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Mortgage and Real Estate Glossary

Alberta Equity's glossary contains hundreds of terms. With this tool, you can click or search through the largest real estate and mortgage glossary in Canada!

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Fair Market Value
The highest price that a buyer, willing but not compelled to buy, would pay, and the lowest a seller, willing but not compelled to sell, would accept.
Short for frequently asked questions. The section of a Web site where the bank or financial institution posts answers to consumers' most commonly asked questions about the banking services.
Fee Simple
Outright ownership of real estate, free of any liens or other claims against title.
Fee Simple Defeasible
A condition in which someone has outright ownership of real estate, free of any liens or other claims against title, but whose use of the property has restrictions
An individual, company or association responsible for managing someone else's assets. Fiduciaries include executors of wills and estates, trustees, receivers in bankruptcy and those responsible for managing the finances of a minor.
Fiduciary Duty
A requirement that a person in a position of trust, such as a banker, real-estate agent, or title agent, must act in good faith and honesty on behalf of a client.
Field Changes
Modifications made to a building on-site.
Filing Extension
An additional amount of time to file your return. A filing extension, however, does not give you more time to pay your taxes.
Finance Canada
Federal department responsible for Canada's economic performance and regulation of financial institutions.
Finance Charge
The charges that include all of the interest expected to be earned over the life of a loan, in addition to the service charges, mortgage insurance premiums and certain other charges related to a loan.
Finder Fee
A fee paid by a party to another for services rendered.
Firm Commitment
A lender's promise to lend money to a specific borrower on specified terms at a certain time.
First Lien
Primary claim by the lender for satisfaction of outstanding debt. A first mortgage creates a first lien.
First Mortgage
A mortgage that is the primary lien against a property.
Fiscal Deficit
When the government spends more money than it receives in revenue over the course of one year.
Fiscal Policy
The use of government spending and taxation policies to influence the economy.
Fiscal Surplus
When the government receives more in revenue than it spends over the course of the year.
Fixed Assets
Assets like machinery, land, buildings, or property used in operating a business that will not be consumed or converted into cash during the current accounting period.
Fixed Expenses
Fixed business costs that do not change with the volume of business, such as rent for business premises, insurance payments, utilities, etc.
Fixed Installment
Periodic (usually monthly) payment on a loan whose sum does not vary.
Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM)
A mortgage in which the interest rate and payments remain the same for the life of the loan. The interest rate and payment amounts are established at the time or of origination.
Fixed Time
The time of year when the owner in a timeshare arrangement is scheduled to have occupancy.
Fixed-Return Instruments or Vehicles
Instruments that pay a fixed rate of interest for an agreed-upon length of time such as term deposits, Treasury bills and Guaranteed Investment Certificates.
A house that needs a lot of work and which sells for a discount.
Personal property that becomes real property when it is attached to a building. Examples include chandeliers, built-in bookcases and cabinets and drapery rods.
Flat Fee
A fixed charge that a broker requests instead of a commission.
The amount of time the bank takes to clear — or reject (bounce) — a cheque for payment; the time at which funds are debited from the issuer's account.
Flood Insurance
A policy that pays the homeowner for damage caused by rising water. It does not reimburse the owner for falling water, such as rain falling through a hole in the roof, but pays for damage stemming from flooding.
Flood Plain
Land that is prone to inundation.
Florida Room
An enclosed porch built on the back or side of a house, sometimes air-conditioned.
For Sale By Owner
An arrangement by which a house's owner tries to sell the house without hiring a real-estate agent. Owners do this to avoid paying a commission.
Delaying foreclosure, usually because the borrower has arranged to pay the amount in arrears.
The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.
Foreign Currency
Paper money and coins from other countries.
Foreign Currency Surcharge
A new charge imposed by some credit card issuers that imposes a fee on purchases made in a foreign currency.
Foreign Exchange
Various instruments used to settle payments for transactions between individuals or organizations using different currencies (e.g., notes, cheques, etc.).
Foreign Exchange Rate
The value of a nation's currency in terms of another nation's currency
Loss of property because of violation of law or contract.
Four Pillars
A term used to describe the main types of financial institutions: banking, trust, insurance and securities.
The right to sell products or services under a corporate name or trade mark (established by someone else). This right is usually purchased for cash in addition to a royalty fee on, or a percentage of, all sales.
Fresh Start
The characterization of a debtor's status after bankruptcy. i.e., free of most debts.
Fringe Benefit
Employee compensation other than your wages, tips and salaries, such as health insurance, life insurance and pension plans. Usually referred to as a Bonus.
Full Income Verification
A requirement for fully documented proof of income; loans of this type usually offer lower interest rates than no-income or "no-doc" verification loans.
Full Market Value
In reference to property taxes, usually refers to the tax rate applied to 100 percent of the property's value. Also full cash value.
Contracts to buy something in the future at a price agreed upon in advance. They first developed in the agriculture commodity markets but often involve foreign exchange, Eurodollar deposits and government bonds.