Understanding Real Estate Jargon

Understanding Real Estate Jargon

What makes a house a “starter home,” and exactly how close to transportation is a home that’s marketed as just steps away from it? These are the questions many people have when reading through countless listing descriptions as they search for a home.

Real estate listings are supposed to be informative in order to attract buyers, and yet many home buyers reading them may feel like they’re reading a foreign language. Sometimes this is due to the abundance of abbreviated words that those outside the industry aren’t accustomed to, and other times it’s the use of figurative language that confuses buyers. Furthermore, the characteristic lingo and phraseologies of the real estate industry are often not literal in meaning — a home that won’t last long doesn’t have underlying structural issues, it is just expected to sell quicker than most. Without the help of a professional, many buyers will click away from a perfectly good home feeling disgruntled and confused.

An experienced South Florida real estate professional can demystify this assortment of real estate jargon and help buyers find a home that truly fits their needs and wants. Here are some terms you are bound to come across when searching for homes online, and the real meanings behind them.

Location, Location, Location

  • Convenient Location or Conveniently Located – This could mean the home is in a highly desirable location near community hotspots like restaurants and grocery stores or central transportation centers. If that is the case, the property is usually listed at a premium price.
  • Up-and-Coming Neighborhood Typically means the home is not near to community attractions. However, it is likely that development is underway, and businesses like restaurants and stores will be coming soon.
  • Steps Away From Transportation – This term is a little trickier. A central transportation hub could be located a few blocks way or up to a mile away. This could also mean that the home is near a minor public transportation source, such as a bus line, that connects to the major transportation center.


  • Charming or Cozy – These adjectives usually signify that the home has small square footage, which is not necessarily a disadvantage.
  • Spacious – Often means the house has an open floor plan or greater square footage. Still, this term is relative to the area in which the listed property is located. Spacious means something different in an urban area with mostly apartment buildings compared to the suburbs filled with multi-bedroom houses.

Buyers’ Expected Investment

  • Recent Owner Updates – This implies the homeowner made moderate repairs to improve the home’s appearance. These updates could be superficial, but they could also be significant enough to eliminate the need for buyers to do their own renovations and upgrades.
  • A Great Investment Property or Needs TLC or Lots of Potential – All of these descriptions point to one thing: buyers will have to invest time and money repairing or updating the property. The home could be old, have outdated appliances, or be in run-down condition. It will be on the buyers to make the home move-in ready.
  • Take As Is or In Original Condition – Both of these specifications typically mean the seller has not made any significant renovations or upgrades to the house. The property will be less expensive, and will require an investment on the part of the buyer to conduct necessary modernizations.


  • Won’t Last – The seller is likely to get many offers, so the house could go very quickly. Buyers will have to act fast if they wish to purchase the home.
  • Motivated Seller – The property has probably been on the market for a long period of time, and the sellers will be driven to sell the house sooner rather than later. Buyers can expect more flexibility on the price, leaving more room to negotiate.


  • Starter Home – This usually means the home is priced for first-time buyers with limited budgets. Buyers should be prepared that such homes may likely be older or smaller, and may require a bit of TLC.
  • Unique – Often, unique is realtor code for hard-to-sell. The house could have features that are not attractive to most buyers such as gaudy decor or walls painted in flashy colors. A real estate professional can advise buyers if this is the case. If so, more work will probably be needed to make the home fit their tastes.
  • Perfect for Entertaining – This depiction is usually used for homes that have open floor plans or large kitchen and dining room areas.
  • Walk-In-Closet – This indicates that the home has a separate section for closet space that a person can enter. However, this term does not specify the size of the closet; it could be as large as a small bedroom or as small as a phone booth.
  • Lots of Light – Indicates numerous windows, a fact which is appealing to some and concerning to others as it can sometimes suggest a lack of privacy.

With so many terms to keep up with, it is no wonder property listings can be challenging to comprehend. An experienced South Florida real estate professional will know how to define this long list of terms and many more. Still, the best way to learn about a listed home is by visiting it, physically and even virtually.

If you are in the market for a home, call Stein Posner’s team of real estate experts to find out how we can guide you throughout the home buying process

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