Glossary of Terms - M

Manufactured Housing:

Homes that are built entirely in a factory in accordance with a federal building code administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Manufactured homes may be single-or multi-section and are transported from the factory to a site and installed. Homes that are permanently affixed to a foundation often may be classified as real property under applicable state law, and may be financed with a mortgage. Homes that are not permanently affixed to a foundation generally are classified as personal property, and are financed with a retail installment sales agreement.


A percentage added to the index for an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to establish the interest rate on each adjustment date.

Marketable Title:

A title that enables an owner to sell his or her property freely to others and that others will accept without objection.

Market Value:

The current value of your home based on what a purchaser would likely pay on the open market, which is based on comparisons to similar homes that have sold recently.  An appraisal is sometimes used to determine the market value of properties.

Maturity Date:

The date on which a mortgage loan is scheduled to be paid in full, as stated in the note.

Mechanics’ Lien:

A lien created by statute for the purpose of securing priority of payment for the price or value of work performed and materials furnished in construction or repair of improvements to land and which attaches to the land as well as the improvements.

Merged Credit Report:

A credit report issued by a credit reporting company that combines information from two or three major credit bureaus.

Mobile Home:

A structure transportable in one or more sections, designed and equipped to contain not more than two dwelling units to be used with or without a foundation system.  Unless they are affixed to a permanent foundation and meet certain tests laid out in state statutes and regulations, a mobile home is considered to be personal property.


Any change to the terms of a mortgage loan, including changes to the interest rate, loan balance, or loan term.

Modular Home:

A home built using a system for the construction of dwellings and other improvements to real property through the on-site assembly of component parts that have been manufactured in a facility away from the building site.  Once affixed to a permanent foundation, a modular home is considered to be real property.

Money Market Account:

A type of investment in which funds are invested in short-term securities.


A fixed object and point established by licensed surveyors to establish land locations.


A loan using a property as collateral for repayment.  In some states, the term mortgage is also used to describe the document a consumer signs (to grant the lender a lien on your home).  It also may be used to indicate the amount of money borrowed, with interest, to purchase a property.  The amount of the mortgage is most often the purchase price of the home minus the down payment.

Mortgage-Backed Securities:

Securities similar to bonds, but having their value based on a pool of mortgages.  The rate of return is based on the interest rate of the mortgages, plus early payoffs, which increases the value of any discounts.  The price of the securities varies as interest rates rise and fall.

Mortgage Banker:

A specialized lending institution that lends money solely with respect to real estate and secures its loans with mortgages on real estate.

Mortgage Broker:

An individual or firm that brings borrowers and lenders together for the purpose of loan origination. A mortgage broker typically takes loan applications and may process loans. A mortgage broker also may close the loan.

Mortgage Insurance (MI):

Insurance that protects lenders against losses caused by a borrower’s default on a mortgage loan.  Mortgage insurance is typically required if the borrower’s down payment is less than 20 percent of the purchase price.

Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP):

The amount paid by a borrower for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (PMI) company.

Mortgage Lender:

The lender providing funds for a mortgage.  Lenders also manage the credit and financial information review, the property and the loan application process through closing.

Mortgage Life Insurance:

A type of insurance that will pay off a mortgage if the borrower dies while the loan is outstanding; a form of credit life insurance.

Mortgage Rate:

The interest rate you pay to borrow the money to buy your house.


The institution or individual to whom a mortgage is given.


The owner of real estate who pledges property as security for the repayment of a debt; the borrower.

Multi-family Mortgage:

A mortgage loan on a building with five or more dwelling units.

Multi-family Property:

Typically, a building with five or more dwelling units.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS):

A clearinghouse through which member real estate brokerage firms regularly and systematically exchange information on listings of real estate properties and share commissions with members who locate purchasers. The MLS for an area is usually operated by the local, private real estate association as a joint venture among its members designed to foster real estate brokerage services.

Multiple Offers:

A situation where more than one potential purchaser of the property has submitted an offer to purchase the property.  In these situations, the offers may be negotiated at the same time.

Mutual Funds:

A fund that pools the money of its investors to buy a variety of securities.