A toxic material that was once used in housing insulation and fireproofing. Because some forms of as- bestos have been linked to certain lung diseases, it is no longer used in new homes. However, some older homes may still have asbestos in these materials.

Annual Percentage Rate

The cost of a loan or other financing is an annual rate. The APR includes the interest rate, points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges a borrower is required to pay. The lower the APR, the more affordable your loan. To figure out what you can afford, consider both interest rate and monthly payment….


An amount paid yearly or at other regular intervals, often at a guaranteed minimum amount. Also, a type of insurance policy in which the policy holder makes payments for a fixed period or until a stated age, and then receives annuity payments from the insurance company.


A professional who conducts an analysis of the property, including examples of sales of similar properties in order to develop an estimate of the value of the property. The analysis is called an “appraisal.”


The market value of property appreciated on account of changing circumstances or improvements to it, for example. This year I remodeled my kitchen by replacing the conner top and refacing the cabinets at a cost of $57,000. This improvement to the kitchen will increase the market value of my house. Middle-range kitchen makeovers have a…


A process where disputes are resolved by conferring responsibility for these differences to an impartial third-party (Arbitrator). The parties to the dispute agree in advance of the agreement to accept the award the decision of the arbitrator. There is an opportunity for both parties to present their viewpoint, after which the arbitrator renders a decision.


When you see a property marketed as “as is,” the seller is unwilling to make repairs. It could also mean that the price is “as is,” which is typically lower than the market price in the area. “As is” means the property’s condition when the offer was written. If anything happens to the property from…