Jargon Buster

  • Annual percentage rate

    This is a percentage rate of the total and true cost of borrowing (along with all costs, interest charges and arrangement fees included). It helps you compare different types of loans on an annual basis.

  • Auction

    A method of sale of property which when sold to the highest bidder, who, on winning the bid is legally bound to buy the home. It is important to have your mortgage approved and 10% of purchase price ready to pay completion of bidding.

  • Base Rate

    A term which describes the standard capital and interest repayment mortgage.

  • Bridging loan

    This is a temporary loan provided to you in a situation where you wish to buy a property before you have sold your own. You are allowed borrow on the equity of your present home to purchase your new property. Be warned, this can prove expensive over a long period of time.

  • Broker

    An independent agent who will advise you on the best mortgages available and help you source the best possible deal for you in the marketplace.

  • Building survey

    This is carried out on a property by a fully bonded engineer /architect – it is advisable to anybody looking to purchase property – whether the house is new or old. It will provide you with a detailed report on the property including any problems that may be relevant.

  • Booking Deposit

    A securing deposit paid subject to contract to hold the property prior to drawing up of contracts.

  • Capital

    This is the amount borrowed.

  • Capital Gains Tax

    Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is chargeable on gains arising on the disposal of assets, other than that part of a gain which arose in the period prior to 6 April 1974. Any form of property (other than Irish currency) including an interest in property (as, for example, a lease) is an asset for CGT purposes. A gain on the disposal of a principal private residence including grounds of up to one acre is exempt, provided the house had been occupied by the individual as his/her only or main residence during the individual's period of ownership.

  • Chain

    Where a seller relies on the sale of their property to complete the purchase of another.

  • Completion

    This is when all legal transactions have taken place and transfer of ownership.

  • Contents insurance

    This is insurance which covers the loss of or damage to your possessions.

  • Contract

    A legal agreement between the seller and buyer of a property; a legal obligation to both to complete.

  • Conveyancing

    The practice of arranging the necessary legal work in transferring of ownership of a property. Carried out by a solicitor or licensed conveyancer.

  • Covenants

    Regulations governing the property contained in the title documents or lease.

  • Deeds

    Documents which show the owner is legally entitled to the property(normally held by the lending institution until loan is repaid).

  • Deposit

    A sum of money (usually 10% of the property value generally to include booking deposit) paid by the buyer on exchange of contracts.

  • Detached

    A property that is not part of any other property.

  • Development

    Normally referring to a newly built property or estate.

  • Disbursements ( conveyancing and outlay)

    Expenses paid by the solicitor on behalf of the purchaser to carry our their searches. Registration fees. Postages etc. They in turn will charge you.

  • Early redemption fee

    A fee assigned with the early termination of a mortgage (before the full term is complete).

  • Endowment mortgage

    A type of mortgage where the interest on the mortgage is paid on a monthly basis to a financial institution and the capital is repaid from the proceeds of an endowment policy with an insurance company.

  • Equity

    The value of the property minus the mortgage owed.

  • Estate Agent

    Property agent working on behalf of a vendor & purchasers during sale negoiatating

  • Exchange of contracts

    Solicitors acting on behalf of the vendor and purchaser exchange signed contracts, binding both parties to the purchase of same at agreed price.

  • Failed valuation survey

    When your mortgage application is refused on the basis of the surveyor's valuation report.

  • Fixed Rate Mortgage

    A loan where the repayments on a mortgage are based on a constant interest rate for a fixed period of time.

  • Fixtures & fittings

    Any additional non-structural items included in the purchase of a property generally agreed between vendor and purchaser.

  • Freehold

    Denoting ownership of property and the site it stands on.

  • Gazumping

    When the vendor of the of a property cancels their agreement of an offer from one buyer in order to accept the higher price from another. Prior to signing of contracts.

  • Ground rent

    Rent due annually on an extended lease.

  • Home Bond & Premier Guarantee

    This is a service provided, through registered builders, to people buying new privately built houses and apartments. It provides a guarantee against losing your deposit in the event that your builder goes bankrupt, It offers a 10 year structural Warranty and offers a 2 year defect warranty against water and smoke damage after completion


    This is a certificate number issued to the builder by Homebond confirming that the property address on the certificate has been registered and is covered by the 10 year warrenty.

  • Interest-only mortgage

    A type of mortgage whereby only interest is paid throughout the term of the loan, along with a premium which is invested. At the end of the mortgage term, the proceeds from the investment premium is intended to cover the rest of the mortgage.

  • Insurance

    Building insurance is required by all lending institutions to protect their interest. This covers any structural damage to the property.

    Contents Insurance – often taken out with Building insurance to cover any loss or damage to the owners contents.

  • Land registry fee

    A fee paid to the Land Registry to update an entry in their records after you buy your home. This is included in your legal fee charged by your solicitor.

  • Leasehold

    All lending institutions require the mortgage holder to have an insurance policy in place to cover a fixed amount of the loan in the event of death.

  • Listed building

    A building that has specific architectural or historic interest that may have a preservation order etc on it. This cannot be altered in any way without planning permission.

  • Loan Offer

    A formal document approving a buyer’s mortgage which will outline the terms and conditions that are applied.

  • Loan to value (LTV)

    The amount you wish to borrow expressed as a percentage of the value of the property. elation to the property’s value..

  • Mortgage

    This is a long term loan advanced by a financial institution to finance the purchase of a property.

  • Mortgage deed

    This is a legal document which details the lender's interest and the terms of mortgage and the property.

  • Mortgage Protection

    This is an insurance policy which will cover the payments on the loan for a limited period of time in the case of illness or disability.

  • Mortgage Rate

    The standard variable interest rate quoted by all mortgage lenders.

  • Mortgage Term

    The number of years over which the mortgage must be repaid.

  • Negative equity

    This occurs when the amount borrowed exceed the value of the property.

  • Offer

    An amount of money offered from a potential purchaser on a proeprty.

  • Payment break

    A mortgage option which allows the borrower to cease payments for an agreed period of time.

  • Penalties

    This can occur of the mortgage is repaid early or changes the mortgage to a different financial institution.

  • Pension Mortgage

    This is a mortgage where monthly interest payments are made to the lender and a pension policy is set up to pay off the mortgage when the borrower retires. Ideal for self employed people.

  • Period Property

    Georgian Period Property - used to describe properties constructed in the 18th Century under the reign of kings George I, George II, George III and George IV 1714-1830

    Victorian Period Property - used to describe properties constructed under the reign of Queen Victoria 1837-1901

    Edwardian Period Property - used to describe properties constructed under the reign of King Edward VII 1901-1910

  • Premium

    A monthly amount paid on an insurance policy.

  • Principal

    The amount of the loan.

  • Redemption

    Paying off a mortgage, either to move to another property or at the end of the mortgage term

  • Re-Mortgage

    Increasing the original mortgage by switching to a different financial institution or redefining the terms to draw upon the equity gained in the increase house value.

  • Repossession

    This occurs when the mortgage lender takes possession of a property when the borrower defaults on payment.

  • Sale Agreed

    Whereby the Vendor agrees to accept an offer from a bidder and a booking deposit is paid.

  • Shared Ownership Scheme (SOS)

    The SOS loan provides assistance to those on low incomes who cannot get loan approval for a mortgage from any other financial institution. The SOS facilitates access to full home ownership within a 25 year period.

  • Snag List

    A check carried out by a survoyer and purchaser to check all defects which need to be fixed before the purchase is complete.

  • Sole Agent

    Where one estate agent is responsible for the sale of a property.

  • Solicitor

    Legal expert who acts on behalf of the vendor or purcahser in sale or purchase of a property.

  • Stamp Duty

    A government tax on buying a home. Rates vary for first time buyers and or investors/owners occupiers. The level of stamp duty payable rises with the level of value of the property. Please see attached stamp Duty Rate to clarify which bracket you may fall.

  • Structural Survey

    A detailed report on the structure of a house listing any defects.

  • Surveyor

    The professional qualified to carry out a survey.

  • Term

    The time period of the mortgage.

  • Title Deeds

    The documents detailing legal ownership of a property.

  • Transfer Deeds

    This is the official document of Land registry which transfers legal ownership from vendor to purchaser.

  • Valuation Survey

    An inspected carried out for the benefit of the mortgage lender to confirm that thte property will provide good security for a loan.

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)

    VAT is a consumer tax. It is collected by VAT registered traders on their supplies of goods and services. It is currently levied on New Homes but not second hand residential homes.

  • Vendor

    The term for the seller of a property.

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