As a newcomer to the world Boston condo market, 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 under $500,000, 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.

Active with Contract (AWC)

When you come across a Beacon Hill condoo listing that indicates the home is AWC, the seller has already entertained an offer from another prospective buyer but is willing to hear from others in case the deal does not go through.

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, MA 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 first time 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 Boston condo. 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 homes 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 condos for sale

Back Bay Boston condos
Beacon Hill  Boston condos
Charlestown Boston condos
Navy Yard Charlestown  Boston condos
Dorchester Boston condos
Fenway  Boston condos
Jamaica Plain Boston condos
Leather District Boston condos
Midtown  Boston condos
Seaport District Boston condos
South Boston new condos
South End new condos
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West End new condos
East Boston condos

Condos around the Boston area to rent:

Back Bay area condos for rent
Beacon Hill area condos for rent
Charlestown area condos for rent
Navy Yard Charlestown area condos for rent
Dorchester area condos for rent
Fenway area condos for rent
Jamaica Plain area condos for rent
Leather District area condos for rent
Midtown area condos for rent
Seaport District area condos for rent
South Boston area condos for rent
South End area condos for rent
Waterfront area condos for rent
North End area condos for rent
West End area condos for rent
East Boston area condos for rent

Boston Beacon Hill condos for sale


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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