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Mortgage Glossary

ARM

See Adjustable Rate Mortgage.

Assessment

A local area tax charged against a property for a specific purpose, such as a sewer or street signage.

Asset

Anything of monetary value you own outright, including property, bank accounts, stocks and mutual funds. A review of assets is an important part of the mortgage application process.

Assumable Mortgage

An existing mortgage you can take over with the same rates and terms the current owner agreed to.

Balloon Mortgage

A short-term loan that is paid off through fixed monthly payments, followed by one large, final payment (the 'balloon') of the entire remaining loan balance. The balloon mortgage is amortized as though it were a long-term fixed rate loan, resulting in low monthly payments, but after a specified time period (usually five, seven or 10 years) the entire remaining balance is due and payable in full.

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