Real Estate Glossary

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A defect in the chain of title of a particular parcel of real estate; a missing document or conveyance that raises doubt as to the present ownership of the land.
Garn-St. Germain Bill:
Or the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 which authorized the deregulation of banks and savings institutions. Allowed savings and loan associations to offer checking-type accounts; to issue credit cards. Established loan loss reserve requirements. A follow-on bill, The Depository Institutions Act of 1982 (also sponsored by Senators Garn and St. Germain), allowed savings and loan associations to have up to 50% of assets in real estate development; 30% of assets in consumer loans and corporate debt; own real estate development companies; and offer money market deposit accounts.
Garn-St. Germain—Full Text
general agent:
One authorized by a principal to perform any and all acts associated with the continued operation of a particular job or a certain business of the principal. The essential feature of a general agency is the continuity of service, such as that provided by a property manager of a large condominium project. Most real estate brokers are treated as special agents. (See agent, special agent)
general contractor:
A licensed construction specialist who enters into a construction contract with a developer or property owner to construct a building or real estate project. The general contractor often negotiates individual contracts with sub-contractors who specialize in various aspects of the building process, such as electricity, drywall and plumbing.
general index:
A county recorder's office index used by title company examiners when searching the chain of title of a property. The examiner uses the index to research all the grantors and grantees in the chain of title. The index lists all the things that apply to a person by name, including liens, judgments and power of attorneys. (See chain of title)
general lien:
The right of a creditor to have all of a debtor's property—both real and personal—sold to satisfy a debt. (See lien)
general partner:
In a limited partnership, the individual or company aquiring, organizing and managing the investment. (See limited partnership)
general partnership:
In a general partnership, all the partners participate in the operation and management of the business and share full liability for business losses and obligations. (See partnership)
Uniform Partnership Act—Full Text
general plan:
Every city and county is required to develop a general plan of comprehensive zoning. (See comprehensive zoning)
general real estate tax:
General real estate taxes are levied to fund the operation of the governmental agency that imposes the taxes.
general warranty deed:
A deed in which the grantor fully warrants good clear title to the premises. Used in most real estate deed transfers, a general warranty deed offers the greatest protection of any deed.
geographic farming:
Farming/prospecting an area defined by specific "geographic" boundaries. The best geographic farms are particular subdivisions with similar demographics, such as: the price of homes, the ages of residents, family composition, etc. (See farming, nongeographic farming)
gift deed:
A deed in which the consideration is "love and affection." Because the deed is not supported by valuable consideration, the donee (recipient of the gift) may not be able to enforce against the donor certain promises or agreements contained in the deed.
Ginnie Mae:
See Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA)
Ginnie Mae Online
goal setting:
A planning tool where agents establish, in writing, exact short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals. Goals should be reasonably attainable and progress should be periodically evaluated.
good-faith estimate:
A preliminary accounting of expected closing costs. The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) requires the lender to promptly give loan applicants a good-faith estimate of closing costs. (See Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA))
good funds:
Cash, cashier's checks and personal checks that have cleared the bank.
An intangible, salable asset arising from the reputation of a business; the expectation of continued public patronage; including other intangible assets like trade name and going concern value. When a business is sold, the sales price often reflects its goodwill value.
Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA):
A federal agency created in 1968 when the Federal National Mortgage association (FNMA) was partitioned into two separate corporations. "Ginnie Mae," as it is popularly called, is a corporation without capital stock and is a division of HUD. The GNMA operates the special assistance aspects of federally aided housing programs and has the management and liquidating functions of the old FNMA. The FNMA is authorized to issue and sell securities backed by a portion of its mortgage portfolio, with the GNMA guaranteeing payment on such securities.
government check:
The 24-mile-square parcels composed of 16 townships in the rectangular (government) survey system of legal description.
government lot:
Fractional sections in the rectangular (government) survey system that are less than one quarter-section in area. Areas smaller than full quarter-sections were numbered and designated as government lots by surveyors. These lots can be created by the curvature of the earth; by land bordering or surrounding large bodies of water; or by artificial state borders.
government survey system:
A system of land description that applies to much of the land in the United States, particularly in the western states; also called the geodetic or rectangular survey system. It is based on pairs of principal meridians and base lines, with each pair governing the surveys in a designated area. (See legal description)
grace period:
An agreed upon time after an obligation is past due when a party can perform without being considered in default.
graduated commission splits:
Other companies have graduated commission splits based on a salesperson's achieving specified production goals. For instance, a broker might agree to split commissions 50/50 up to a $25,000 salesperson's share; 60/40 for shares from $25,000 to $30,000; and so on. Commission splits as generous as 80/20 or 90/10 are possible, however, particularly for high producers.
graduated-payment mortgage (GPM):
A loan in which the monthly principal and interest payments increase by a certain percentage each year for a certain number of years and then level off for the remaining loan term.
grandfather clause:
An expression that conveys the concept that something that was once permissible continues to be so, despite changes in the law.
The person who receives a conveyance of real property from a grantor. The grantee must be a person, either natural or otherwise (e.g. corporation, public agency, partnership, etc.) existing at the time of the conveyance and is capable of taking title.
grant deed:
A type of deed in which the grantor warrants to the grantee, that he has not previously conveyed the estate, that he has not encumbered the property (except as noted in the deed) and that he will convey any title to the property he may later acquire.
granting clause:
Words in a deed of conveyance that state the grantor's intention to convey the property at the present time. This clause is generally worded as "convey and warrant," "grant," "grant, bargain and sell" or the like.
The person transferring title, or an interest in real property. A grantor must be competent to convey title. A corporate grantor must have legal existence and be authorized to hold and convey title to real property. The grantor must be clearly identified in the deed.
gross income multiplier:
A figure used as a multiplier of the gross annual income of a property to produce an estimate of the property's value.
gross operating income:
The result when other income is added to rental income. (See other income, rental income)
gross lease:
A lease of property according to which a landlord pays all property charges regularly incurred through ownership, such as repairs, taxes, insurance and operating expenses. Most residential leases are gross leases.
gross rental income:
Gross receipts for the rental of income property.
gross rent multiplier (GRM):
The figure used as a multiplier of the gross monthly income of a property to produce an estimate of the property's value.
gross scheduled income:
The maximum amount of rent if the property were 100 percent occupied.
ground lease:
A lease of land alone, sometimes secured by improvements placed on the land. Also called a land lease, the ground lease is a means used to separate the ownership of the land from the ownership of the buildings and improvements constructed on the land.
ground rents:
A perpetual lease where the landowner retains title and the lessee recieves the right of possession and use. Used predominantly in Maryland and Pennsylvania prior to 1885.
Water under the earth's surface, regardless of the geological structure in which the water is standing or flowing. It does not include water in underground streams that have identifiable banks and beds.
growing-equity mortgage (GEM):
A loan in which the monthly payments increase annually, with the increased amount being used to reduce directly the principal balance outstanding and thus shorten the overall term of the loan.
A person, appointed by court or by will, given the lawful custody and care of the person or property of another (called a ward). The ward might be a minor, an insane person or even a spendthrift. The guardian may, upon court approval and without necessity of obtaining a real estate license, sell the ward's property if it is in the best interest of the ward.
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