Lost In Translation: What Real Estate Terms Really Mean

Every business has industry jargon they use on a daily basis.  Whether your calling plays in a sport, developing computer software or working at a restaurant, every business has a language all to itself, and real estate is no different. 

As we get ready to celebrate Father’s Day next week, I thought I would revisit one of my father’s articles from more than 15 years ago, almost to the date, that ran in this very newspaper. 

On May 30, 2004, John Burgan published an article called, “Real Estate Can Be Downright Funny.”  While, to this day, my father remains a constant source of guidance, knowledge and humor, one of the quotes from his article was that, “We all need to laugh more…it helps us live longer.”  In light of the pandemic we are still dealing with and now, social and racial tensions mounting across the country, his words have never been truer and more needed. 

So, even though I’m going against all vows and secret oaths I have taken as a REALTOR®, I am going to share with you some of the terminology we use in the real estate industry to describe homes and what they REALLY mean.  While some of them are ones my father shared in his article, I’ve added a few of my own to make it more relevant to today’s market conditions and housing features.  Hope you enjoy it and that it made your day better by bringing a smile and, hopefully, a laugh to your life. 

Real Estate Definitions and Descriptive Phrases:

  • Convenient Location: in-laws live next door
  • Convenient to Shopping: you’ll be on a first name basis with your Amazon delivery person
  • Comfortable: small
  • Cozy: really small
  • Cute: really, really small
  • New Appliances: they’re newer than the house
  • Furnished: seller is lazy and doesn’t want to move anything out
  • Private: Trump found someone to build a wall
  • Only 15 Minutes From…: Only 40 minutes from where you really want to get to
  • Seeing is Believing: you still won’t believe it when you see it
  • Make an Offer: what’s the worst that can happen after what we’ve been through in 2020
  • Renovated: it’s just like new but not
  • Secluded: old man Jenkins lived there from Scooby-Doo
  • Low Maintenance: small yard
  • Only One Owner: who didn’t update anything
  • Water View: from the roof you can see the development’s retaining pond
  • Smart Home: it will slowly start taking over your thoughts
  • Walking Distance: if you’re Forest Gump

Submitted by Patrick Burgan, President, Youngstown Columbiana Area Realtors®.

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