Glossary of home loans and real estate

Glossary of terms for property and mortgage loans.

Authentic deed

See Title deed

Building permit

Permit which allows you to carry out certain construction or renovation works. This permit is issued by the municipality where the property is located.


A bullet loan is a mortgage loan where the capital is repaid in its entirety as a lump sum at maturity. During the term of the loan, you only pay interest at regular intervals.

Combined rate

A conditional discount of 0.75% on the base interest rate is offered exclusively to active ING customers who also take out an ING insurance product. To benefit from this discounted rate, you must meet the following conditions:

10 monthly debit transactions from your ING account(s)


2 mortgage protection insurance policies for the entire amount borrowed


home insurance policy and 1 mortgage protection insurance policy for the entire amount borrowed

Commitment fee

If you are building or renovating a property and take out a  mortgage loan to help pay for it, you will most likely draw on the capital in instalments. In that case, you will need to produce invoices which demonstrate the progress of the building or renovation project.

If you have not drawn down the entirety of the loan after six months, a commitment fee will be charged from the 7th month on the unused amount. This commitment fee is expressed as a percentage.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

A certificate which indicates how energy efficient your home is.


A non-possessory right of use of or entry onto a property in favor of another property, such as a right of way or servitude on one property to access another.

Forced sale value

The value of the property sold at auction, i.e. if the owner needs to sell the property at short notice and under strict conditions.

Income protection insurance

A free insurance policy offered by the Flemish and Walloon region protecting you against loss of income.

Interest rate

When you borrow money, you pay interest on the amount borrowed. The interest is calculated as a percentage: i.e. the interest rate.

Interim interest

The interest you pay on the outstanding capital of your mortgage loan between the date on which your funds are made available and the date of your first repayment.

Land registry income

A notional amount equal to the income that a property would earn for one year in rent. It serves as a basis for calculating property tax and for determining taxes on property included in your personal tax return.

Marginal rate of tax

The rate of tax applied to a taxpayer’s highest income bracket.

Mortgage tax break

The tax breaks you benefit from under certain conditions for your sole (owner-occupied) home.

Outstanding balance

The part of the amount borrowed that you have not yet paid back.

Only home

A property is considered your only home if on 31 December in the year in which you took out your mortgage loan you were not the (co-)owner, usufructuary, leaseholder or proprietor of another home.

See our property guide for more info.

Own home

A property is considered your only home if on 31 December in the year in which you took out your mortgage loan you were not the (co-)owner, usufructuary, leaseholder or proprietor of another home.

See our property guide for more info.

Private sale agreement

See Sales agreement.

Property tax

A regional tax which property owners must pay each year. It is calculated on the basis of the land registry income.

Reinvestment fee

This is the fee you pay to the bank if you repay your loan earlier than agreed.


The amount of capital and/or interest you repay at certain regular intervals, for example every month.

Sales agreement

A document signed by the vendor and the buyer of a property containing obligations for both parties. The vendor and buyer decide on the obligations to be included in the sales agreement.

Sales value

The value of the property under normal market conditions.

Soil certificate

A document which certifies that the soil on the land or property is not contaminated.

Sole home owner

You are considered a sole home owner when your property is your “only” home (i.e. you do not own another property) and you officially occupy it yourself on 31 December of the year in which you took out the home loan.

Stamp duty

A tax you pay when you buy property in Belgium. Also often called “registration fees”. The amount depends on the region in which the property is located. In some cases, you can apply for reduced stamp duty when purchasing a small property.

Title deed

A deed executed by the notary which serves both as proof of ownership and a contract between the buyer and seller. Signing this document before a notary makes the sale official.