Housing Expenses

The housing-related charges that the home owner must anticipate and pay. Total housing expenses normally include the principal and interest payments on the mortgage loan, plus any homeowner's insurance, mortgage insurance and property tax charges. See also PITI entry. For more information, see the "Monthly Payments " article in the "Homebuyer Guide" section.

Housing Starts

A measure of building permits issued for new housing construction. Economists and investors review the periodic publication of housing starts to forecast the pace of real estate development for the coming months.


The HUD-1 Settlement Statement is used for all residential transactions to provide a uniform method for recording the specific settlement entries. It was developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For more information, see the "HUD Settlement Costs Guide" article (in the "Homebuyer Guide" section) and the "Closings and Transactions" article (in the "Real Estate In-Depth" section).


A device to increase the moisture (water) content of the air in a space or building. Humidity affects heating efficiency, because a little water can better conduct heat. For example, you can be cold in a temperature with 75-degree Fahrenheit and 10% humidity, but feel warm in a 68-degree temperature with 40% humidity.


Acronym for "heating, ventilation & air conditioning" used in the building industry.

Hybrid REIT

A real estate investment trust that invests in both areas allowed by law: real estate mortgages and ownership of income-producing properties. For more information, see the "Real Estate Trusts" article in the "Real Estate In-Depth" section.

We hope that you've found our Mortgage and Real Estate Glossary helpful and informative. We welcome all comments, critiques and suggestions; please send emails to [email protected]. Remember that whether your are buying a home or an office building, you are investing in real estate. As with all investments, the best investors are those who can gather the most knowledge, tools and resources. Regardless of whether you use our lending services, please spread the word about our resource center to anyone you know who may benefit from our site.

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