Home Buying Glossary



This is the conclusion of the homebuying process and is when the loan is formalized. This includes the delivery of a deed to your home, financial adjustments, the signing of any notes and the disbursement of the funds necessary to finalize the sale transaction.

Closing Costs

Money paid for various services provided in connection with the closing of a mortgage loan, usually to an attorney handling the transaction of a closing agent. This usually involves an origination fee, discount points, appraisal, credit report, title insurance, attorney’s fees, survey and prepaid items such as taxes and insurance escrow payments.

Closing Documents

These are the documents that are signed at closing. These will include: the Deed of Trust or Mortgage with attachments, Promissory Note, Truth-in-Lending Disclosure, and other documents related to the transaction.

Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage not insured or guaranteed by a federally insured program (such as FHA or VA).

Credit Report

A report by an independent credit bureau that lists the applicant’s credit history and the credit rating as reported by the creditor. In addition, the credit bureau may perform some investigative functions and research of other public records.

Custom Home

When construction begins on a home but it has not been purchased yet, it is referred to as a “custom home.”

Customer Walk Thru

This occurs 1 day after Internal Acceptance and 2 days prior to Home Delivery. The Customer Walk Thru is a scheduled meeting with the Homeowner facilitated by the assigned Orientation Rep. This meeting provides the Homeowner an opportunity to view their home prior to Home Delivery. Any corrective items identified by the Homeowner are documented and resolved prior to Home Delivery. Note: Since the home is to be 100% complete by Internal Acceptance, there should be no or few items identified.




When a price for a home is agreed upon, the purchaser must put down a refundable deposit while obtaining financing.



Earnest Money

A portion of the down payment delivered to the seller or an escrow agency by the purchaser of real estate with a purchase offer as evidence of good faith.

Elevations (front, rear and sides)

This refers to what the front, rear and sides of your home will look like when it is built. Most floorplans have a variety of options for what the exterior looks like – so while it is the same home it appears very different on the outside.



FHA (Federal Housing Administration)

A division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Its main activity is the insuring of residential mortgage loans made by private lenders against loss in the event of a foreclosure. It sets standards for construction and underwriting. FHA does not lend money, nor plan, nor construct housing.



The homesite is the location of your new home; ie the lot or land on which it will be located.



A legal instrument that conveys an interest in real property given as security for the payment of a debt. In some states, a Deed of Trust or Deed to Secure Debt is used in place of a mortgage.

Mortgage Insurance

Insurance which protects the lender against loss which could result from a mortgage default.


Planned community

A planned community is a community that has an overall design for the entire community and each neighborhood within the community. This helps to ensure that the community design and architecture remains consistent with the overall neighborhood design pattern.

Purchase and Sales Agreement

A written agreement between competent parties stating terms and conditions of a sale for mortgage loan purposes on real estate.


Rough-in Plumbing

In homes that have a basement, plumbing pipes are often placed in the basement of the home to give you the convenience of adding a bathroom and finishing the basement at a later date.


Standard Features

Standard features are options that are included in the base price of your new home. Examples include a specific type of appliance, flooring, or windows, and vary by home collection.



The evidence of the right to or ownership in property. Title may be acquired through purchase, inheritance, gift, or through foreclosure of a mortgage.

Title Company

The company that researches the title of the property and guarantees that the research is correct. The title company then issues a title policy.



The process of analyzing the loan application and supporting information to decide whether the loan is acceptable and at what terms.


You may choose other options beyond the standard features for your new home, and these features are in addition to the base price. Each home collection has a list of options, such as a specific type of appliance, flooring, or windows that you may select to create the perfect home for you


VA (Veterans Administration)

An independent agency of the federal government. The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program is designed to encourage lenders to offfer long-term, low down payment mortgages to eligible veterans by guaranteeing the lender against loss in the event of a foreclosure.