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Home Loans Glossary

Property jargon doesn't have to seem like a foreign language. Use our home loan glossary below to empower you with all the necessary terms

Appraised Value

The estimate of a property's value offered as security for a home loan. For lending purposes only.



When the value of a property increases for reasons such as demand or inflation over time.


Body Corporate

A self elected council of owners within a strata building that owns property collectively and manages the building and common areas.


Bridging Finance

Short term finance covering the gap between the purchase of a new property and sale of an existing one.


Capital Gain

Profit from selling an asset at a higher market price than its purchase price.


Caveat Emptor

Latin for "buyer beware", meaning the buyer has the responsibility to fully examine the goods before a purchase.


Certificate of Title


This refers to the title deed of a property and provides documentary evidence of the right of ownership.


Common Property

Part of the strata property for the use of all tenants, such as stairwells and driveways.


Comparison Rate

An interest rate calculation taking into account the advertised interest rate, upfront fees and fees over a 25 year period.


Contract for Sale

A legal contract in writing, detailing the terms and conditions of the purchase or sale of a property between the seller and buyer.


Cooling Off Period

The time a buyer or seller has to opt out of a contract for sales (does not apply for auctions).



The legal transfer of property ownership from the seller to the buyer.


Deposit Bond

This guarantee can be used instead of providing your own funds for the deposit while waiting for property settlement.



The accessing of loan funds provided by the lender.


Exchange of Contracts

The signing and exchange by the buyer and seller which usually involves the need for the buyer to pay the deposit to the seller or selling agent.



Part of an asset, such as a house, that you own over and above the amount borrowed from the lender which has the mortgage over the property.


Fixtures & Fittings

Items part of the property, such as baths or dishwashers, that can't be removed and are fixed in place.



Absolute ownership of the property by the proprietor of the land.



Someone accepting formal responsibility to the bank/lender for something such as paying another person's debt in case of default. Guarantor may also offer extra security.


Land Tax

A state government tax based on the land value that's payable by property owners. This can vary from state to state.


Rate Lock


Rate Lock is a feature on all HSBC Fixed Rate Home Loans that can guarantee your fixed interest rate between the time we receive your Rate Lock request and the time of settlement. It protects you against any rate rises during this period for a fee. 


Reserve Price

The minimum price a vendor will sell the property for at auction.



Money paid in full less the pre-paid deposit in exchange for title documents, keys and the right to take possession of a property.


Stamp Duty

State government tax on certain transactions and documents such as a Contract of Sale and Mortgage. Can vary from state to state1.



Length of time of a home loan or specific portion of time, such as the fixed rate period, within that home loan.


Title Deeds


Legal documents signifying ownership of real property.


Title Search


Land Titles Office registers this record search for the certificate of title to enable you to establish who owns the property and whether there are any registered encumbrances such as a mortgage or caveat.




The party offering a property for sale.


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1Various governments throughout Australia have indicated their intent to reduce the impact of stamp duty on home owners. You should seek your own financial and taxation advice in respect of any proposed investment or purchase.