Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Real meaning of real estate euphemisms, jargon, lingo - Mary Cummins, Real Estate Appraiser, Real Estate Appraisal

I've been in the real estate business for over 30 years. I have probably heard all of the real estate "euphemisms." I wrote this short list of real estate lingo for first time buyers. Remember the person writing the ad only wants to sell the property so they can make money. They are not trying to accurately describe the property. This is why it's sometimes helpful to get your own appraisal by someone experienced. We don't look at the ads. We investigate the actual property. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

"Starter home" Shitty, tiny, run down house in a bad neighborhood but it's all you can afford

 "Ocean view" If you tear down all the houses and trees in front of you, stand on a tall ladder on the roof with binoculars, you might see a sliver of the ocean on a super clear day

 "Just needs a little TLC. Architect delight. Handyman dream" You'll need a bulldozer and demolition permit

"Pride of ownership" They covered Uncle Mike who was passed out naked on the couch with a blanket before they took the photos

"Cosmetic" Looks like crap but nothing a few hundred grand can't fix

"Vintage" Nope, just old and run down

"Turn Key Condition" "Just bring your toothbrush" If you don't mind roughing it before you renovate it

"Water front" There was a lake there 100 years ago before they built the dam upstream

"Motivated Seller" Agent knows it's worth a lot less but seller refuses to lower the damn price

"Bring your decorator" Only if he has a jack hammer, blow torch and contractors license

"Easy access to freeway" Home is located within spitting distance of the freeway on ramp.

"Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed - buyer to verify" We lied about everything

"Eclectic neighborhood" Wedged between Skid Row and gang territory next to the railroad tracks

"Security windows. New alarm system" The last owners were robbed...and killed

"Probate" (see above)

"Cozy, intimate, efficient, compact, cottage, modest, quaint" Teeny tiny, itsy bitsy, made for hobbits

"Up and coming area, redevelopment, revitalization, urban renewal" Gang infested, homeless will sleep and vomit on your porch. Last owner was shot in a random drive by

"As is" Agent knows it has major structural problems, doesn't want to disclose, also doesn't want to get sued...again

"Great potential" If you bulldoze it and build a new home

"Light and bright" Everything is painted white in the hopes it'll look bigger than it is. It doesn't

"Lots of living space" If you don't mind living in the garage, patio or low attic

"Rural" Smells like horses, cows and chicken shit

"Low maintenance yard" It's been cemented over but there are a few weeds growing through some cracks in the cement

"Lots of possibilities" Possibilities such as tear down or tax write off as a loss

"Meticulously maintained" Original kitchen and baths. Never remodeled

"New AC" They replaced the filter three years ago, maybe

"Recently updated" Meth house fire. Owner died. Relative paid a day laborer $50 to paint it white before putting a "for sale" sign in the window

"Retro decor" Avocado colored appliances. Paisley velvet wallpaper. Shag carpeting...on the walls

"Turnkey" Owner will not remove old worthless furniture. You'll have to pay someone to take it to the dump

"Walking distance" If you enjoy five mile walks

"Easy access" Located on a major highway with lots of traffic

"Country living, private, secluded, quiet, tucked away, getaway, hideaway" You should shop at Costco because you'll only want to make the 100 mile drive to town once a month

"Cozy, larger than it looks" Size of a match box, built for little people with no kids, pets, furniture or personal belongings

"Easy-care yard" No yard

"Drought friendly landscaping" Gravel and a cement garden gnome. Gnome is extra

"Close to schools, convenient to, close to, accessible" Too close to something undesirable. Faces playground where parents dump their loud kids at 7:00 am and don't pick them up until night fall. Street people make loud sexy times on the playground equipment at night.

"Old world" Just means old and run down

"Garden level" Basement

"Full of character, custom, unique, interesting" Toilet in the kitchen. Bunk beds in the hallway. Bizarre and totally undesirable

"Artist community, bohemian, funky" Homeless people crashed here for two years with no windows or doors. Nothing is to code or permitted.

"One of a kind" Because making another one like it would be just plain stupid

"Rustic" Run down. Used to be a hippy commune in the '70's.

"Comfortable, laid back" Was a crash pad for druggies and wild animals.

"Original" Original plumbing, electrical, kitchen, bath, appliances (if any)

"Open concept" Unfinished as owner/contractor ran out of money

"Great location near nightlife" You live directly above, next to a loud bar. Expect to step around used condoms and passed out drunks in the morning

"Second bathroom" Guys don't mind peeing in the yard...or pool

"Off the beaten path" Your friends, delivery people will never find the place even with GPS.

"Close to shopping" People will camp out on your lawn for black Friday sales

"They don't make them like this anymore" ...for a very good reason

"Updated kitchen" They changed the cabinet knobs or shelf paper

"Diamond in the rough. Great bones. Renovator's delight" Property was red tagged as uninhabitable, surrounded by caution tape.

"Don't disturb the tenants" We don't want them to tell you how horrible this place really is. They're also violent.

"Newly remodeled kitchen" New $20 kitchen faucet from Home Depot. Fresh paper towel roll

"Desirable neighborhood" Bunch of uppity snobs live here who will report you for everything

"Efficiency kitchen" Used to be the hallway

"Historical house" Any change you want to make must be approved by a committee of eight old ladies that meet once every six months. They hate all newcomers

"City living" Do not walk around outside even in the day time. It's not safe

"Bonus room" Unlivable odd shaped room not built to code or with permits. You'll probably have to tear it down

"High ceilings" Expect high heating and cooling bills

Feel free to add your own in the comments

Mary Cummins of Animal Advocates is a wildlife rehabilitator licensed by the California Department of Fish and Game. Mary Cummins is also a licensed real estate appraiser in Los Angeles, California.

Mary Cummins, Mary K. Cummins, Mary Katherine Cummins, Mary Cummins-Cobb, Mary, Cummins, Cobb, real estate, appraiser, appraisal, instructor, teacher, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Brentwood, Bel Air, California, licensed, permitted, single family, condo, pud, hud, fannie mae, freddie mac, uspap, certified, residential, certified resident, apartment building, multi-family, commercial, industrial, expert witness, civil, criminal, orea, dre, insurance, bonded, experienced, bilingual, spanish, english, form, 1004, 2055, land, raw, acreage, vacant, insurance, cost, income approach, market analysis, comparative, theory, appraisal theory, cost approach, sales, matched pairs, plot, plat, map, diagram, photo, photographs, photography, rear, front, street, subject, comparable, sold, listed, active, pending, expired, cancelled, listing, mls, multiple listing service, claw, themls,

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