Upper Cape Living: Explaining Brokerbabble
By: Lynette Helms, April 10, 2014
As a whole, real estate agents are notorious for coming up with creative ways to say "this room is small", "this room is huge", "the kitchen is old" or "you really should just knock this house down." We can take 5 words to say what one would do just fine. It's our job to make the home sound as appealing as possible, and sometimes we just get carried away with calling small rooms "cozy" or "cute".
Ever wondered what we're actually saying? Sometimes we do too. We've put together an explainer on some of the most commonly used "broker babble" to help you find your next home without getting a brain freeze from all the sugary-sweet adjectives we like to throw around.
What, exactly, is a "bonus room?"
A "bonus room" is a room that isn't a bedroom or an office. We usually use this term when referring to a room added during a renovation or to describe a non-bedroom that overhangs a garage. It's a "bonus" because most other homes with a similar floor plan don't have that extra room and, since it isn't officially a bedroom, it doesn't usually add to the listing price, meaning the buyer gets more square footage for their dollar.
What's the difference between an "updated" and "renovated" kitchen?
This one is easy. An "updated" kitchen has some new things and some old things; a "renovated" kitchen has had everything replaced recently. Updated kitchens usually mean that either the counters or appliances have been replaced, but not both. A renovated kitchen is one that has been extensively redone and includes new appliances, new countertops, cabinets and lighting. Both are move-in ready and won't need work for a while after a house is purchased.
What do you mean by "good bones"?
Basically, a home that's structurally sound, has a good floor plan and a lot of potential, but hasn't been well-maintained or brought up to today's taste's by the current homeowner. Usually we're talking about older homes (anything built from the 1900s-1960s), and they're homes that need a moderate to major amount of work before they're "move-in-ready." You can get a home with good bones at a great price if you're willing to negotiate, put the work in and be patient.
When you say "cozy", you just mean small, right?
Well, not necessarily. While some agents love to use cozy as a euphemism for "this room is small", that's not all it means. "Cozy" usually refers to a living room or kitchen that, yes, is smaller than most, but still has a good floor plan with plenty of usable space. Many beach cottages can be referred to as "cozy", but that does not mean that they're cramped or too small. Here's a good rule of thumb: if a room is "cozy" but there's a picture of it, it's usable, if there's no picture of a "cozy living room", you're probably going to be knocking out a wall once you buy the house.
More Upper Cape Living
"Distant Views" means you're lying and there's no view!
Wrong! Distant views mean just that: you have a far-away view of a body of water. It's actually against the law for us to promise views when there aren't any at all, or if there's technically a view but you have to stand on top of three boxes in the attic to see the water. A distant view means that you can see the water easily from at least two windows in the house, but it's far away. This may mean you can only see the water from the second floor or one side of the house.
"Needs some TLC" means I should just knock it down and start all over, right?
"Needs some TLC" is the kiss of death in broker babble. It's the ultimate euphemism for "just bring in the wrecking ball, this place can't be saved." Thankfully for the buyer, this is usually reflected in the price of the home or, more accurately, the land it's sitting on. You can usually spot these listings pretty easily: many pictures of the lot and virtually no pictures of the house, and definitely none of the interior.
Are there any other broker babble terms out there that have you confused? Leave them in the comments and we'll include it in a future column!
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