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Understanding Real Estate Lingo- Illinois 7 June, 2023

Understanding Real Estate Lingo: Common Terms Every Homebuyer Should Know

Buying a home can be a complex process, and understanding the real estate lingo is crucial. As a homebuyer, you will come across several terms that you may not be familiar with. Knowing these terms will not only help you navigate the home-buying process with ease, but it will also give you a better understanding of the entire process. Here are some common real estate terms every homebuyer should know.


An appraisal is an evaluation of a property’s value conducted by a professional appraiser. The appraiser will analyze the property’s location, condition, size, and features, among other factors, to determine its value. Lenders require an appraisal before approving a mortgage to ensure that the property’s value is equal to or greater than the loan amount.

Closing Costs

Closing costs are the expenses that the buyer and seller incur during the home-buying process. These costs typically include fees for the home inspection, appraisal, title search, and legal fees, among others. Closing costs can vary depending on the location and the price of the property.

Down Payment

The down payment is the amount of money that the buyer pays upfront toward the purchase of a property. This amount is typically a percentage of the purchase price, with most lenders requiring a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price. A higher down payment can help the buyer secure a better interest rate on their mortgage.


Escrow refers to the process of holding funds in a neutral account until certain conditions are met. In real estate, an escrow account is used to hold the buyer’s deposit until the sale is completed. The funds are then released to the seller at closing.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is an examination of a property’s condition by a professional inspector. The inspector will assess the property’s structure, mechanical systems, and other features to identify any issues or defects. A home inspection is typically conducted after an offer has been accepted and before closing.


A mortgage is a loan that a buyer obtains from a lender to purchase a property. The mortgage is secured by the property and is typically repaid over a period of 15 to 30 years, with monthly payments that include principal and interest.


A pre-approval is a letter from a lender stating that the buyer has been pre-approved for a specific amount of mortgage financing. This letter indicates that the buyer has already undergone the initial underwriting process and is a more qualified buyer.


The title refers to the legal ownership of a property. A title search is conducted to ensure that there are no liens or other encumbrances on the property that would prevent the buyer from taking legal ownership.


Underwriting is the process that lenders use to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay a loan. This process involves analyzing the borrower’s income, assets, credit score, and other factors to determine their risk level.


Zoning refers to the local government’s regulations for how a property can be used. These regulations can specify the type of buildings that can be constructed, the number of units that can be built, and other restrictions that can impact the property’s value.


Finally, knowing and understanding real estate language is essential for a smooth and successful home-buying experience. The terms outlined here are just the beginning of the many key phrases and acronyms found throughout the process. Working with an experienced team like Midwest Farm and Land Co can help you understand all the unique terminology that comes up as you navigate each step in your search for the perfect property. We look forward to helping make your dream home become a reality – get in touch with us today!




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