Quick Search
Welcome, Log In or Sign Up to save your searches and bookmark your favorite listings.

Real Estate and Mortgage Terms Glossary

If you need a more in-depth understanding of a particular term, or have additional questions on any of these definitions, please contact us directly and we'll be happy to assist you.

Glossary Index

A | B | C | D | E | F | G-H | I-K | L | M | N | O | P-Q | R | S | T | U-Z


Terms starting with Letters G to H

GABLE ROOF

A steeply angled, triangular roof.

GALVANIZED PIPE

Iron pipe with a galvanized (zinc) coating.

GAMBREL ROOF

A "barn-like"  roof, where the upper portion of the roof is less-steeply angled than the lower part.

GENERAL LIEN

A broad-based claim against several properties owned by a defaulting party.

GEORGIAN

A classic, English-style hose characterized by simple rectangular shape and multiple stories.

GFI

Ground Fault Interrupter. A type of circuit breaker required in areas where water is present.

GIFT LETTER

A letter that a family member writes verifying that they have given you a certain amount of money as a gift and that you don't have to repay it. You can then use this money towards your down payment on some mortgages.

GINNIE MAE

A wholly owned corporation created in 1968 within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to serve low-to moderate-income homebuyers.

GIRDER

A main supporting beam.

GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE

A lender's disclosure required under RESPA showing a borrower all the loan closing costs known to the lender at the time of application. See Loan Closing Costs.

GOVERNMENT MORTGAGE

Any mortgage insured by a government agency, such as the FHA or VA.

GRADE

The slope of land around a building. Also ground level.

GRANTEE

Any person who is given ownership of a piece of property.

GRANTOR

Any person who gives away ownership of a piece of property.

GROSS AREA

The sum total of all floor space, including areas such as stairways and closet space. Often measured based on external wall lengths.

GROSS INCOME

The total income derived from doing business or earning an income before any costs or expenses are deducted.

GROUP HOME

A single-family residential structure designed or adapted for occupancy by unrelated developmentally disabled persons. The structure provides long-term housing and support services that are residential in nature.

GROUTING

Material used around floor tile.

GUTTER

The trough around the edge of the roof that catches and diverts rain.

HALF-SECTION

A site totaling 320 acres.

HAZARD INSURANCE

Insurance covering damage to a property caused by hazards such as fire, wind and accident. See Homeowners Insurance.

HEADER

The framing elements above an opening such as a window or door.

HEARTH

The floor of a fireplace or the area immediately in front of it.

HEIGHT ZONING

A municipal restriction on the maximum height of any building or other structure. See Florida State Information.

HIDDEN AMENITIES

Assets of a property which contribute to its value, but are not readily apparent. Examples might include upgraded or premium building materials.

HIDDEN DEFECT

Any claim on a property that does not appear in the public records. An unknown heir or unrecorded lien.

HIGHEST AND BEST USE

The most profitable and likely use of a property. Selected from reasonably probable and legal alternative uses, which are found to be physically possible, appropriately supported and financially feasible to result in the highest possible land value.

HOME EQUITY CONVERSION MORTGAGE (HECM)

Also known as a reverse annuity mortgage. It allows home owners (usually older) to convert equity in the home into cash. Normally paid by the lender in monthly payments. HECM's typically do not have to be repaid until the borrower is no longer occupying the home.

HOME EQUITY LINE OF CREDIT

A type of mortgage loan that allows the borrower to draw cash against the equity in his home.

HOME INSPECTION

A complete examination of a building to determine its structural integrity and uncover any defects in materials or workmanship which may adversely affect the property or decrease its value. For more information, see Home Inspections.

HOME INSPECTOR

A person who performs professional home inspections. Usually, with an extensive knowledge of house construction methods, common house problems, how to identify those problems and how to correct them. Visit www.ASHI.org

HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

An organization of home owners in a particular neighborhood or development formed to facilitate the maintenance of common areas and to enforce any building restrictions or covenants. See our Condo & HOA Documents and Gated Communities pages for more information.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE

A policy which covers a homeowner for any loss of property due to accident, intrusion or hazard. See HAZARD INSURANCE.

HOMEOWNERS WARRANTY

An insurance policy covering the repair of systems and appliances within the home for the coverage period. For more information, see Homeowner Warranties.

HOMESTEAD

Term used to describe three separate but related situations: (1) a tax exemption, (2) a tract of land limited in size and (3) a statutory condition designed to protect the interests of a spouse and lineal descendants. The standard exemption is currently $50,000 in Florida.

The percentage of your gross monthly income that goes towards paying your housing expenses.

HUD MEDIAN INCOME

Median family income for a particular county or metropolitan statistical area (MSA), as estimated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

HUD-1 STATEMENT

A standardized, itemized list, published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), of all anticipated Closing Costs connected with a particular property purchase. See Title Insurance.

Back to Top

Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors