A mortgage is a method of using property (real or personal) as security for the performance of an obligation, usually the payment of a debt.

The term mortgage refers to the legal device used for this purpose, but it is also commonly used to refer to the debt secured by the mortgage, the mortgage loan.

In most jurisdictions mortgages are strongly associated with loans secured on real estate rather than other property (such as ships) and in some cases only land may be mortgaged. Arranging a mortgage is seen as the standard method by which individuals and businesses can purchase residential and commercial real estate without the need to pay the full value immediately.

A home buyer or builder can obtain financing (a loan) either to purchase or secured against the property from a financial institution, such as a bank, either directly or indirectly through intermediaries. Features of mortgage loans such as the size of the loan, maturity of the loan, interest rate, method of paying off the loan, and other characteristics can vary considerably.

In many countries it is normal for home purchases to be funded by a mortgage for example UK Mortgages where the demand for home ownership is highest and strong domestic markets have developed.

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