Real Estate Glossary

Impound account:

See escrow account.

Income property:

Any property developed or improved to produce income as opposed to serving as a residence.


A published rate, such as the average interest rate or yield on Treasury bills or COFI. A margin is added to the index to determine the interest rate that will be charged on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).


An increase in the amount of money or credit available in relation to the amount of goods or services available, which causes an increase in the general price level of goods and services. Over time, inflation reduces the purchasing power of a dollar, reducing its value.

Initial interest rate:

The original interest rate of the mortgage at the time of closing. This rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Sometimes known as "start rate" or "teaser rate."

Inspection fees:

In a residential transaction, fees paid by a homebuyer for professional inspections of the property being purchased. The most common inspections are structural/mechanical inspection, termite inspection, and radon tests. Others may be necessary, depending on the property type.


The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender as to a particular loan.

Installment loan:

Borrowed money that is repaid in equal monthly or other payments, known as installments. An auto loan is often paid for as an installment loan.

Insurable title:

A property title that a title insurance company agrees to insure against defects, liens, and disputes.


A contract that provides compensation for specific losses in exchange for a periodic payment or lump sum payment. An individual contract is known as an insurance policy, and the periodic payment is known as an insurance premium.

Insurance binder:

A document that states that insurance is temporarily in effect. Usually binders are done on an ACCORD form. Because the coverage will expire by a specified date, a permanent policy must be obtained before the expiration date.

Insured mortgage:

A mortgage that is protected by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or by private mortgage insurance (PMI). If the borrower defaults on the loan, the insurer must pay the lender the lesser of the loss incurred or the insured amount.

Intent to cure:

Notices advising the lender or trustee of the intent of a borrower to bring a defaulted loan current or to otherwise cure a pending default. In some foreclosure proceedings, this notice is required to reinstate the loan.

Intent to redeem:

A notice to a lender, trustee, sheriff or other party that has conducted the foreclosure sale that the party that has been foreclosed upon intends to exercise their statutory right of redemption and reclaim the foreclosed property. This will usually require the payment in full of the underlying loan obligation and any foreclosure costs.


The fee charged for borrowing money. Alternatively the right, title or share in property a particular owner holds.

Interest accrual rate:

The percentage rate at which interest accrues on the mortgage and note. In most cases, it is also the rate used to calculate the monthly payments, although it is not used for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with payment change limitations.

Interest rate:

The cost to borrow money usually expressed as an annual percentage rate.

Interest rate buydown plan:

An arrangement wherein the property seller (or any other party) deposits money into an account so that it can be released each month to reduce the mortgagor's monthly payments during the early years of a mortgage. During the specified period, the mortgagor's effective interest rate is "bought down" below the actual interest rate by advances against principal.

Interest rate ceiling:

For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the maximum interest rate payable, as specified in the mortgage note.

Interest rate floor:

For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the minimum interest rate payable, as specified in the mortgage note.

Interim interest:

A short-term payment amount made when a loan is funded. It's the interest due on the loan to cover the number of days from the day the loan is advanced to the beginning of the next month or payment date. For example, if the loan is funded on September 15, 15 days of interest would be paid when the loan closes to cover the period between September 15th and the 30th. The first loan payment in this scenario would be due on October 1.

Investment property:

A property that is not occupied by the owner as a residence.

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