Category Archives: glossary

What is a mortgage?

Excellent question, which can be answered simply by referencing Webster’s definition as follows:

: a legal agreement in which a person borrows money to buy property (such as a house) and pays back the money over a period of years

However, being the curious being that you are, you surely want to dive in a bit deeper, so let’s take a look at the etymological roots of the word itself…

late 14c., morgage, “conveyance of property as security for a loan or agreement,” from Old French morgage (13c.), mort gaige, literally “dead pledge” (replaced in modern Frech by hypothèque), from mort “dead” (see mortal (adj.)) + gage “pledge” (see wage (n.)). So called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails. Old French mort is from Vulgar Latin *mortus “dead,” from Latin mortuus, past participle of mori “to die” (see mortal (adj.)).

Continue reading What is a mortgage?

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

One of the first things people will say when you mention you start the process of buying a home for the first time is to be sure to get a fixed-rate mortgage.   Why?  What is a fixed-rate mortgage and why do so many people recommend them?  Is it always the best option to select?

Let’s think about some of these questions.  First, what is a fixed-rate mortgage?  Well, let’s start with the definition of a mortgage before we get into the “fixed-rate” aspect of them.   Continue reading Fixed-Rate Mortgages