Facade – A building’s outside wall that faces the street.
Face Value – The dollar amount of a property’s value. It is indicated by numbers or words on a document.
Fair Credit Reporting Act - A federal law that gives persons the right to view and correct information about them used by credit reporting services.
Fair Housing Act - A federal law that prohibits discrimination by landlords, agents, lenders, and insurance companies, if the discrimintory practices make housing unavailable to people because of race or color, religion, sex, national origin, family status, or disability.
Fannie Mae (FNMA) – Federal National Mortgage Association, a federally chartered corporation that buys mortgages, then packages them to sell as securities to buyers.
Federal Fair Housing Law - a federal law that forbids renters or sellers from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, or national origin.
Federal Housing Administration (FHA) - an agency within Housing and Urban Development that administers several loan programs with the intention of making more housing available.
Fee Agreement - An agreement between a borrower and a broker which normally specifies the relationship between them and the amount of compensation to the broker.
Fee Simple - absolute ownership of real property.
Fiduciary Responsibility - An obligation for a party to act in the best interest of another party. This kind of obligation usually exists when one person places special confidence and trust in another person.
Financing - Borrowing money to buy property.
Finder's Fee - A fee for finding someone to buy, sell, or rent real estate. It is illegal in most states unless the the finder is a licensed real estate broker or agent.
First Mortgage – The earliest mortgage on the property. This is determined only by the time of recording, not the size of the loan or mortgage type. When the first mortgage is paid off in full by the buyer, the second mortgage, if extant, becomes the first mortgage.
Fixed Payment Mortgage – a loan featuring a periodic, consistent payment of interet and principal. It is secured by a real property or properties.
Fixed Rate Mortgage - A mortgage with an interest rate that does not change over the life of the loan.
Fixer-Upper - Usually a polite way to describe a property in need of extensive repairs.
Fixture - An item of personal property that becomes part of the real property.
Flat - An apartment.
Flip - To buy a property at a low price and sell it a short time later for a higher price. The property may or may not need repairs.
Floodplain - A level land area that may occasionally face the threat of a flood from a nearby body of water.
Forbearance – In the event that a borrower becomes delinquent, a lender may pursue forbearance as a course of action to delay foreclosure.
Foreclosure - The procedure through which a borrower’s rights to a certain property are terminated, usually due to delinquency on a debt. Foreclosure procedures vary widely from state to state.
Forgery - A counterfeit signature or instrument.
Fourplex - A small apartment building containing 4 residences.
FRBO - for rent by owner.
Freddie Mac (FHMLC) - Federal National Mortgage Association, a federally chartered corporation that buys mortgages, then packages them to sell as securities to buyers.
Freehold - An estate in land for life or in fee.
Frontage - The length of property line along a road, street, waterway, or important ammenity such as a park.
FSBO - for sale by owner.
Full Disclosure - A requirement to reveal all information relevant to a transaction.
Fully Amortized Adjustable-Rate Mortgage – A mortgage that amortizes (pays down) a loan balance, and has an adjustable rate of interest.