• Home loan terms and mortgage definitions

  • The language and jargon used in purchasing a property can be very confusing. Here's an A-Z glossary of commonly used words and phrases, with easy-to-understand definitions for each one.
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    • Off The Plan

      When you buy a property from the plans only and not the finished building. The purchaser will not be able to inspect the property or see the standard of finishes, the practical layout, the size and dimensions or the outlook. However the purchaser may be able to view a display unit and sample finishes.

    • Offer to purchase

      Usually a written contract setting out the terms under which the buyer agrees to buy. If accepted by the seller, it forms a legally binding contract subject to the terms and conditions stated in the document.

    • Offset account

      A non-interest earning account where the balance is offset against the home loan to reduce the total interest payable.

    • Old system title (common law title)

      A system of land where a purchaser receives a title that is only as good as that which a seller can sell. Old System transactions require examination of a series of deeds and documents relating to all dealings in the land back to what is recognised in law as 'good root of title' (for example, a conveyance for value more than 30 years ago).

    • Option to buy

      A legally binding document which gives a person, for a fee, the right to buy something, usually within a specific time frame at a specific price and subject to specific conditions.

    • Overdraft

      An arrangement on a cheque or savings account under which a bank extends credit up to a maximum amount (the overdraft limit) and against which the customer can make withdrawals. Interest is charged on the fluctuating daily balance.

    • Owners' Corporation

      A representative body for and on behalf of the owners, to administer, control, maintain and manage all areas of the common property for the strata scheme.