Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mid-Week Musings

Courtesy of College Humor

In the Housing Market Things are Never What They Seem

Among the harbingers of spring are the real estate signs now appearing in yards across the country. Come April, they sprout from lawns like daisies reaching for the sun. America is either on the move, or wants to be, and buyers take to the road looking for newer, better or bigger homes in which to spend their tomorrows. Time can be wasted by those not attuned to the jargon of the real estate industry. A quick look at a typical listing will show why.

Estate Sale. Well below market. Older country home with easy airport and freeway access, sold as-is. 5 bedroom/1 bath home with out-building for cars and storage. Charming vintage kitchen with access to backyard and large seasonal pond. Wild life abounds. Great opportunity waiting for your personal touches. Offers will be considered.

Seems innocuous enough, right? Let's translate it and see.

Inherited property. No on else wants it. Farm house within walking of airport and highway, sold with holes in the roof, squirrels in the attic and standing water in the basement. No closets. Original fixtures in bathroom and kitchen. Sagging barn in rear of property. Seasonal flooding of back yard. Feral cats. Needs a lot of work. Subtract 15% from asking price.

Courtesy of

A Layman's Guide to Real Estate Jargon

  • Old charmer – an old and ugly house
  • Stunning house – the house is not ugly
  • Tudor – two bedrooms are in the attic which is not insulated; very hot in summer and very cold in winter
  • Cape Cod – styled after Third World slum dwellings
  • Sunny corner lot – noisy intersection of two busy streets
  • Easy freeway access – noisy arterial street close to freeway
  • Low maintenance lot – no yard; the kids will have to play in the street
  • Meticulously maintained in the original condition – the appliances are 50 years old
  • Ready to remodel – the house is about to collapse; you will have to invest twice the asking price in remodel before you can move in
  • Newly remodeled kitchen – 50-year old cabinetry and faucets have been replaced with cheap modern equivalents
  • Ready to move in – the interior has been painted with one coat of cheap paint
  • Desirable neighborhood – this little house is extravagantly overpriced because the neighborhood has a snobbish reputation
  • 1 car garage – you can drive your Ford Escort into the garage but there is no room to open the door
  • In-city living – it is not safe to walk in this neighborhood after dark
  • Recreation room with wet bar – basement has been painted and has a faucet
  • Large family room – large basement
  • Bedroom in basement – basement has a 1′ by 2′ window
  • Lots of storage space – basement too small to be called a family room
  • Partial mountain view – you can see the tip of Mt. Olympus if you climb the roof
  • Territorial view – good view of your neighbor’s bedroom window
  • Build sweat equity – the house is not inhabitable
  • Storybook – the house is old and the roof is not flat
  • Efficiently designed kitchen – the kitchen is too small to fit two people at the same time
  • Seasonal creek – muddy ditch across the property
  • Usable land – all the trees are gone.
  • Doll-house – tiny place filled with ugly knick-knacks.
  • Country living – too far from anywhere to drive to work
  • Country in the city – a grotesquely overpriced large lot with a 2 bedroom house built before World War I
  • Cozy – not a single room could fit a full size bed
  • Three season sunroom – a small addition the owner did not have enough money to insulate
  • Close to all amenities – the backyard is a shopping mall parking
  • Beachfront property, complete remodeling in 1996, a steal at this asking price – hurricane Andrew motivated the remodeling; no hurricane insurance available, at any price
  • Must see inside – the outside is ugly
  • Motivated sellers – subtract 15% from the asking price
  • Easy to heat – see “cozy”
  • Wildlife nearby – children and pets get ticks and fleas
  • Near transportation – Amtrak train goes through the backyard, every 15 minutes, day and night
  • Pet friendly neighborhood – organic matter constantly deposited in the front lawn
  • Neighborhood watch – your next door neighbor has binoculars trained on your house
  • Just available – previous owner just died on the premises, hope you don’t believe in ghosts
Glossary courtesy of Washington State University, Department of Mathematics

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Pondside said...

Mary, I am learning to look out for your
Mid-week musings! I am sitting in the plane waiting to take off over the Rockies to spend
Some time with my son and I laughed out loud as I read this (and received a strange look or two!) more than a few of these points apply to the chaing seaside cottage we bought in October. The proximity to the beach and village charmed us and we are still dealing with some of the euphuisms you shared!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Honora, I'm so glad you keep coming back. I hope that others will also begin to follow "Musings".Hugs and blessings...Mary

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