Monday, October 3, 2011

Your Handy House Hunting Translator

"Be vewy quiet, I'm hunting for a three bedroom, two bathroom with walk-in closets!"

House hunting and preparing to list our house for sale has introduced me to a whole host of buzz words commonly used in real estate that I rarely have the opportunity to use in any other area of my life. Oh, and these words are almost always used in the first line of a real estate listing. For the uninitiated, here is a rundown of my personal favorite Real Estate terms:

Sparkling: Previously only used to describe Edward Cullen's skin and my personality, sparkling is *the* word that needs to best describe your home, specifically your home's surfaces like counter tops and floors. I have spent hours viewing homes that "really sparkle". Sidenote: I now use the word "sparkle" on a daily basis, and I am incapable of saying "sparkle" without incorporating an enthusiastic set of "jazz hands". I just need you to know this.

Delight: An ideal kitchen is characterized as a "chef's delight". This typically means that there is ample counter space, a sizeable oven, and there are often upgrades such as granite counters, stainless appliances and a gas stove (my personal favorite feature). When viewing photos of a "chef's delight kitchen", I immediately picture the Cinnamon Toast Crunch chefs running around the kitchen, jubilantly preparing Cinnamon Toast. Sometimes the Pillsbury Dough Boy and Chef Boyardee are there too. All are delighted, of course.

Oversized: An oversized mortgage is bad, but an oversized breakfast nook? Delightful. Especially if it sparkles.

Boast: In her song "Gossip Folks", Missy Elliott proudly announces, "I don't brag, I mostly boast". Your mama told you not to be boastful, but when it comes to your real estate, boast away. Your kitchen can boast granite counter tops, your entry can boast hardwood floors, your bathroom can boast a jetted tub. But if you buy this house, you shouldn't boast to your friends. It's tacky.

Delightful/Cute/Adorable/Charming: These words are selected when characterizing a lovely home under 2000 square feet. They're trying to accentuate the positive. Kind of like when a plus-size dress is described as "flattering".

Completely updated: "You should have seen what a train wreck this place used to be! It's all good though; we fixed it up real nice for ya."

Immaculate: If a house is described as "immaculate", its owners have gone to great lengths to make sure you can find no fault with this home. Not a speck of dust or so much as a burned out light bulb, a perfectly manicured lawn and carefully staged interior. They're basically killing themselves to please you, so you better recognize!

Move-in Ready: The entire house is beige.

Great Value: This means a low price per square foot. They don't price houses this way out of charity. There is something undesirable about this house, and the seller hopes an enticing price will help you to overlook the home's shortcomings. There is probably a neon orange stain on the carpet or the deck is about to cave in on itself. But at this price, you can almost visualize your dream home, yes? Used interchangeably with "great potential", "opportunity to make it your own", "UNBELIEVABLE price for this area!"

Exceptional: Ok, you know what "exceptional" means, but let me just say: I have yet to tour a home described as "exceptional" that was exceptional. I found them all quite ordinary. Charming? Maybe. Exceptional? Not so much.

Impressive: This word gets tossed around left and right. In my quest for a new home, I've learned that one of my top priorities needs to be to impress my friends. They need to walk away from my new house feeling like chumps for having to live in their dinky shacks [shakes head "No".] One salesman pointed out the brick pattern of the ceramic tile in the secondary bathroom shower as a unique feature that my friends likely haven't seen, which will therefore leave them impressed. If my ceramic tile impresses my friends...I need new friends.

Desirable: The home may be in a desirable school district, on a desirable street, or on a desirable, oversized lot. Most importantly, it will impress your friends. Used interchangeably with "highly sought after"

A Must-See: It doesn't photograph that well, but it's a cute house. I promise! It's exceptional, don't miss this opportunity to make this house your dream home!

Backyard Oasis: There is a swimming pool and/or landscaping.

And, finally, no good real estate listing is complete without an ENTHUSIASTIC use of capital letters and LOTS! of EXCLAMATION POINTS! For added EMPHASIS!

1 comment:

  1. This is hilarious and right on! I watch a lot of HGTV, and I know I'm going to get the giggles now every time I hear one of these phrases pop up. :) Great post. Love your writing!!