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Escrow Terms & Phrases

Terms and Phrases is Chicago Title's Glossary of definitions, meanings, and descriptions of significance for some of our industry's most often used terms and phrases.


M.A.I.(Member Appraisal Institute)
The designation given to a member of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers. A designation earned through experience, education and examination.
Maintenance Fee
As applied to condominiums and planned developments, the amount charged each unit owner to maintain the common area. Usually a monthly fee paid as part of the budget.
Management Fee
The amount paid for property management or the estimated value of such management if owner managed or the building is not yet built.
Market Value
The highest price a willing buyer would pay and a willing seller accept, both being fully informed, and the property exposed for a reasonable period of time. The market value may be different from the price a property can actually be sold for at a given time.
Marketable Title
Title that can be readily marketed (sold) to a reasonably prudent purchaser aware of the facts and their legal meaning concerning liens and encumbrances.
Mechanic’s 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.
Metes and Bounds
Description of land by boundary lines, with their terminal points and angles. Originally metes referred to distance, bounds to direction; contemporarily, the words have no individual meaning of practical significance.
Mineral Rights
The ownership of the minerals (coal, gold, iron, etc.) under the ground, with or without ownership of the surface of the land.
Minerals
In real estate terms, those minerals of value which may be taken by mining, such as coal, iron, copper, gold, silver, etc. Mineral rights, as well as oil rights, may be sold or leased separately from the land itself.
Mobil Home
Originally, a trailer pulled behind a car or truck cab. Now includes large homes, which are not truly mobile but are constructed in the same manner as trailers, as opposed to conventional on-site construction.
Monument
A visible, permanent object, marked by a surveyor, to indicate the boundaries of land. May be artificial, such as post, or natural, such as a tree or large stone.
Mortgage
(1) To hypothecate as security, real property for the payment of a debt. The borrower (mortgagor) retains possession and use of the property. (2) The instrument by which real estate is hypothecated as security for repayment of a loan.
Mortgage Banker
A company providing mortgage financing with its own funds rather than simply bringing together lender and borrower, as does a mortgage broker. Although the mortgage banker uses its own funds, these funds are generally borrowed and the financing is either short term or, if long term, the mortgages are sold to investors (many time’s insurance companies) within a short time, in general mortgage.
Mortgage Broker
One who, for a fee, brings together a borrower and lender, and handles the necessary applications for the borrower to obtain a loan against a real property by giving a mortgage or deed of trust as a security. Also called a loan broker.
Mortgage Company
A company authorized to service real estate loans, charging a fee for this service.
Mutual Water Company
A company in which the owners are the customers. Stock is issued to the users, who are the organizers of the company.
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