Glossary (G)

Terms commonly used in the real estate and mortgage marketplace.

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

General Contractor

A person who oversees a home improvement or construction project and handles various aspects such as scheduling workers and ordering supplies.

Gift Letter

A letter that a family member writes verifying that s/he has given you a certain amount of money as a gift and that you don’t have to repay it. You can use this money towards a portion of your down payment with some mortgages.

Good-Faith Estimate

A form required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) that discloses an estimate of the amount or range of charges, for specific settlement services the borrower is likely to incur in connection with the mortgage transaction. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) includes an estimate of loan origination charges, the credit or charge (points) for the interest rate chosen; credit report, appraisal, and document preparation fees; title service fees and title insurance cost; local government charges to record your documents, transfer taxes, the initial deposit to fund the loan escrow account, prorated interest on the loan, and homeowner’s and mortgage insurance costs.

Government Mortgage

A mortgage loan that is insured or guaranteed by a federal government entity such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or the Rural Housing Service (RHS).

Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae)

A government-owned corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that guarantees securities backed by mortgages that are insured or guaranteed by other government agencies. Popularly known as “Ginnie Mae.”

Gross Monthly Income

The income you earn in a month before taxes and other deductions. It also may include rental income, self-employed income, income from alimony, child support, public assistance payments, and retirement benefits.

Ground Rent:

Payment for the use of land when title to a property is held as a leasehold estate (that is, the borrower does not actually own the property, but has a long-term lease on it).

Growing-Equity Mortgage (GEM)

A fixed-rate mortgage in which the monthly payments increase according to an agreed-upon schedule, with the extra funds applied to reduce the loan balance and loan term.