Balance Sheet - A financial statement in a table form that shows assets,
liabilities and net worth.
Baloon Mortgage - A short-term fixed-rate loan which involves smaller payments
for a certain period of time and one large payment for the entire balance due at
the end of the loan term.
Bankruptcy - A court proceeding in which a debtor, who owes more than his assets,
can relieve the debts by transferring his assets to a trustee.
Beige Book - A survey of economic conditions, conducted in the Federal Reserve�s
12 regional banks, in preparation for Federal Open Market Committee meetings. Frequency:
twice per quarter. Source: Federal Reserve.
Beneficiary - The person designated to receive the benefits resulting from certain acts.
Bequeath - To transfer personal property through a will or last testament. Compare with devise.
Betterment - An improvement that increases property value as opposed to repairs or replacements that simply maintain value.
Bi-weekly Mortgage Payment - A mortgage that requires payment to reduce the debt every two weeks
instead of monthly. The 26 (sometimes 27) biweekly payments are each equal to one-half of the monthly
payment that would be required with a standard 30 year fixed-rate mortgage.
The result is a faster loan balance reduction with substantial savings in
Bill of Sale - A written instrument that transfers title to personal property.
Binder - An agreement between a buyer and seller to purchase real estate. A binder,
also known as an offer to purchase or a sales contract, secures the right to purchase real
estate upon agreed terms for a limited period of time. If the buyer changes his mind or
is unable to purchase, the earnest money that was paid is forfeited unless the binder
expressly provides that it is to be refunded.
Blanket Insurance Policy - A single policy that covers more than one piece of property
(or more than on person).
Blanket Mortgage - A single mortgage that is secured by more than one parcel of real estate.
Bona Fide - In good faith, without fraud.
Bond - An interest-bearing certificate that serves as evidence of a debt with a
maturity date. Typically, bonds represent obligations of a government or business corporation.
A real estate bond is a written obligation, usually secured by a mortgage or deed of trust.
Breach of Contract - A violation of the terms of any legal obligation or agreement.
Bridge Loan - Sometimes called a "swing loan", a bridge loan is generally a loan that is
secured by a borrower's current residence to obtain the funds needed to purchase a new home if
the current residence will not be sold prior to the purchase of a new home.
Broker - A state-licensed agent who, for a commission or a fee, represents property owners
in real estate transactions.
Buydown - A process that allows a borrower to obtain a lower interest rate on a
mortgage by paying points to a lender. A temporary buydown will reduce the interest
rate paid during the first few years of the loan. A permanent buydown reduces the
interest rate over the entire life of the loan.