Real Estate Definitions
Majority: The age at which an individual is legally entitled to handle his or her own affairs.
Margin: The amount added to the index on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) that establishes the adjusted interest rate at a given time.
Market value, or Fair market value: The most likely price that a piece of property or home can realistically be sold for, and is dependent on the selling price of similar real estate in the area.
Marketable title: A clear, unencumbered title, reasonably acceptable without the threat of the risk of litigation.
Maturity: The date on which the principal balance of a loan, bond, or other financial commitment is due and payable.
Mechanic's lien: A lien created by statute to allow unpaid contractors, laborers or suppliers who have performed work on or furnished materials for the construction of a building to recover the value of their work.
Metes and Bounds: Means for describing property by a set of directions and distances, when there isn't identification based on a surveyed lot number.
Minor: An individual below the age at which he or she is legally entitled to handle his or her own affairs.
Monument of Survey: The indications made on natural or man-made objects that indicate the boundaries of a survey.
Mortgage: A legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for the payment of a loan or debt.
Mortgage broker: An individual or company that acts as an agent between borrowers and lenders for the purpose of arranging and negotiating mortgage contracts; who is paid a fee for such service.
Mortgage insurance: A contract that guarantees the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor's default on a government or conventional mortgage; such insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency, and covers either only a percentage, or the total, of the mortgage loan.
Mortgagee: The lender in a mortgage transaction.
Mortgagor: The borrower in a mortgage transaction.
Multiple-listing service (MLS): An organization of brokers who share their listing agreements with one another in order to find buyers for their properties more effectively than they could individually.