all new homes are assumed to be fit for human habitation and meet all building codes.

  • Impounds
    A portion of the monthly mortgage payment that is placed in an account and used to pay for hazard insurance, property taxes and private mortgage insurance.

  • Income property
    Property that is not occupied by the owner but is used to generate income.

  • Incurable defect
    A defect in a property that cannot be fixed, such as an adjacent hazardous waste site, or that would cost too much to repair relative to the value of the property.

  • Index
    Financial tables used by lenders to calculate interest rates on adjustable mortgages and on Treasury bills.

  • Individual Retirement Account
    Tax-deferred savings accounts that allow people to accrue retirement funds.

  • In-file credit report
    Computer-generated reports drawn from credit repositories that are generally regarded as objective histories.

  • Infill development
    Any significant new construction in an established area.

  • Infill housing
    Home construction in established areas.

  • Inflation
    This event occurs when there is more money available than there are goods and services to be purchased. Mortgage rates, which are determined by the marketplace and the actions of the Federal Reserve Board and Wall Street, are sensitive to inflation fears.

  • Infrastructure
    The roads, schools, parks, utilities, bridges and communications systems in a community.

  • Initial interest rate
    The original interest rate on an adjustable mortgage.

  • Inspection report
    An examination of a home's exterior, foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical system, heating, air conditioning, fireplace, kitchen, bathroom, roofing and interior.

  • Installment contract
    A purchase agreement in which the buyer does not receive title to the property until all installments are paid.

  • Insulation
    Materials including cellulose, glass fiber, rock wool, polystyrene, urethane foam and vermiculite that slow heat loss.

  • Insurable title
    Title to property that a company agrees to insure against defects and disputes.

  • Insurance
    Owners and buyers can purchase various types of insurance: hazard, private mortgage and earthquake. The policies guarantee compensation for specific losses.

  • Insurance binder
    A temporary insurance arrangement usually put in force until a permanent policy can be obtained.

  • Interest
    The fee borrowers pay to obtain a loan. It is calculated based on a percentage of the total loan.

  • Interest accrual rate
    The rate at which interest accrues on a mortgage.

  • Interest rate
    The sum, expressed as a percentage, charged for a loan. Interest payments on most home loans are tax- deductible.

  • Interest rate buy-down plans
    For cash-short buyers, some sellers are willing to advance funds from the sale of the home to buy down the interest rate and reduce the buyer's monthly obligation.

  • Interest rate caps
    A limit on the amount that can be charged to the monthly payment of an adjustable-rate mortgage during an adjustment period.

  • Interest rate ceiling
    The highest interest a lender can charge for an adjustable-rate mortgage.

  • Interest-only loan
    The pays only the interest that accrues on the loan balance each month. Because each payment goes toward interest, the outstanding balance of the loan does not decline with each payment.

  • Investment property
    Real estate that generates income, such as an apartment building or a rental house.