Real Estate Industry Terms, Jargon, Code Words & A Chuckle or Two

Real Estate Industry Terms, Jargon, Code Words & A Chuckle or Two

  • Yvonne Summerfield, R(PB)
  • 04/1/20

The real estate industry has specialized terminology which may sound like code words in a particular communicative context & may not always be clearly understood. The below glossary is offered in jest along with a chuckle or two.  


ADDRESS - What a housewares.

BELOW MARKET - Nobody wants it.

BRIGHT & SUNNY - Window treatments missing; no blinds, shades, drapes, curtains, shutters, sheers, louvers or slats. No coverings whatsoever.

BUILD SWEAT EQUITY - Needs renovation from the studs up. See Good Bones.



CITY LIVING - Exterior doors have 3 deadbolts.

CLOSE TO BEACH - Impossible to park within 5 blocks.

COMFORTABLE - Extremely small.

COMPACT - No room larger than 9 x 6.

CONTEMPORARY FEELING - Has no woodwork, needs cleaning.

CONVENIENT TO SHOPPING - Next to strip mall.

CONVENIENT TO FREEWAY - Next to the on-ramp.

CONVENIENTLY LOCATED - Ear plugs required.

COUNTRY CHARM - No indoor plumbing. See Useful Outbuildings.

COUNTRY LIVING - Distances are measured in hours.

COZY - Too small for human habitation.

CUL-DE-SAC - Fancy dead-end living.

CUTE - Tiny.

DELIGHTFUL RURAL LOCATION - In flight path of nuclear bomber base.

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH - Upside of a rundown property.

DIRTY, UGLY, SMELLY - Dirty, ugly, smelly.

DOLLHOUSE ADORABLE - Nauseatingly cute.

EASY TO SHOW - All doors were removed.

EXTENSIVELY MODERNIZED - Former DIY owner had a breakdown under the strain.

EXTRA STORAGE - Three wall hooks.

FOR THE GARDENING ENTHUSIAST - Yard is a jungle. See Natural Landscaping.

FRESHLY PAINTED - Single coat of whatever discontinued color was on sale.

FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD - Infested with busybodies.

GOOD BONES - Needs renovation from the studs up.

INTIMATE - Smaller than charming.

HANDYMAN SPECIAL - Ready to collapse, don't go in without boots on.

HOME SICKNESS - Reoccurring feeling when mortgage is due.

HOMEOLOGY - The study of real estate.

INTIMATE - Smaller than cozy.

LIGHT OPEN SPACES - Many large holes in walls & ceiling.

LIVING ROOM - The place zombies are most attracted to.


LONG HALLWAYS – Home feature that truckers most prefer.

LOTS - What you need to know to excel at selling vacant land.


LOWER LEVEL GAME ROOM - Ping Pong table over basement sewer grate.

MINT - Mouthwash spilled on carpet.

MORTGAGE - Some dream to pay it off while others dream to get one. See Home Sickness.

MORTGAGE BROKER - A real estate broker without a sense of humor.

MOTIVATED SELLER - Been on market for 14 years.

MOVE-IN CONDITION - Front door missing.

MUCH SOUGHT AFTER - Has been on market twice before & still no one wants it.

NATURAL LANDSCAPING - Yard is a jungle.

NEEDS TLC - Major structural damage, code for fall through floor.

NICE CONDITION - Needs paint.

NOT A DRIVE BY - No curb appeal, look for a “Property Condemned” sign.

OFFERED “AS IS” - Money pit.

OLD WORLD CHARM - Has some woodwork, needs cleaning, has cobwebs.

OPEN FLOOR PLAN - Previous owner removed all supporting walls.

ORIGINAL OWNER - No upgrades since the year it was built.

OUTSTANDING - Painted bright purple, sticks out like a sore thumb.

PARTIAL CENTRAL HEATING - The room above the boiler gets warm in summer.

PLENTY OF PARKING – Stadium across the street.

POTENTIAL - Will cost more.

PRESTIGIOUS - Expensive.

PROPERTY - What a British real estate agent cares most about.

RARE OPPORTUNITY TO BUY - Nobody else wants it.

REALTOR - Someone in constant need of closure.

REPOSSESSED - How the haunted house escaped foreclosure.

SECLUDED - Far far away. See Country Living.

SECURITY SYSTEM - Neighbor has a dog.

SELLER MOTIVATED - Must sell prior to defaulting on mortgage.


SPRINKLERS BROKEN-ON - Constant source of irrigation. See Waterfront.

SUNKEN TUB – Floor not level.

SURVEYOR - King Arthur's knight who determined property boundaries.

TENANTS - How many insects it takes to make a rental profitable.

UNIQUE - Remodeled by someone tripping on LSD.

UNSPOILED - Previous owner made zero upgrades or improvements.


UNUSUAL LOCATION - Directly in path of proposed freeway.

UPDATED KITCHEN - Sink no longer overflows.

USEFUL OUTBUILDINGS - No inside toilet. See Country Charm.

WATERFRONT - Broken sprinkler in the front yard.

WATER VIEW - Need a ladder & binoculars.

WELL SITUATED - In full view of the neighbors.

Work With Yvonne

As Kauai’s top selling Realtor (most sold transactions), I am uniquely qualified to help you with your real estate needs on one of the most beautiful islands in the world. It is my privilege and goal to be of service to you, providing exceptional representation, with the highest levels of integrity and discretion. Homeowners have entrusted me to represent them in over half a billion dollars in real estate transactions. So whether buying or selling Kauai real estate, I am here to help you by providing you with outstanding service and outstanding results!