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Real Estate Glossary

This glossary was created by a team of real estate professionals. It contains terms regarding real estate buying and selling, home finance, home improvement, as well as legal terms. For your convenience, the glossary is searchable alphabetically.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

garden home
See patio home

gas valve
A small faucet-like device that controls the flow of gas to an appliance such as a gas water heater, dryer, or oven. When the handle is turned in line with the gas pipe, the valve is open; when it is perpendicular to the pipe, it's closed.

gated community

A neighborhood or group of neighborhoods, usually surrounded by masonary walls, restricting access through the use of a manned guard station or electronically operated gates. The electronic gates may be opened through the use of individual remote controls and/or a numeric keypad and code. Some gated communities restrict entry at all times, while others only limit access during the evening hours. The City of Houston does not allow public city streets to be gated off, so only neighborhoods with private streets, may have restricted access. The costs associated with maintaining a manned guard gate can significantly impact monthly maintenance fees, depending on the size of the community

general lien

A lien that includes all the property owned by a debtor, rather than a specific property. Contrast with Specific Lien.

general warranty deed
A deed in which the grantor fully warrants good and clear title to the property. A general warranty deed offers the most protection of any deed

Ginnie Mae
The common nickname for the Government National Mortgage Association. Ginnie Mae was created in 1968 as a wholly owned corporation within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), having been separated from Fannie Mae. Ginnie Mae does not loan money for mortgages. Instead, it operate in the secondary mortgage market, buying loans and selling mortgage-backed securities investors, which in turn, increases the availability of mortgage credit

GNMA
Acronym - Government National Mortgage Association, also known as "Ginnie Mae"

good faith estimate

A written estimate of closing costs which a lender must provide you within three days of submitting an application

Government National Mortgage Association

See Ginnie Mae

government survey method
A system of land description which uses meridians (north and south lines) and base lines (east and west lines). Areas include quadrangles (24 miles on each side), townships (6 miles on each side), and sections (1 mile on each side). Also known as the Rectangular Survey Method. Contrast with Metes and bounds, and recorded plat (lot and Block Number) method.

grace period

A period of time during which a loan payment may be paid after its due date but not incur a late penalty. Such late payments may be reported on your credit report

grant deed
A deed containing an implied promise that the person transfering the property actually owns the title and that it is not encumbered in any way, except as described in the deed. This is the most commonly used type of deed. Compare quitclaim deed.

grantee
A person to whom real estate is conveyed; the buyer

grantor
A person conveying real estate by deed; the seller

gross debt service
The amount of money needed to pay principal, interest and taxes, and sometimes energy costs. If the dwelling unit is a condominium, all or a portion of common fees are excluded, depending on what expenses are covered

gross income

For qualifying purposes, the income of the borrower before taxes or expenses are deducted

gross lease

A commercial real estate lease in which the tenant pays a fixed amount of rent per month or year, regardless of the landlord's operating costs, such as maintenance, taxes and insurance. A gross lease closely resembles the typical residential lease. The tenant may agree to a "gross lease with stops," meaning that the tenant will pitch in if the landlord's operating costs rise above a certain level. In real estate lingo, the point when the tenant starts to contribute is called the "stop level," because that’s where the landlord’s share of the costs stops. Contrast with Net Lease.