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Abacus-money Jargon


Sealing Fee

A fee paid to your "old" lender when the mortgage account is closed.


These are checks carried out during the Conveyancing process to determine any planning proposals or other matters which might affect the future saleability of the property.

Second Charge

A subsequent charge to the first charge. Also known as a secured mortgage or secured personal loan. Essentially a loan that is secured on your property which ranks after the first charge mortgage.

Self Build

A mortgage that is taken out on a property still under construction. Typically the lender will only pay out the loan in stages, corresponding to the completion of various stages in the construction.

Self Certification

This is a special arrangement whereby the lender relies on the borrower to certify their own income, and does not seek to confirm this by reference to the employer, (or the accounts, in the case of a self-employed person).

Stamp Duty

Government tax you have to pay on the purchase price of a property worth £125,000 or more. Some special areas are exempt, we can check this for you.

Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

The interest rate applied to the mortgage account when no other overriding scheme is in force. It fluctuates and follows the Bank of England base rate, but staying a margin above.

Structural Survey

This is based on a detailed inspection of the property and is a comprehensive report on the general condition and state of repair. It is particularly advisable for older or unusual properties, or where you want to assess the possibility of making building alterations at a later date. The scope of the report is discussed and agreed with the surveyor before the inspection, and you can discuss any issues afterwards.

Sum Assured

The sum insured is the maximum amount payable under an insurance policy. With reference to life assurance policies, this means the amount payable upon death. For a general insurance policy it is the maximum amount that can be paid out in the event of a claim.


This is a technical report following an inspection of the property. It will give you a comprehensive account of the condition of the property, describing any structural or other defects.