Reflection: Priced to sell

Whether you are looking for a new home, selling yours or just visiting open houses for the heck of it, it helps to understand real estate lingo.

Here are some translations:

New listing — owner confident; wait a few weeks. Owner transferred — owner nervous. Priced to sell — owner desperate.

Nonconforming fourth bedroom — firetrap.

Turnaround driveway shared with neighbor — lower your deductible.

Five bedrooms, four bathrooms — for people who have more money than bladder control and who decorate with all white lights at Christmastime.

Just waiting for you to make it yours — needs complete overhaul.

Enjoy watching the local foot and auto traffic — loud. Walking distance to restaurants and bars — deafening.

Radon mitigations completed — uh-oh.

One of a kind — odd smell, peculiar décor.

Covered by a canopy of trees — dark.

Ready for your updates — shag carpeting, faux wood paneling.

Skylights — leaky.

Detached garage, great for storage — but getting your car in there is like threading a needle.

Laundry shoot — let’s hope they meant chute.

Open concept plan — frenzied tossing of flotsam and jetsam into closets before company comes.

Gated community — so is Anamosa, Iowa.

New development — honking big houses; little bitty trees.

Newer carpet — 50% fewer pet stains than older carpet. Immaculate — no pet stains.

Plumbing inspected — keep plunger handy.

Easily maintained lot — no yard to mow.

Low down payment — high monthly payment.

Newer mechanicals — wiring good enough to make toast and coffee at same time.

Must be seen to be appreciated — tacky exterior.

Newer kitchen — has running water and electricity.

Charm — some doors stick. Loaded with charm — all doors stick.

Plenty of storage space — garage too dilapidated to hold car but OK for broken appliances.

Appliances stay — too old and heavy to move.

Note reserved items — owner taking everything but toilet.

Agent’s home — fresh flowers on table and bread baking when it’s shown.

$3,000 allowance for bathroom — Remember the latrine at Girl Scout camp?

Historic — shabby. Contemporary — sterile. Spacious — drafty. High ceilings — really drafty.

Eat-in kitchen — no dining room.

Redecorated — interior painted within last 10 years. Totally redecorated throughout – faux finishing alert.

Cute — three kinds of wallpaper in one room.

Innovative floor plan — too trendy to resell 10 years from now.

Tremendous possibilities — a pit. Needs TLC — a hideous pit. Handyman’s special — uninhabitable.

Cozy — tiny. Perfect starter home — tiny but cheap.

Why pay rent when you can own? — Are you the type who builds on Baltic and Mediterranean?

Location, location, location — But what about the house, house, house?

Rebecca Christian, a former Dubuquer, is an Ames, Iowa, writer.

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