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.
See patio home
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.
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
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
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
Acronym - Government National Mortgage Association, also known as "Ginnie
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.
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
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.
A person to whom real estate is conveyed; the buyer
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
For qualifying purposes, the income of the borrower before taxes or expenses are
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.