Real Estate Glossary M



For an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or home equity line of credit, the amount that is added to the index to establish the interest rate on each adjustment date, subject to any limitations on the interest rate change. The margin is static and will not change during the life of the loan.


A marina is a sheltered harbor where boats and yachts are kept in the water and where services geared to the needs of recreational boating are found. The marina may have re-fueling, washing and repair facilities, ship chandlers, stores and restaurants.

master association

A homeowners' association in a large condominium or planned unit development (PUD) project that is made up of representatives from associations covering specific areas within the project. In effect, it is a "second-level" association that handles matters affecting the entire development, while the "first-level" associations handle matters affecting their particular portions of the project.


The date on which the principal balance of a loan, bond, or other financial instrument becomes due and payable. At the maturity of a 30-year loan the principal balance will be paid in full.

maximum financing

The maximum amount a lender will lend on a specific loan program.

Maximum rate

The maximum interest rate that can accrue on a variable rate loan

Mello Roos

Mello-Roos is the common name for the Community Facilities District Act, enacted by the California State Legislature in 1982.The name comes from its co-authors, Senator Henry Mello of the Monterey area and Los Angeles assemblyman Mike Roos. Mello-Roos enabled “Community Facilities Districts” (CFDs) to be established by local government agencies as a means of obtaining community funding.

merged credit report

A credit report that contains information from more than one credit reporting agency. When the report is created, the information is compared for inconsistencies and duplicate entries. Any duplicates are combined to provide a summary of a your credit.


MetroList Services, Inc. more commonly known as MetroList®, is the official Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and computer service provider to more than 25,000 real estate brokers and agents in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced Counties. In 1985 the Sacramento, Placer County and El Dorado County Associations of REALTORS®, formed MetroList to own and operate the computer system supporting a regional MLS database. As the success of MetroList grew, The Lodi Association of Realtors, The Stockton Association of Realtors and Yolo County Association of Realtors joined to provide a seamless real estate information network to serve the Northern California Central Valley.

Minimum Payment

The minimum amount that must be paid monthly on an account. On the HELOC product, the minimum payment is interest only during the draw period. On the Fixed Rate Second products, the minimum payment is principal and interest.


The act of changing any of the terms of the mortgage.

money market account

A savings account that provides bank depositors with many of the advantages of a money market fund. Certain regulatory restrictions apply to the withdrawal of funds from a money market account.

money market fund

A mutual fund that allows individuals to participate in managed investments in short-term debt securities, such as certificates of deposit and Treasury bills.

Monthly debt

A borrower's monthly expenses including credit cards, installment loans, student loan payments, alimony and child support and housing payment expense.

Monthly Mortgage Insurance (MI) payment

Portion of monthly payment that covers the cost of Private Mortgage Insurance.

Monthly Principal & Interest (P&I) payment

Portion of monthly payment that covers the principal and interest due on the loan.

Monthly Taxes & Insurance (T&I) payment

Portion of monthly payment that funds the escrow or impound account for taxes and insurance.

monthly payment

Payments to reduce the principal balance of a home loan made once a month.


A mortgage is a legal document that pledges a property to the lender as security for payment of a debt.

mortgage banker

A mortgage banker is a company that originates, sells and services mortgages exclusively for resale in the secondary mortgage market.

mortgage broker

An individual or company that brings borrowers and lenders together for the purpose of loan origination. Mortgage brokers typically require a fee or a commission for their services.


The lender in a mortgage agreement.

mortgage insurance

A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a borrower's default on a government mortgage or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Depending on the type of mortgage insurance, the insurance may cover a percentage of or virtually all of the mortgage loan. See private mortgage insurance (PMI).

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 (MI) company.

mortgage life insurance

A type of term life insurance sometimes bought by borrowers. The amount of coverage decreases as the loan's principal balance declines. In the event that the borrower dies while the policy is in force, the debt is automatically satisfied by insurance proceeds. See credit life insurance.


The borrower in a mortgage agreement.

multi-dwelling units

Properties that provide separate housing units for more than one family, although they secure only a single mortgage. Typically a duplex or 2-4 unit property.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

A Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a suite of services that:
  • (1) enables brokers to establish contractual offers of compensation (among brokers);
  • (2) facilitates cooperation with other broker participants;
  • (3) accumulates and disseminates information to enable appraisals;
  • (4) is a facility for the orderly correlation and dissemination of listing information to better serve broker's clients, customers and the public.