Be Terminology Savvy; Words you need to know when buying a house

If you’re a first-time buyer, you’re probably going to come across some terminology that you’ve either never heard of, used and/or have no clue what they mean. All the property jargon featured within buying a home can make you feel anxious about going through this experience. It’s almost like having to learn a new language – the language of estate agents.


Having an awareness of any property jargon used within the house buying process can help you feel in control, and help you understand what’s actually happening and what people are on about. Acting as almost a cheat sheet, we’ve listed key property and home buying jargon that you may come across during the process, alongside helpful meanings and how they may potentially be used.


Buildings Insurance


Just like other forms of insurance, building insurance is cover you take out in the event of any damage happening to the property. This includes fires, flooding as well as weather damage from thunder, lightning and storms. Some insurance policies vary but some may feature damage from robbery etc. Building insurance is a priority when it comes to buying a house and exchanging contracts. You must ensure it is insured when contracts are exchanged. It’s worth noting that your mortgage provider may ask to be aware of said policy as they’ve helped financed the property for you.


Bridging Loan


Helping you reach from one side to the other, a bridging loan is something you apply for when, for example, you may not have been able to sell your current property in time for the purchase of a new home. It’s a short-term funding solution which helps you get from A to B within the housing scenario. The loan can also be granted for properties that require some work for it to meet mortgage standards.




A proper legal term when it comes to the housing market, conveyancing refers to the process dealt with by the buyer’s and seller’s solicitors regarding the transferring of legal ownership of said property or land. In simple terms – the paperwork that says you now own the home you are buying. In conjunction to the term, there is also the ‘Conveyancer’ – basically the person who carries out the act of the sale and/or purchase of a property.




Unfortunately, a term you’ll hear, disbursements relate to additional fees which are separate from the standard fees charged by solicitors/conveyancers. These fees include search fees, Land Registry fees, Local Authority searches etc when you purchase or sell a property.


Early repayment charge


This is a term for those lucky enough to be able to pay off their whole mortgage. When a homeowner decides they want to pay off their mortgage earlier than agreed with their lender, they face a charge. The amount depends on the initial agreement made. It could either be a flat percentage of the total loan or a fixed fee.




A word you don’t want to hear in the process of buying a home, Gazumping refers to when your offer has been accepted, however another buyer has made a better offer all before your contracts have been exchanged. When the seller has accepted the better offer, you’ve been gazumped.




Another word you don’t want to hear, Gazundering relates to when you are the seller. It means when a potential buyer reduces their offer for no good reason before contracts are exchanged.


Loan-to-value (LTV)


The amount of money a mortgage lender is willing to lend you against the value of the property. Basically, how much are you borrowing to buy the home. Every mortgage lender’s maximum LTV varies, and it also depends on your ability to pay the potential amount back.


No onward chain


A term which can provide some sense of relief, this term refers to the sale of a property not dependent on the seller buying a property. The said home would be referred to as a chain-free property.




A term for new-build homes, a snag is a small defect/issue found in your property after the building work has been completed. This could be anything from being damaged, broken, unfinished or not properly installed. These are generally cosmetic issues. You can create a snagging list for your house builder as they are obliged to fix any issues. However, detects must be reported two years from completion date.


Here at Arrow Conveyancing, we want to ensure you have as much knowledge as possible when it comes to buying a home. Which is why we’re helping you along the way with a little jargon lesson. Please ensure that you are in safe hands with us when it comes to any queries regarding the house buying process. We’re a friendly team of experts who are only a call away.


Arrow Conveyancing Ltd.

Call: 0116 266 5394 




The materials on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information only. Whether express or implied, no warranty is given concerning such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical, or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website.

The information contained in this article does not constitute financial advice or recommendation and should not be considered as such. Arrow conveyancing does not offer financial advice and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the authors of this article are not financial advisors and are therefore not authorised to offer financial advice.

Published on :  

December 13, 2022

By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Get A Quote