Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Deciphering Real Estate Jargon

My wife and I have been house hunting for a few months now. We have seen some good homes, but there have been a share of lousy ones also. At one time, all of those lousy houses were bought by someone. I've seen several homes that make me wonder who would ever buy such a place, and I think that a sweet talking selling agent was probably involved.

Here are some types of home heating systems I've come across in the local listings:
Electric heat pump
Natural Gas
Radiant Heat
Coal Furnace
What? A coal furnace? People still use those? Do these people have to open their windows and stay in the shade as their only method of cooling in the summer?

A good real estate agent can still sell that house heated by coal and cooled by open windows, and the listing would probably say something like this:
Quaint, Victorian-era Cape Cod style home in a historic neighborhood with mature trees. Once in a lifetime opportunity!

Pretty soon, it becomes apparent that the problems with a house have to become sugar-coated so that they sound like features. However, once you look at the local listings for three months, like I have, you'll become a grizzled veteran and learn to see right through these home-buying euphemisms. If you're just starting your house hunt, let me be you're guide. I'll put the real estate jargon in bold, and follow it with my translation in italics.


cozy and old

not happily ever after.

Low Maintenance
Low acreage. You'll be able to shake hands with your neighbor from inside your bedroom.

Established Neighborhood
Only poor people live in the neighborhood.

Desirable Neighborhood
Only snobby people live in the neighborhood.

Convenient to Interstate
convenient to traffic

Convenient to shopping
convenient to noise

Convenient to everything
convenient to traffic and noise

Unfinished basement
unusable basement

Wooded, Private Back Yard
Unusable land, unless you're trying to breed ticks

Corner lot
Noise from cars on two sides of your house, not just one.

Near the lake!
you won't be allowed to go through your neighbors yard to get to the lake.

Great view!
steep yard (and hard to mow.)

Privacy fence
lousy neighbors

Florida room
fancy name for a sunroom, which itself is a fancy name for a small room with a small sky light and a couple of windows

French Doors
fancy name for double doors

Garden Tub
fancy name for a jacuzzi with low water pressure for one person.

fancy name for a puddle

Vaulted ceilings
expensive to heat in the winter.

Neutral Colors
boring (inoffensive) colors

Professional Colors
Unnecessarily expensive paint

Features smoke alarms
Dude, there are no features if they highlight something that costs $25 at Wal-Mart.

Great Value for the Square Footage

A lot of house for the money!
rough neighborhood

Priced to sell!
Seller wants out of the neighborhood.

Great starter home!
Experienced homeowner would avoid

Price Reduced!
Someday, you'll have trouble selling it, too.

A Steal at this price!
A home not worth stealing.

Bring all offers!
Eventually, the bank will get around to picking an offer they like.

Won't last long!
A lot of people have already looked at the house, and none of them wanted to make an offer.

Shows well!
The major problems do not become apparent until you see it in person.

Must See inside!
The outside looks bad.

The current homeowner doesn't care about your needs.

Handyman's special!
Consider this your second job.

Sold As-Is
Danger, Will Robinson!

Needs some TLC!
previous owner abused house.

Better than new!
Higher asking price than new.

Buyer to verify Square Footage
Selling agent is lazy, they have more important homes to worry about.

Call for price!
otherwise, you'd immediately reject it.

Seller to pay closing costs with approved lender.
The lender will pass those costs on to you, in the form of fees, points and interest. The bank is not running a charity.

Unlimited Potential!
Will frustrate you to no end.

Happy house hunting! :)


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