Skip to main content

A mortgage is a loan that is secured by real property (land, buildings).

A mortgage is a special type of structured debt, usually long-term, that is secured with a parcel of real estate as collateral (typically a plot of land and the home or other buildings built on it). The most common scenario is a home mortgage, taken out by an individual or family to finance the home they live in, which is the collateral for the loan. Well over 90% of single-family homes in the United States are purchased using some form of mortgage financing. Mortgages are also used to buy homes that are not a person's primary residence, which are then held as investments and/or rented out for additional income. Mortgages for purely commercial properties such as storefronts are also seen, but as the size of the building and the purchasing company increase, various other means of financing, such as corporate bonds, become more attractive than long-term notes.