Jargon Buster

At a loss to understand arrears, affidavits or air bricks? Bamboozled by balloon payments and back-to-back escrow? Confused by conveyancing, cash-flow and closing costs?

If so, our Jargon Buster will be just what you need.It's a glossary of terms packed full of property phrases, estate agent slang, financial words and other terms you may come across in your real estate or personal finance activities.

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Jargon Buster: F

Our glossary results: 42 matches!


A covering applied to the outer surface of a building

Failed valuation survey

When a lender declines a mortgage, application based on the contents of the surveyor's valuation report.


Weak, lightweight board used as insulation and in ceilings.

Financial adviser

Recommend products and services that help individuals plan their income and expenditure. There are two types: Independent work on behalf of the client and can choose from any product or service; Tied advisors work on behalf of their company to recommend their products only.

Firm commitment

A promise made by a lender when it agrees to loan money for the purchase of property.

First charge

If your property is collateral for more than one property and the borrower defaults on payments, the lender with a first charge has the option to repossess the home.

First mortgage

The original loan taken out to purchase a home.

First time buyer

A person who does not already own a property and is therefore not part of a chain.

Fixed Assets

Fixed physical assets such as plant & machinery, land, and buildings (both leasehold and freehold) which are owned and used by a company it its operation. Also serves as a guide to the assets backing a company's liabilities and debts when taken in conjunction with fixed investments.

Fixed investments

Investments held for long term business or investment purposes. Together with fixed assets these provide the best indicator of a company's backing for liabilities and debts.

Fixed rate mortgages

Fixed rate mortgages guarantee a specific rate of interest for a set length of time. Most commonly, this is for between one and five years, though it can be as long as ten or even fifteen years. As a rule, the longer the fixed period, the higher the starting rate of interest. A lender will not want to commit to lending you money at a really low interest rate for ten years when there is a fair chance that during that period the general level of interest rates may rise above the rate at which they are lending you money. The lowest interest rates are often found with deals that are fixed for two to three years.

Fixtures & fittings

All the items in the home such as shelves, radiators, light bulbs, light shades, and the like. Fixtures are generally those which are screwed or nailed down, glued on, or have in some other way been made a part of the fabric of the home. Fittings are those things which can easily be removed.

Fixtures, fittings & contents form

A document which details which items a seller will leave behind for you.


Normally metal or cement used to seal a leak in a roof joint, which can sometimes be in place from the date of construction to prevent one from happening in the first place.


Cement around the base of a chimney pot, usually contoured, which allows the runoff of rainwater.

Flexible mortgage

A mortgage that allows borrowers to make overpayments when they have spare cash and reduce or miss payments altogether when times are tight. Often useful for self-employed people whose income varies from one month to the next. The most flexible form of mortgage is a Current Account Mortgage (CAM), which can potentially save you money by linking your current account and mortgage together.

Flood plain

Flat, flood-prone areas located along waterways.


A pipe or smoke duct such as found in a central heating boiler which allows the escape of heat.

Flying freehold

A flying freehold occurs when part of a freehold property overhangs part of a different freehold property or land and is usually formed when a property is split into two or more freeholds.

For sale by private treaty

The sale of property by private treaty is the most common method employed by estate agents and involves preparing descriptive details of the property and quoting a definitive asking price. Details can then be viewed by potential buyers and viewings arranged.


A course of action a lender may pursue to delay foreclosure or legal action against a delinquent borrower.


The legal process that occurs when a buyer defaults on a loan. The lending institution takes back the property because of a lack of payments.

Foreign currency mortgage

It is possible to get a mortgage for your home in the UK in a mortgage denominated in a foreign currency. It sometimes gives you the opportunity to borrow money at a lower rate of interest than is possible in the UK. You do this by choosing a currency whose country has lower interest rates than we have here. Lower interest rates should mean lower repayments of both capital and interest or a shorter mortgage term. The mortgage does not have to be in any single currency. There are lenders who will allow you to spread your mortgage across a range of different currencies. This could be seen as spreading the risk


The relinquishing of property rights by a delinquent borrower.


Laid underground as a structural base to a wall. In older buildings this may be brick or stone but is usually concrete.


Involving criminal deception or dishonesty.


This means that you own the property outright, as opposed to leasehold where you own the rights to occupy a property for a specified period of time.


The person or persons who own a property outright.

French door

A tall window that reaches to the floor and opens like a door.


A decorative band along the upper part of an interior wall.


An indent or depression on the topside of a brick which reduces weight and increases the strength of a brick. When bricklaying, always ensure the frog faces upwards.

Front ratio

The proportion of a purchaser's income that lenders will allow for interest, taxes and insurance on a property which is used in the evaluation of a loan application.


Financial Times Stock Exchange. Compiles and maintains indices used as the key performance benchmarks for the UK Stock Market including the FTSE All Share index which comprises of the FTSE100, FTSE Mid 250, FTSE Small Cap and FTSE Fledgling.

Full disclosure

A requirement that the sellers of a property disclose all known defects to it.

Full status mortgage

A full status mortgage is for people who wish to make a lender aware of any previous arrears or debt problems they may have had. If they do not make the lender aware of these facts and they are later discovered, his could lead to all sorts of problems and the borrower could even be forced to sell the home. If you have a bad credit record some lenders will regard lending you money a high-risk activity. Many will not lend you money at all and when you can get a loan, you will undoubtedly have to pay a higher rate of interest than you would otherwise.

Full structural survey

The fullest and most comprehensive of the options open to the property buyer. It involves an extensive investigation of the property and a thorough examination of all the major aspects and minor details that are visible. There is some flexibility as you can request the surveyor to concentrate on specific features of the property. It is most suitable for larger, older homes with more potential for problems and those more than 75 years old, property over three stories in height, buildings of unusual construction (such as thatched, timber etc.), or if you plan to extend, convert, or renovate the property. A full structural survey can cost you anything from £400 to £1000.

Full with-profit endowment

The most expensive endowment plan with the highest guaranteed returns. This type of endowment guarantees an annual growth and also to pay off the full loan at maturity which is the cause of the added expense. It also has built in life cover. The future growth of your investment is assumed to be at a certain rate, which determines the level of your premiums. The portion of your premium that is being invested is pooled with the premiums of other investors. Annual bonuses are added to the maturity value each year and are dependent on the performance of the investment fund. There is a possibility that the bonuses will take the maturity value above the level required to pay back the loan. This would result in a tax-free cash surplus, which you can spend on whatever tickles your fancy.

Fully liable

A surveyor has a duty of care to you as a customer. They are legally bound to provide a certain level of service and are fully liable if they fail to perform their duties. If they fail to identify a fault with a property, which then results in you incurring a financial loss, then you have the right to either sue them in court or pursue a claim through an arbitration scheme. All surveyors are required to hold professional indemnity insurance that covers them against claims arising from the public due to their professional incompetence.

Fund manager

Professional who manages investments for pension funds, insurance companies, unit trusts.

Fundamental Analysis

Used to research investment potential by concentrating on the value of the company and its actual, and expected, business and financial performance of the company, using the value of its net assets and on its historic, and forecast, profit record.

Further advance

You can sometimes have the facility to borrow further funds once you have been paying your mortgage for a set period of time, especially with a flexible mortgage. A fee is charged by your lender to cover the cost of assessing the merits of your application. Costs £50 - £100

Further advance legal fee

A fee that is normally charged when you apply for a further advance of money on your mortgage. This covers the necessary administration to ensure that the lender's legal charge over the property is maintained when further money is lent.
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