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Main girder

The main support running between foundation walls to carry the weight of a floor.

Main water shut-off valve
The primary valve that halts the flow of water from the water meter into the home.

Maintenance fee
The monthly assessment paid by homeowners' association members for the repair and maintenance of common areas.

Managed-competition lots
Lots in which buyers choose between one of several builders.

Mansard roof
A roof with four sides that slope upward from the roof edge to a square peak.

The facing of stone, marble or other material around a fireplace.

Manufactured housing
Prefabricated homes that can range from simple trailers to large dwellings.

An amount the lender adds to an index to determine the interest rate on an adjustable rate mortgage.

Market conditions
Factors affecting the sale and purchase of homes at a particular point in time.

Market value
The price a piece of property sells for at a particular point in time.

Marketable title
A good or clear title that is free of defects.

The brick or stone work on a building.

Master-planned community
A suburban plan that includes homes and commercial, work, educational and community facilities.

Construction adhesive (usually applied with a caulking gun)

Material defect
Any defect in a specific property that could either affect a buyer's decision to purchase it or affect the property's value, such as a cracked foundation.

Material fact
Any information about a specific property that could affect a buyer's decision to purchase it, such as an upcoming zoning change in the neighborhood.

The date on which the principal balance of a loan becomes due and payable.

Maximum financing
A loan amount within 5 percent of the highest loan-to-value ratio allowed for a property.

A lien created by statute for the purpose of securing priority of payment for the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in construction or repair of improvements to land, and which attaches to the land as well as the improvements.

Mechanical systems
A home's plumbing, wiring, heating and cooling systems.

Median price
The price of the house that falls in the middle of the total number of homes for sale in an area.

A dispute resolution process where a neutral party works to resolve contract differences.

Merged credit report
A report that draws information from the three (3) main credit-reporting agencies incvluding: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union.

A device that measures electrical current or water flow to a property.

Meter pan
A piece of equipment through which the service conductor runs.

Metes and bounds
A time-honored land surveying method of describing land in terms of shape and boundary dimensions.

Mint condition
Mint condition refers to a house that looks as close to new as possible.

The manner in which two boards that meet at right angles are cut so that ends do not show. Miters are usually 45-degree cuts.

Mixed-income housing
A neighborhood containing homes of widely varying prices.

Mixed-use development
A project that combines several different functions, such as residential space above a commercial establishment or an entire development combining commercial, residential, and public accommodations.

MLS is an acronym for the Multiple Listing Service.  This service combines the listings for all available homes in an area (except For Sale By Owner properties) in one directory or database.

A change in the terms of a loan agreement.

Modified annual percentage rate (APR)
The modified APR is an index of loan cost based on the standard APR and adjusted for the time the borrower expects to hold the loan.

Decorative trim applied to walls, ceilings, window and door openings.

Monolithic slab
A slab that is part of the footings.

Monthly association dues
A payment due monthly to a homeowners' association for maintenance and communal expenses.

Cement-based material that provides the base for brick, stone, and other masonry materials.

(1) To hypothecate as security, real property for the payment of a debt. The borrower (mortgagor) retains possession and use of the property; (2) The instrument by which real estate is hypothecated as security for the repayment of a loan.

Mortgage acceleration clause
A clause that allows a mortgage lender to demand repayment of the entire loan balance in a lump sum under certain circumstances, such as when the home is sold, title is changed, the loan is refinanced or the borrower defaults on a scheduled payment.

Mortgage banker
A company that originates loans and resells them to secondary mortgage lenders like :Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Mortgage broker
A firm that originates and processes loans for a number of lenders. Mortgage insurance

Mortgage broker business
A company that matches lenders with prospective borrowers who meet the criteria of lenders the broker is approved to deal with.  The mortgage broker business does not keep or make the loan, but receives payment from the lender for services.

Mortgage insurance
A policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that can occur when a borrower defaults on a mortgage loan; mortgage insurance is required primarily for borrowers with a down payment of less than 20% of the home's purchase price.

Mortgage insurance premium (MIP)
A monthly payment -usually part of the mortgage payment - paid by a borrower for mortgage insurance.

Mortgage-interest deduction
The tax write-off that the Internal Revenue Service allows most owners to claim for annual interest payments made on real estate loans.

Mortgage life insurance
Insurance that will pay off a mortgage if the borrower dies before the debt is retired.

Mortgage Modification
A loss mitigation option that allows a borrower to refinance and/or extend the term of the mortgage loan and thus reduce the monthly payments.

A bank or other financial institution that lends money to the borrower.  The borrower is considered the mortgagor.

The party who borrows the money and gives the mortgage.

Mortise lockset
A doorknob and latch set designed to fit into a rectangular pocket cut into the edge of a door.

Motivated buyer
A buyer with a strong incentive to make a purchase.

Motivated seller
A property owner with a strong incentive to sell.

Move-in condition
A house that is ready for a new occupant.

Move-up buyer
A buyer who has purchased a home before and is looking for a bigger or more expensive home.

A vertical dividing bar between window panes or panels.

Multidwelling property
A property that contains individual units for several households but carries only one mortgage.

Municipal housing inspector
Inspectors employed by cities or counties to check all construction sites and verify that contractors are meeting local building codes.

A wooden division that separates panes of glass in a multi-paned window or door.