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Glossary - I
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Improvements
Valuable additions to the land, such as buildings, fences, roads, etc., which increase the value of the property.

Implied warranty of habitability
A legal doctrine that requires landlords to offer and maintain livable premises for their tenants. If a landlord fails to provide habitable housing, tenants in most states may legally withhold rent or take other measures, including hiring someone to fix the problem or moving out.

Incidents of ownership
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

Income approach to value
An estimate of value based on the monetary returns that a property can be expected to generate; capitalization. Contrast with the cost approach to value and the market data approach to value.

Income property
Real estate developed or improved to produce income.

Independent School District
In Texas, all but one of the state's school districts are considered "Independent" since they do not fall under the direct control of any other local government, and their boundaries are not constrained by any city or county border lines. Each district is run by an elected school board, which appoints a superintendent and sets budgets and tax rates. Only the State of Texas has the authority to regulate and oversee the actions of an Independent School District.

Inspection
An examination of a property by the buyer, agent, title insurance company, or other interested party.

Index
A number used to compute the interest rate for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The index is generally a published number or percentage, such as the average interest rate or yield on Treasury bills. A margin is added to the index to determine the interest rate that will be charged on the ARM.. This interest rate is subject to any caps that are associated with the mortgage.

Ingress
An entrance, or the act of entering. Compare egress.

In-file credit report
An objective account, normally computer-generated, of credit and legal information obtained from a credit repository.

Inflation
An increase in the amount of money or credit available in relation to the amount of goods or services available, which causes an increase in the general price level of goods and services. Over time, inflation reduces the purchasing power of a dollar, making it worth less.

Initial interest rate
The original interest rate of the mortgage at the time of closing. This rate changes for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). Sometimes known as "start rate" or "teaser."

Inspection clause
A stipulation in an offer to purchase that makes the sale contingent on the findings of a home inspector.

Installment
The regular periodic payment that a borrower agrees to make to a lender.

Installment loan
Borrowed money that is repaid in equal payments, known as installments. A furniture loan is often paid for as an installment loan.

Insurable title
A property title that a title insurance company agrees to insure against defects and disputes.

Insurance
A contract that provides compensation for specific losses in exchange for a periodic payment. An individual contract is known as an insurance policy, and the periodic payment is known as an insurance premium.

Insurance binder
A document that states that insurance is temporarily in effect. Because the coverage will expire by a specified date, a permanent policy must be obtained before the expiration date.

Insured mortgage
A mortgage that is protected by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or by private mortgage insurance (MI). If the borrower defaults on the loan, the insurer must pay the lender the lesser of the loss incurred or the insured amount.

Interest
The fee charged for borrowing money.

Interest accrual rate
The percentage rate at which interest accrues on the mortgage. In most cases, it is also the rate used to calculate the monthly payments, although it is not used for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) with payment change limitations.

Interest rate
The rate of interest in effect for the monthly payment due.

Interest rate buy down plan
An arrangement wherein the property seller (or any other party) deposits money to an account so that it can be released each month to reduce the mortgagor's monthly payments during the early years of a mortgage. During the specified period, the mortgagor's effective interest rate is "bought down" below the actual interest rate.

Interest rate ceiling
For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the maximum interest rate, as specified in the mortgage note.

Interest rate floor
The rate of interest in effect for the monthly payment due.

Interest Only Loan
A term loan arrangement calling for payments of interest only, not to include any amount for principal.

Interest Rate Swap
A transaction between two parties, in which each agrees to exchange payments tied to different interest rates or indices for a specified period of time.


Intermediate-Term Mortgage
A mortgage loan with a stated maturity at the time of purchase that it is equal to or less than 20 years.

Intimidation
As defined in the fair housing laws, it is the illegal act of coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with a person in exercising or enjoying any right granted or protected by federal, state or local fair housing laws.

Investment property
A property that is not occupied by the owner.

Invitee
A business guest, or someone who enters property held open to members of the public, such as a visitor to a museum. Property owners must protect invitees from dangers on the property. In an example of the perversion of legalese, social guests that you invite into your home are called "licensees."

IRA (Individual Retirement Account)
A retirement account that allows individuals to make tax-deferred contributions to a personal retirement fund. Individuals can place IRA funds in bank accounts or in other forms of investment such as stocks, bonds, or mutual funds.

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