Translating Common Real Estate Jargon


Real estate listings have a purpose, and that purpose is to make properties and neighborhoods sound good. Their chosen verbiage is often a buyer’s first impression of a home/community—the housing market’s equivalent of an online dating profile. As such, listings can be peppered with sweet nothings, leaving potential buyers feeling confused and misled. Fear not, though, as we’ve deciphered 10 common real estate buzzwords to help you make a more educated purchase.


George Clooney’s salt-and-pepper goatee is distinguished. Neighborhoods are rundown. See also: classic, charming, vintage, timeless, quaint.


A cute way of saying, “This house has closets for bedrooms.” Hope you don’t mind sleeping in a twin bed … and using it as a dinner table.

Soaking Tub

The place has a bathtub—hopefully, with a working stopper.


There is some feature in this home that appeals only to a niche audience. Examples: built-in cat habitat, kitchen aquarium or a Christian Grey red room.

Vibrant Community

Within 30 days of moving in, you’ll be on a first-name basis with Metro cops.

Must-See Interior

The exterior is atrocious, but the sellers are hoping you see beauty on the inside.

Move-in Ready

A very subjective phrase, this usually means that no major repairs are needed, and the property is fully functional. It doesn’t mean everything is to your taste (read: You may want to replace that blue shag carpet).


Sure, the kitchen cabinets are off their hinges, there are holes in the walls and there’s a pervasive scent of dog urine throughout the place, but … look at all this room!

Secluded Neighborhood

You’ll never see or hear from your neighbors—in other words, pretty much every Valley neighborhood.


What isn’t?