House hunters guide to realtor speak

Lately, Jenny and I have been looking for a house. We found what we think will be perfect for us.

Yes, it’s a brand new home. We were desperately trying to avoid that, but older homes just aren’t big enough for me, her, 5 full time kids, my wasband (he’ll probably end up living with us off and on at some point), my oldest, her baby (yes, she’s due in July) and a dog and cat.

So, our realtor broke down and took us to look at a few new homes that were just built. The second Jenny walked in, she fell in love. I knew that this would be “home”.

But, getting to the point of finding this place took a lot of hours looking online, driving through neighborhoods, reading ads and walk throughs.

One thing that is just as true today as it was 10 years ago (when I purchased my house in Austin) is that everyone wants to church up their descriptions.

These can be as harmless as calling a carport a “porta carchere”.

Some, however, are blatantly misleading. And because of that, I’ve decided to put together this quick guide to help you muddle through the bullshit. After all, time is money. And why waste time or money on a home that isn’t what you hoped for?

1. With a little TLC, this homes lawn could be majestic again.

Ok. Anything that says, TLC is a runner. Unless you are doing a documentary about lawn restoration or have a nearly limitless landscaping budget, move on. Click the arrow to the next property. Cause in your mind, they want you to see this…

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But what you are actually getting, is this….

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2. Historic home full of original features!

This house was probably a McMansion in it’s heyday. But it’s time has come and gone. “original” in this instance means nothing is up to current building codes and you are about to find yourself drowning in debt.

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3. Lakefront property!

Or any mention of water that doesn’t have a hefty price tag. Afterall, living on the beach ain’t cheap!

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4. Lot’s of extras!

This means you get to haul off the old owners junk. You could leave the moth eaten sofa in the garage for “entertaining” but only if you are current on all vaccines. Including hepatitis.

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5. Fix ‘er upp ‘er. Or even “Handy mans dream”!

This house used to be a meth lab. Walk away! Just turn around and walk away!

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Now, I realize that not everyone can afford to purchase the home of their dreams. But hopefully, this list will help you navigate through the flowery and cut to the meat of the ad.

Happy house hunting!

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