Real Estate Terminology

The terminology used in the real estate world can sometimes be confusing or overwhelming. For that reason, we have created a small glossary of real estate terms that you may see throughout your real estate transaction. Never hesitate to ask your REALTOR® for further explanation should there be a term or point that you don’t fully understand.

Amortization: The length of time over which the entire debt will be repaid.

Closed mortgage: A closed mortgage cannot be paid off, in whole or in part, before the end of its term (unless a certain amount is stipulated). Closed mortgages often limit prepayment privileges.

Conventional mortgage: A conventional mortgage is a loan of up to a maximum of 80% of the lending value of the property. Mortgage insurance isn’t usually required for this type of mortgage.

Curb appeal: Is the term that describes how attractive a home looks from the street or first impression of the exterior of the home.

Easement: Is a legal right-of-way where someone else has the right for access to or over another person’s land for a specific purpose, such as a driveway or public utilities.

High-ratio mortgage: In contrast to a conventional mortgage, a high-ration mortgage is a loan higher than 80% of the lending value of the property. This type of mortgage often has to be insured (for example by CMHC).

Land survey: Is a document which shows the specific property lines and boundaries on a piece of property. The survey will also show the location of any buildings on the property and make note of any easements.

Net worth: Is your financial worth at a point in time. This is calculated by subtracting your total liabilities from your total assets.

Open mortgage: provides flexibility in prepayment privileges, usually allowing you to pay part or additional lump sum payments before the end of the mortgage term.

REALTOR®: Is a trademark name for real estate representatives who are members of an organization of persons engaged in selling and buying real estate. In Canada, REALTORS® are members of the Canadian Real Estate Association.

For a list of more terminology, please check out the Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation Web site at

For any real estate assistance in the Oakville, Burlington, Milton area contact Mary at  

Mary O'Brien

Mary O'Brien

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 Miller Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage*
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