Here is a list of words you may find helpful when reading about homeownership:
Amortization Schedule: the monthly schedule for paying your mortgage.
Closing Costs: the money you pay to complete your purchase. This includes money to your lawyer, insurance fees, bank costs, property taxes and escrow.
Down Payment: is also referred to as contract deposit or Earnest Money. It is a percent of the purchase price that changes depending on the agreement between the seller, buyer and the people who represent them.
Earnest Money: In most parts of the US, this is a percent of the price of your house that you pay to make sure you get it. The cost varies depending on what the buyer and seller are looking to get. In other parts of the US, you pay this to the real estate agent to show that you want your offer to be taken seriously. This is sometimes known as a binder.
Equity: the difference between the value of your home and the amount you owe on it.
Escrow: a portion of your monthly payment in addition to the mortgage payment. This is used to pay your property taxes and insurance premium.
Foreclosure: the legal process when your house gets taken away because you do not pay the mortgage
Interest: the rate that the lender charges to borrow money. This ends up being an extra percentage of your payment.
Lender: the person or financial institution (usually a bank, credit union or mortgage banker) who gives you a loan
Market value: the current value of something, according to the economy
Mortgage: the loan you take out to buy or refinance a house. You pay the loan back every month, plus interest.
Principal: the amount you have left to pay on your mortgage. It is the part of your monthly payment that does not include interest.