Seventy-Five Things I Do For A Buyer

One Hundred Things I Do For A Seller

   Doug Barry, Associate Broker

                     Licensed in Maryland
  Direct Line 410-207-4751  Office 410-583-5700  



Financing Vocabulary

The Financing Industry has its own vocabulary.  Knowing what the different terms mean can go a long way towards helping you understand what is happening when you are getting a real estate loan.  Many borrowers will pay “points,” but don’t understand what they are doing.  Below is a list of financing vocabulary that will help you get through this process with a greater awareness of what is occurring.

Deed of Trust

A document used to pledge a property as security for a loan.  More commonly used in Maryland in place of a mortgage. A deed of trust is a three-party instrument. The third party is a trustee, who holds onto legal title on behalf of a lender.

Discount Fee

Also called the Loan Discount or Discount Points.  The most common type of point(s).  Used to allow the lender to charge a lower interest rate without lowering the amount of profit they make on the loan.  While it may require the buyer to pay more cash up front, it will allow the buyer to qualify for a larger loan (and therefore buy a more expensive house), and over the life of the loan will save the buyer money.  See also “Point.”

Fannie Mae

The common nickname for what was originally called the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA).  This is the oldest and largest secondary market institution.  Most lenders will try to follow Fannie Mae guidelines, as these are the most stringent guidelines out of all the secondary market institutions.  Following these guidelines will generally allow the loan to be sold to any of the other institutions.

Ginnie Mae

Another secondary market institution.  Originally called the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA).  As an agency of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), they only purchase government backed loans  (FHA and VA loans).


A document used to pledge a property as security for a loan.  Although in common usage, the term is used interchangeably with the term “loan,” it is actually only one part of the loan agreement, and is what the borrower gives the lender in exchange for the loan.  The borrower in a mortgage is referred to as the mortgagor and the lender is referred to as the mortgagee.


Equivalent to one percent of the actual loan amount (not the sale price).  A fee used by the lender to cover their costs of preparing the loan, or to make the loan as profitable as it would be if they charged a higher interest rate.  The two most common types of point to the average borrower are the origination fee (loan origination) and the discount fee (discount point, loan discount).

Secondary Market

The “market” where existing loans are bought and sold.  Many loans are sold by the original lender, either to another lender, or to institutions that are set up specifically to buy loans from lending institutions.

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