Default Mercury


# | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Lally column

A circular pipe filled with concrete that supports girders and beams.

Plastic material used to seal countertops

A porch-like room or open-sided living room commonly found in homes in warm climates.

An installment contract for the sale of land whereby the seller (vendor) holds legal title and the buyer (vendee) has equitable title until the sales price is paid in full.

Landscape architect
A licensed professional who holds a degree in landscape architecture and is trained in horticulture, design and planning.

Landscape contractor
A licensed professional who carries out the plans of a landscape architect or a landscape designer.

Landscape designer
A landscape designer has training in horticulture and landscape planning but does not necessarily hold a degree.

Lap siding
A type of siding composed of horizontal boards with the bottom of one piece overlapping the top of the piece below it.

Late charge
A fee imposed by a lender when the borrower does not make a payment on time.

Late payment
A payment a lender receives after the due date has passed.

Latent defect
An invisible problem in a piece of property such as bad wiring, termite damage or lead paint.

A metallic chemical element present in older dwellings, primarily in the form of lead-based paint and lead plumbing.

A pipe that carries rainwater from the gutters to the ground, sewers and/or wells.

An agreement by which an owner of real property (lessor) gives the right of possession to another (lessee), for a specified period of time (term) and for a specified consideration (rent).

Lease option
A lease that contains the right to purchase the property for a specific price within a certain time frame.

Assists low- to moderate-income homebuyers in purchasing a home by allowing them to lease a home with an option to buy; the rent payment is made up of the monthly rental payment plus an additional amount that is credited to an account for use as a down payment.

The limited interest in a property held by a tenant; primarily the right to inhabit it for a specified period of time.  At the end of the lease, the property reverts to the owner or landlord.

Leasehold estate
An arrangement in which the borrower does not own a specific piece of property but possesses a long-term lease.

Legal blemish
Blemishes on a piece of property such as a zoning violation or fraudulent title claim.

A description of land recognized by law, based on government surveys, spelling out the exact boundaries of the entire piece of land. It should so thoroughly identify a parcel of land that it cannot be confused with any other.

Any person or entity advancing funds which are to be repaid. A general term encompassing all mortgagees, and beneficiaries under deeds of trust.

A person to whom property is rented under a lease.

A person who rents property to another under a lease.

Letter of intent
A formal statement from the buyer stating an intention to purchase the property for a certain price on a certain date.

The use of a small amount of cash (for example, a 5 percent down payment) to buy a piece of property.

The amount of money a governing body certifies to be raised from the collection of property tax.

A borrower's debts and financial obligations.

Liability insurance
An insurance policy that protects owners against claims of negligence, personal injury or property damage.

Acronym for "London Interbank Offered Rate."  An index used to determine interest rate changes for adjustable rate mortgages.  Very popular index for interest only mortgage programs.

An encumbrance against property for money, either voluntary or involuntary. All liens are encumbrances but all encumbrances are not liens.

Life cap
Limits the amount a loan's interest rate can change during the mortgage term.  For example, if the rate on an adjustable-rate mortgage begins at 4 percent and has a life cap of 6 percentage points, it can not go over 10 percent.

Life-cycle cost analysis
An analysis of a building project's expected operating, maintenance and replacement costs.

Lifetime Payment Cap
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), a limit on the amount payments can increase or decrease over the life of the mortgage.

Lifetime Rate Cap
A maximum interest rate or "ceiling" that may not be exceeded under any circumstances over the entire life of the loan.

Limited partnership
Real estate syndicates and other investment groups use this type of ownership.  A general partner makes the group's investment decisions, oversees the investment and is principally liable for any losses.

A horizontal piece over a door or window that carries the weight of the structure above it.

Liquid assets
Cash and all other assets that can be converted to cash relatively quickly.  Liquid assets can include money in savings and checking accounts, money-market accounts and most CD's.

Liquidated damages
A sum of money specified in the purchase contract to be paid by one party to the other in the event of a breach of contract.

The ability to sell an asset at a price close to its true value and convert it into cash in a short period of time.

A piece of property placed on the market by a listing agent.

Listing agent
A broker or sales agent who has contracted with a seller to handle the marketing and sale of a piece of property.

Listing broker
A real estate broker responsible for the listing of the property and representing the interest of the seller.

Listing inventories
The known number of houses for sale within a given market.

Live-in partnership
An arrangement in which two unrelated people purchase a home.

Live-work space
An officially designated dwelling in which the occupant conducts a home-based business or enterprise.

Load-bearing wall
A wall that supports not only its own weight, but the weight of other parts of a home. (also called a bearing wall)

Loan application
A document that details a borrower's income, debt and other obligations to determine credit worthiness.  Also includes information on the subject property.

Loan application fee
A fee charged by lenders to cover expenses incidental to reviewing a loan application.

Loan commitment
A promise by a lender or other financial institution to make or insure a loan for a specified amount and on specific terms.

Loan fraud
Purposely giving incorrect information on a loan application in order to better qualify for a loan; may result in civil liability or criminal penalties.

Loan officer
An official lending institution representative who is empowered to act on behalf of the lender within certain limits.

Loan origination fee
A fee charged by lenders to cover the direct costs of arranging the loan.

Loan term
The time set by a lender for a buyer to pay a mortgage.  Most conforming loans have 30 or 15-year terms.

Loan-to-value ratio (LTV)
A percentage calculated by dividing the amount borrowed by the price or appraised value of the home to be purchased; the higher the LTV, the less cash a borrower is required to pay as down payment.

Local improvement district (LID)
A legal district established by state law to benefit a specific area.  Districts issue bonds to finance improvements such as sidewalks and sewer systems, then levy assessments on real estate in the affected area to repay funds.

Since interest rates can change frequently, many lenders offer an interest rate lock-in that guarantees a specific interest rate if the loan is closed within a specific time.

Lock-in period
A period of time during which the borrower is guaranteed an agreed-upon interest rate, even if market rates rise.  The longer the period, the higher the cost (in points) to the borrower.

A living space not partitioned into rooms or a small space built above a larger room.

Log cabin
Homes constructed of rough-hewn timbers.

Loss mitigation
A process to avoid foreclosure; the lender tries to help a borrower who has been unable to make loan payments and is in danger of defaulting on his or her loan.

Slatted panels mounted in the upper portion of a gable wall to provide attic ventilation.

Low density
A low concentration of housing units in a specific area.

Low down-payment loan
A home loan that requires the borrower to make only a small down payment before obtaining the financing needed to purchase a house.

Low-documentation loan
A home loan that requires only minimal verification of income and assets.

Lowball offer
An offer made to a seller that is substantially below market value.

LTV (loan-to-value ratio)
The ratio of the total loan amount to the value of the property.  For lending purposes, the property value is equal to the purchase price or the appraised value, whichever is lower.