How to read a real estate ad

Common Real Estate Terms Explained

Real estate listings sometimes contain colloquialisms that don’t give potential buyers an accurate idea of ​​a home’s features. If you’re new to the housing market, you might find some of these descriptors encouraging. However, not all “picturesque” houses are worth visiting. Here’s your guide to interpreting the various buzzwords on real estate listings.


This word should tell you that the house needs a lot of work. A home buyer would probably be more interested than the average buyer who is not looking for an additional project. If you’re not in the market for one fixera house with a lot of potential probably won’t be for you.


Read: old. Renovation often means that an old house has been revamped or redecorated. Unfortunately, the most critical elements in the home, from appliances to windows, might be the originals. Homebuyers may run into problems here if they want a more modern home.

“One of a kind” or “one of a kind”

Phrases like “one of a kind” or “one of a kind” imply more than a touch of eccentricity in the home. Houses with odd or even absurd layouts often carry this label.

Exceptionally small rooms or having the only bathroom accessible through a bedroom are examples of what could make a “unique” home appear on a list. Depending on the oddity, this could be a deciding factor for a potential buyer.


Real estate professionals frequently use this term to describe homes for sale. Usually, homes with this moniker have less square footage and feel cramped.

However, homebuyers should look at the photos of the property to get a better idea of ​​the layout. “Comfortable” may refer to positive attributes, such as a home that lets in lots of natural light or has a warm vibe.


Often an “affordable” property has been so problematic that the seller is willing to let it go at almost any price. A home riddled with needed repairs and other issues may come to you at a bargain price, but the cost of the work needed to make the home comfortable and livable could eat away at the savings made on the purchase.

This does not mean that this descriptor should always scare you. You might assess all the issues with the property and decide that you are still interested. You can buy at a discount and then repair the house in a series of affordable DIY projects.


Without an associated date, this term is too vague to indicate real value to potential buyers. It could be a device replaced last year or ten years ago, depending on who you talk to.

To determine how new something like a kitchen or HVAC system is, find out the date it was installed in the home if possible.

“Return to Market”

The reason for this sentence could be innocent. Financing from an interested buyer may have failed, bringing the seller back to square one.

However, it could also indicate a problem that occurred during a home inspection. There could also be a problem with the title deed. A responsible homebuyer will ask the Real estate agent why the property is back on the market.

Ideally, the list above will help you avoid potential pitfalls when looking for your dream home. Readers interested in learning more about industry terminology as a whole should check out this article on real estate conditions.

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