As a newcomer to the world of Boston condo buying, you will likely notice real estate and mortgage professionals use quite a few unfamiliar terms. As one of the most important sectors of the American economy, real estate overlaps the fields of law, finance, and compliance. For this reason, it is important to understand some of the vocabulary used by realtors, lenders, and title insurance agents. When searching for Boston condos for sale don’t hesitate to ask your real estate agent about terms that are new to you. Here are a few terms to get you started.

Assessed Value

Assessed value is not the sales price or even the appraised value of the property. It is the determination made by the Boston County assessor for taxation purposes, and it is often lower than you expect.

Back on the Market (BOM)

A BOM property should be approached with a certain degree of caution and with advice from a Boston condo professional. Something happened the first time around and the sale was not completed.

Closing Costs

You will find out there are many items you are expected to pay before taking possession of your new home. These items are known as closing costs, and they can be negotiated to a certain extent with your mortgage loan officer. Payment of these costs is settled at the closing table.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

You will hear MLS mentioned quite a few times during your home search. This centralized digital service provides accurate information about available Boston condos for sale on the market.

Principal and Interest

When you get to the closing table, a title agent will tell you how much you are expected to pay each month for your mortgage, and part of this payment will be the principal amount you borrowed plus the interest you agreed to. In some cases, you may only pay interest for a few years.

Title Insurance

This policy protects the lender from errors related to the conveyance of title to your name. You pay the cost of insuring your lender, but you can also get an owner’s title insurance policy for your own peace of mind.

Boston condominium vocabulary can be challenging to understand no matter what type of property you’re looking for. Whether your tastes lean more toward condos in a high rise tower or you’re partial to a Beacon Hill condo is a wonderful place to live. If you’re interested in seeing the latest properties on the market in the downtown Boston area, get in touch with Ford Realty at 617-595-3712.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


Back Bay

Beacon Hill

Charles River Park


North End

South End

Seaport District

South Boston



Surrounding Communities of Boston
John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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