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Definition of Closing Costs

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Closing Costs

Various expenses associated with purchasing a home. These costs can include, but are not limited to, legal/notary fees and disbursements, property land transfer taxes, as well as adjustments for prepaid property taxes or condominium common expenses, if any.



Related Terms:

Cash reserves

The money the buyer has left over after the down payment and all those closing costs.


Closing

The meeting at which the sale of a property is finalized. The buyer signs the lender agreement for the mortgage and pays closing costs and escrow amounts. The buyer and seller sign documents to transfer ownership of the property. Also known as the settlement.


Closing Date

The date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner usually takes possession.


Cash Surrender Value

This is the amount available to the owner of a life insurance policy upon voluntary termination of the policy before it becomes payable by the death of the life insured. This does not apply to term insurance but only to those policies which have reduced paid up values and cash surrender values. A cash surrender in lieu of death benefit usually has tax implications.


Cash Surrender Value

Benefit that entitles a policy owner to an amount of money upon cancellation of a policy.



Dividend

As the term dividend relates to a corporation's earnings, a dividend is an amount paid per share from a corporation's after tax profits. Depending on the type of share, it may or may not have the right to earn any dividends and corporations may reduce or even suspend dividend payments if they are not doing well. Some dividends are paid in the form of additional shares of the corporation. Dividends paid by Canadian corporations qualify for the dividend tax credit and are taxed at lower rates than other income.
As the term dividend relates to a life insurance policy, it means that if that policy is "participating", the policy owner is entitled to participate in an equitable distribution of the surplus earnings of the insurance company which issued the policy. Surpluses arise primarily from three sources:
1) the difference between anticipated and actual operating expenses,
2) the difference between anticipated and actual claims experience, and
3) interest earned on investments over and above the rate required to maintain policy reserves. Having regard to the source of the surplus, the "dividend" so paid can be considered, in part at least, as a refund of part of the premium paid by the policy owner.
Life insurance policy owners of participating policies usually have four and sometimes five dividend options from which to choose:
1) take the dividend in cash,
2) apply the dividend to reduce current premiums,
3) leave the dividends on deposit with the insurance company to accumulate at interest like a savings plan,
4) use the dividends to purchase paid-up whole life insurance to mature at the same time as the original policy,
5) use the dividends to purchase one year term insurance equal to the guaranteed cash value at the end of the policy year, with any portion of the dividend not required for this purpose being applied under one of the other dividend options.
NOTE: It is suggested here that if you have a participating whole life policy and at the time of purchase received a "dividend projection" of incredible future savings, ask for a current projection. Life insurance company's surpluses are not what they used to be.


Assignment

This is the legal transfer on one person's interest in an insurance policy to another person or entity, such as to a bank to qualify for a loan


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Buy/Sell Agreement

This is an agreement entered into by the owners of a business to define the conditions under which the interests of each shareholder will be bought and sold. The agreement sets the value of each shareholders interest and stipulates what happens when one of the owners wishes to dispose of his/her interest during his/her lifetime as well as disposal of interest upon death or disability. Life insurance, critical illness coverage and disability insurance are major considerations to help fund this type of agreement.


Fiat Money

Fiat money is paper currency made legal tender by law or fiat. It is not backed by gold or silver and is not necessarily redeemable in coin. This practice has had widespread use for about the last 70 years. If governments produce too much of it, there is a loss of confidence. Even so, governments print it routinely when they need it. The value of fiat money is dependent upon the performance of the economy of the country which issued it. Canada's currency falls into this category.


First To Die Coverage

This means that there are two or more life insured on the same policy but the death benefit is paid out on the first death only. If two or more persons at the same address are purchasing life insurance at the same time, it is wise to compare the cost of this kind of coverage with individual policies having a multiple policy discount.


Insured Mortgage

An insured mortgage protects only the mortgage lender in case you do not make your mortgage payments. This coverage is provided by CMHC [Canada mortgage and Housing Corporation] and is required if a person has a high-ratio mortgage. [A mortgage is high-ratio if the amount borrowed is more than 75% of the purchase price or appraised value, whichever is less.]


Last To Die Coverage

This means that there are two or more life insured on the same policy but the death benefit is paid out on the last person to die. The cost of this type of coverage is much less than a first to die policy and it is generally used to protect estate value for children where there might be substantial capital gains taxes due upon the death of the last parent. This kind of policy is Also valuable when one of two people covered has health problems which would prohibit obtaining individual coverage.


Money Laundering

This is the process by which "dirty money" generated by criminal activities is converted through legitimate businesses into assets that cannot be easily traced back to their illegal origins.


Mortgage Insurance

commonly sold in the form of reducing term life insurance by lending institutions, this is life insurance with a death benefit reducing to zero over a specific period of time, usually 20 to 25 years. In most instances, the cost of coverage remains level, while the death benefit continues to decline. Re-stated, the cost of this kind of insurance is actually increasing since less death benefit is paid as the outstanding mortgage balance decreases while the cost remains the same. Lending institutions are the most popular sources for this kind of coverage because it is usually sold during the purchase of a new mortgage. The untrained institution mortgage sales person often gives the impression that this is the only place mortgage insurance can be purchased but it is more efficiently purchased at a lower cost and with more flexibility, directly from traditional life insurance companies. No matter where it is purchased, the reducing term insurance death benefit reduces over a set period of years. Most consumers are up-sizing their residences, not down-sizing, so it is likely that more coverage is required as years pass, rather than less coverage.
The cost of mortgage lender's insurance group coverage is based on a blended non-smoker/smoker rate, not having any advantage to either male or female. mortgage lender's group insurance certificate specifies that it [the lender] is the sole beneficiary entitled to receive the death benefit. mortgage lender's group insurance is not portable and is not guaranteed. Generally speaking, your coverage is void if you do not occupy the house for a period of time, rent the home, fall into arrears on the mortgage, and there are a few others which vary by institution. If, for example, you sell your home and buy another, your current mortgage insurance coverage ends and you will have to qualify for new coverage when you purchase your next home. Maybe you won't be able to qualify. Not being guaranteed means that it is possible for the lending institution's group insurance carrier to cancel all policy holder's coverages if they are experiencing too many death benefit claims.
mortgage insurance purchased from a life insurance company, is priced, based on gender, smoking status, health and lifestyle of the purchaser. Once obtained, it is a unilateral contract in your favour, which cannot be cancelled by the insurance company unless you say so or unless you stop paying for it. It pays upon the death of the life insured to any "named beneficiary" you choose, tax free. If, instead of reducing term life insurance, you have purchased enough level or increasing life insurance coverage based on your projection of future need, you can buy as many new homes in the future as you want and you won't have to worry about coverage you might loose by renewing or increasing your mortgage.
It is worth mentioning mortgage creditor protection insurance since it is many times mistakenly referred to simply as mortgage insurance. If a home buyer has a limited amount of down payment towards a substantial home purchase price, he/she may qualify for a high ratio mortgage on a home purchase if a lump sum fee is paid for mortgage creditor protection insurance. The only Canadian mortgage lenders currently known to offer this option through the distribution system of banks and trust companies, are General Electric Capital [GE Capital] and Central mortgage and Housing Corporation [CMHC]. The lump sum fee is mandatory when the mortgage is more than 75% of the value of the property being purchased. The lump sum fee is usually added onto the mortgage. It's important to realize that the only beneficiary of this type of coverage is the morgage lender, which is the bank or trust company through which the buyer arranged their mortgage. If the buyer for some reason defaults on this kind of high ratio mortgage and the value of the property has dropped since being purchased, the mortgage creditor protection insurance makes certain that the bank or trust company gets paid. However, this is not the end of the story, because whatever the difference is, between the disposition value of the property and whatever sum of unpaid mortgage money is outstanding to either GE Capital or CMHC will be the subject of collection procedures against the defaulting home buyer. Therefore, one should conclude that this kind of insurance offers protection only to the bank or trust company and absolutely no protection to the home buyer.


Structured Settlement

Historically, damages paid out during settlement of personal physical injury cases were distributed in the form of a lump-sum cash payment to the plaintiff. This windfall was intended to provide for a lifetime of medical and income needs. The claimant or his/her family was then forced into the position of becoming the manager of a large sum of money.
In an effort to create a more financially stable arrangement for the claimant, the Structured settlement was developed. A Structured settlement is an alternative to a lump sum cash payment in the resolution of personal physical injury, wrongful death, or workers’ compensation cases. The settlement usually consists of two components: an up-front cash payment to provide for immediate needs and a series of future periodic payments which are funded by the defendant’s purchase of one or more annuity policies. those payors make payments directly to the claimant. In the unfortunate event of the claimant’s death, a guaranteed portion of the settlement may be directed to a beneficiary or his/her estate.
A Structured settlement is a guaranteed source of funds paid to the claimant or his/her family on a tax-free basis.


Viatical Settlement

A dictionary meaning for the word viatica is "the eucharist as given to a dying person or to one in danger of death". In the context of Viatical settlement it means the selling of one's own life insurance policy to another in exchange for an immediate percentage of the death benefit. The person or in many cases, group of persons buying the rights to the policy have high expectation of the imminent death of the previous owner. The sooner the death of the previous owner, the higher the profit. Consumer knowledge about this subject is poor and little is known about the entities that fund the companies that purchase policies. People should be very careful when considering the sale of their policy, and they should remember a sale of their life insurance means some group of strangers now owns a contract on their life. If a senior finds it difficult to pay for an insurance policy it might be a better choice to request that current beneficiaries take over the burden of paying the premium. The practice selling personal life insurance policies common in the United States and is spilling over into Canada. It would appear to have a definite conflict with Canada's historical view of 'insurable interest'.


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Automatic Benefits Payment

Automatic payment of moneys derived from a benefit.


Lender (Credit Insurance)

Individual or firm that extends money to a borrower with the expectation of being repaid, usually with interest. lenders create debt in the form of loans. lenders include financial institutions, leasing companies government lending agencies and automobile dealers.



Mortgage Life insurance (Credit Insurance)

Decreasing term life insurance that provides a death benefit amount corresponding to the decreasing amount owed on a mortgage.


Mortgage (Credit Insurance)

An agreement between a creditor and a borrower, where the creditor has loaned an amount to the borrower for purposes of purchasing a loan secured by a home.


Operating Expenses

The amount of money the company must spend on overhead, distribution, taxes, underwriting the risk and servicing the policy. It is a factor in calculating premium rates.


Agreement of Purchase and Sale

A legal agreement that offers a certain price for a home. The offer may be firm (no conditions attached), or conditional (certain conditions must be fulfilled before the deal can be closed).


Blended Payments

payments consisting of both a principal and an interest component, paid on a regular basis (e.g. weekly, biweekly, monthly) during the term of the mortgage. The principal portion of payment increases, while the interest portion decreases over the term of the mortgage, but the total regular payment usually does not change.


Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

The National Housing Act (NHA) authorized Canada mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to operate a mortgage Insurance Fund which protects NHA Approved lenders from losses resulting from borrower default.


Closed Mortgage

A mortgage agreement that cannot be prepaid, renegotiated or refinanced before maturity, except according to its terms.


Closing Date

The date on which the sale of a property becomes final and the new owner usually takes possession.


Conventional Mortgage

A mortgage that does not exceed 80% of the purchase price of the home. mortgages that exceed this limit must be insured against default, and are referred to as high-ratio mortgages (see below).


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Deed (Certificate of Ownership)

The document signed by the seller transferring ownership of the home to the purchaser. This document is then registered against the title to the property as evidence of the purchaser's ownership of the property.



Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A mortgage for which the rate of interest is fixed for a specific period of time (the term).


High Ratio Mortgage

If you don't have 20% of the lesser of the purchase price or appraised value of the property, your mortgage must be insured against payment default by a mortgage Insurer, such as CMHC.


Home Equity

The difference between the price for which a home could be sold (market value) and the total debts registered against it.


Mortgage Critical Illness Insurance

mortgage Critical Illness Insurance is available as an enhancement to mortgage Life Insurance. It is usually underwritten by the Assurance Company. Complete details of benefits, exclusions and limitations are contained in the Certificate of Insurance. It is recommended for all mortgagors. It can pay off your mortgage -- up predefined limit -- if you are diagnosed with life-threatening cancer, heart attack or stroke.


Mortgagee and Mortgagor

The lender is the mortgagee and the borrower is the mortgagor.


Mortgage Life Insurance

A form of reducing term insurance recommended for all mortgagors. If you die, have a terminal illness, or suffer an accident, the insurance can pay the balance owing on the mortgage. The intent is to protect survivors from the loss of their homes.


Mortgage Term

The number of years or months over which you pay a specified interest rate. Terms usually range from six months to 10 years.


Open Mortgage

A mortgage which can be prepaid at any time, without penalty.


Payment Frequency

The choice of making regular mortgage payments every week, every other week, twice a month or monthly.


Prepayment Charge

A fee charged by the lender when the borrower prepays all or part of a closed mortgage more quickly than is set out in the mortgage agreement.


Prepayment Option

The ability to prepay all or a portion of the principal balance. Prepayment charges may be incurred on the exercise of prepayment options.


Variable Rate Mortgage

A mortgage for which the rate of interest may change if other market conditions change. This is sometimes referred to as a floating rate mortgage.


Coach home

One of a group of homes in a two-story building, with own garage and entrance.


Courtyard home

A home with a courtyard as its main entrance.


Earnest money

A deposit made by potential home buyers during negotiations with the seller. The sum shows a seller that a buyer is serious about purchasing the property. The money usually is counted toward the down payment.


Escrow account

Most lenders set up this account that receives monthly payments from home buyers to pay for obligations such as insurance, taxes and assessments.


Home warranty

Like any other warranty, this guarantees the property against failure of mechanical systems, such as plumbing, electrical, heating and installed appliances.


Mortgage broker

An independent individual (or company) who brings together borrowers and lenders together. Unlike a mortgage banker, a mortgage broker does not fund the loan. Instead, the broker originates and processes the loan, and places it with a funding source, such as a bank or thrift. Brokers typically require a fee or a commission for their services.


Patio home

Small, single-family home with a patio.


Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Insurance that protects mortgage lenders against default on loans by providing a way for mortgage companies to recoup the costs of foreclosure. PMI is usually required if the down payment is less than 20 percent of the sale price. home buyers pay for the coverage in monthly installments. PMI should be terminated when the home buyer has built up 20 percent equity in the property.


Single-family home

A detached house.


Allowance

A sum of money set aside in the construction contract for items which have not been selected and specified in the construction contract. For example, selection of tile as a flooring may require an allowance for an underlayment material, or an electrical allowance which sets aside an amount of money to be spent on electrical fixtures.


Area Walls

Corrugated metal or concrete barrier walls installed around a basement window to hold back the earth.


Ballast

A transformer that steps up the voltage in a florescent lamp.


Balloon

A loan that has a series of monthly payments with the remaining balance due in a large lump sum payment at the end.


Balloon Framed Wall

Framed walls (generally over 10' tall) that run the entire vertical length from the floor sill plate to the roof. This is done to eliminate the need for a gable end truss.


Bull Nose Drywall

Rounded drywall corners.


Construction Documents

all drawings, specifications and addenda associated with a specific construction project.


Gable End Wall

The triangular end of an exterior wall above the eaves formed under a gable roof.


aterial used to cover the interior framed areas of walls and ceilings



Knee Wall

A wall-like structure that supports roof rafters.


Landing

A platform between flights of stairs or at the termination of a flight of stairs. Often used when stairs change direction. Normally no less than 3 ft. X 3 ft. square.


Load-Bearing Wall

includes all exterior walls and any interior wall that is aligned above a support beam or girder. Normally, any wall that has a double horizontal top plate.


Nonbearing Wall

A wall supporting no load other than its own weight.


Overhang

Part of the roof that hangs over the wall.


Palladian Window

One larger window with a circle top window above and usually has two smaller, rectangular windows on each side.


Rafter

One of a series of beams that form the slope of a pitched roof and are analogous to floor joists.


Roof Valley

The "V" created where two sloping roofs meet.


Stick-Built Home

A house built without prefabricated parts. Also called conventional building.


Trombe Wall

A passive solar wall, usually masonry or concrete, used for passing heat from one room (like a sun room or solar garden room) to another.


Wall Out

When a painter spray paints the interior of a home.



 

 

 

 

 

 

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