Glossary of Terms - G

General Contractor:

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

General Warranty Deed:

A deed that conveys not only all the grantor’s interests in and title to the property to the grantee, but also warrants that if the title is defective or has a “cloud” on it (such as mortgage claims, tax liens, title claims, judgments or mechanic’s liens against it) the grantee may hold the grantor liable.

Gift Letter:

A letter that a family member writes verifying that he or she has given an individual a certain amount of money as a gift and that repayment is not required.  In certain cases, this money can be used towards a portion of a down payment with some mortgages.

Good-Faith Estimate (GFE):

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 a mortgage transaction on residential property.

Government Mortgage:

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

Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae):

A government-owned corporation within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that guarantees securities backed by mortgages that are insured or guaranteed by other government agencies.  This agency is also informally 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.