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Homebuying Lingo

by Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals

To confidently point you in the right direction, here is a list of some of the most common terms used in the homebuying process.

Appraisal: A professional analysis used to estimate the value of the home. This includes examples of sales of similar properties. It’s a necessary step in getting your financing secured as it validates the home’s worth to you and your lender to secure financing.

Closing Costs: The costs to complete the real estate transaction. These costs are in addition to the price of the home and are paid at closing and include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs, and items that must be prepaid or escrowed. Ask your lender for a complete list of closing cost items.

Credit Score: A number ranging from 300 to 850 that is based on an analysis of your credit history. Your credit score plays a significant role when securing a mortgage as it helps lenders determine the likelihood that you’ll repay future debts. The higher your score the better!

Down Payment: This is a portion of the cost of your home that you pay upfront to secure the purchase of the property. Down payments are typically three to 20 percent of the purchase price of the home. There are zero-down programs available through VA loans for veterans, as well as USDA loans for rural areas. Ask your lender for more information.

Home Inspection: A professional inspection of a home to determine the condition of the property. It normally includes evaluation of the plumbing, heating and cooling systems, roof, wiring, foundation and pest infestation.

Mortgage Rate: The interest rate you pay to borrow money to buy your home. The lower the rate, the better.

Pre-Approval Letter: A letter from a lender indicating you qualify for a mortgage of a specific amount. Having a pre-approval letter in hand while shopping for homes can help you move faster in competitive markets and it shows the seller that you’re a serious buyer.

Jill Santandrea, Broker Manager, EXIT Homestead Realty Professionals LLC, 1070 E Chestnut Ave, Vineland, NJ 08360; 856-692-EXIT; Cell: 856-362-0967; Direct: 888-856-5455;; E-mail:; Text JillS to 85377 for my mobile business card. Listen to Jill on POP 99.9FM. Source: 2019 Buffini & Company