Michael Saunders   519-503-0500, [email protected]

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The Full List

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Real Estate Glossary

For your convenience, we've compiled a list of words and phrases to help you understand Real Estate better.


Paying off a debt, such as a mortgage, by installments. The conventional amortization period for a mortgage is anywhere between 15 and 25 years. The shorter the amortization period, the less interest you have to pay.

Approved Lender

A lending institution authorized by the Government of Canada through CMHC to make loans under the terms of the National Housing Act. Only Approved Lenders can negotiate mortgages that require mortgage loan insurance.

Assumption Agreement

A legal document signed by a homebuyer that requires the buyer to assume responsibility for the obligations of a mortgage by the builder or the previous owner.

Balloon Payment

The final payment of a mortgage loan when it is larger than the regular payment. It usually extinguishes the debt.

Bridge Financing

Interim financing to bridge between the closing date on the purchase of the new home and the closing date of the current home, which is sold firm.

Buyer Brokerage Agreement

A written agreement between the buyer and the buyer's agent, outlining the agency relationship between the two parties and the manner in which the buyer's agent will be compensated. In some provinces, a buyer agency relationship evolves automatically, without a written agreement.


Removable personal items that are not normally included in the sale of a home, but may be added to the purchase price to make the property more attractive to buyers. (Examples include microwave ovens, portable dishwashers, washers and dryers.)

Closed Mortgage

A mortgage that cannot be prepaid or renegotiated before the term’s end unless the lender agrees and the borrower is willing to pay in interest penalty. Many closed mortgages limit prepayment options such as increasing your mortgage payment or lump sum prepayment (usually up to 20% of your original principal amount).


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. A Crown corporation providing information services and mortgage loan insurance.

Common Elements

The portions of a condominium development owned in common (shared) by the unit owners.

Conditional Offer

An Offer to Purchase that is subject to specified conditions, for example, the arrangement of a mortgage. There is usually a stipulated time limit within which the specified conditions must be met.

Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage loan up to a maximum of 75% of the lending value of the property. Typically, the lending value is the lesser of the purchase price and market value of the property. Mortgage loan insurance is usually not required for this type of mortgage.

Counter- Offer

If your original offer to the vendor is not accepted, the vendor may counter-offer. This means that the vendor has amended something from your original offer, such as the price or closing date. If a counteroffer is presented, the individual has a specified amount of time to accept or reject.

Debt-Service Ratio

The measurement of debt payments to gross household income which may include, in addition to the main wage earner's salary, salaries of other wage earners, commissions, bonuses, overtime, etc.


The removal of all mortgages and financial encumbrances on the property.


An intrusion onto an adjoining property. A neighbor’s fence, storage shed, or overhanging roofline that partially (or even fully) intrudes onto your property are examples of encroachments.


The legal process where the lender takes possession of your property and sells it to cover the debts you have failed to pay off. When you default on a loan and the lender feels that you are unable to make payments, you may lose your home to foreclosure.

Joint Tenancy

The ownership of property by two or more persons who took title at the same time, in the same manner, in equal portions and on the death of one, the survivor(s) retain ownership.

Listing Agreement

The legal agreement between the listing Broker and the seller, setting out the services to be rendered, describing the property for sale and stating the terms of payment. A commission is generally payable to the Broker upon closing.


A contract providing security for the repayment of a loan, registered against the property, with stated rights and remedies in the event of default. Lenders consider both the property (security) and the financial worth of the borrower (covenant) in deciding on a mortgage loan.

Mother In Law Suite

The Mother-in-Law suite is a series of rooms that have been added to the home over the years. The suite is located on the back of the house and contains a living space (bedroom), kitchen, and its own bathroom. The suite is separated from the main portion of the house by an entry door into the laundry/utility room and has its own access to the garage.


To pay off a mortgage or other registered encumbrance and arrange a mortgage, sometimes with a different lender.

Status certificate

Is a certificate that outlines a condominium corporation’s financial and legal state.

Tenancy in Common

The ownership of property by one or more people, which is not passed on as a right of survivorship, but rather is an asset and can be willed.

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