Learning Center Article

Article: How to Talk Like a Real Estate Pro

Spacious, sprawling ranch, exuding unaffected charm, 3 BR, den, 1 ½ bath, tucked away in a secluded, park-like setting. Great starter home. Hurry! This one won't last!Ah, yes! I see you're ready to buy your first home. Been reading the real estate section again, haven't you?

Gone out to look at any of these homes yet? No? Well, for starters, let's warn you up front - real estate advertising is ... well, let's just say it's a language all to itself. Take, for example, the ad above. Sounds like a great deal, doesn't it? It certainly would be if you didn't have to translate it.

Here, let me show you! Below is a real estate -ese to English translation of that ad:


This means about average size (It's a little bigger than that apartment you had when you could sit on one end of your living room and change the channel on the television - at the other end of the living room - with your big toe.)

Sprawling ranch

It means whoever created this floor plan had no idea what the meaning of "plan" was. Look at it this way: You'll finally be able to complete those 10,000 steps every health expert recommends.

Unaffected charm

You'll need to invest in either a new paint job or new vinyl siding.

Secluded setting

You can probably guess this one: It's far, far away from everything you hold dear to you.

Park-like setting

This means (if you're lucky) there is one tree on the entire block.

Great starter home

Shorthand for you either better be handy with a hammer and have a large credit card limit at a home-improvement store, or your brother better be a general contractor.

Hurry! This one won't last

Literally, hurry. Because the real estate agent wants to sell it before it collapses.

Though this is an extreme, and obviously tongue-in-cheek example of the language of real estate, the business does have a jargon all its own. Jumping in to buy that first home can be quite an intimidating event. Even seasoned veterans can stumble on some of the terms.

A home-buying experience is no time to trust that old proverb "ignorance is bliss." More often than not ignorance translates into the potential loss of literally thousands of dollars! Not understanding your options when it comes to the types of mortgages available to you, for example, can be the difference between paying $650 a month or $416. In just one year that's a potential savings of nearly $2,800. Now multiply that during the life-span of a 30-year mortgage.

3 Easy Ways to Ensure your Dream House Doesn't Turn into a Nightmare on Elm Street


First, give yourself the gift of time. Immerse yourself in the fundamentals of buying and selling a home. Start going to open house before you are fully ready to commit. Don't worry about wasting the agent's time - he's going to be there anyway! Consider it an investment in your real estate education.


Meanwhile, arm yourself with information. In no other area is the proverb "knowledge is (buying) power" so true. Search out all the available printed and internet sources you have the time to digest. Yes, yes. This can be truly time consuming. But if you find the right sites, a lot of the legwork will be done for you. For example, the web site provides you with up-to-date news sources. It's a veritable one-stop learning experience. It's just the type of site that you will want to visit over and over again, as you learn and stay current with the trends in real estate. In it you'll not only keep current with the latest mortgage rates, as well as tips to help make your home-buying experience a more enjoyable one. And, you'll learn what shape the real estate markets are nationwide. Planning on moving cross country. Not to worry! With www.a-real-estate-guide.com as your guide, you'll know instantly what to expect to pay and where's the best place to shop. It's a veritable wealth of real estate information.


Don't trust anyone but yourself to look after your own best interest. Don't misunderstand this statement. We're not saying that real estate agents or mortgage brokers are unscrupulous or even intentionally out to misinform you. But each has a job to do: sell. The mortgage broker makes money when you take out a loan. The real estate agent makes money when he sells you a house. While they want you to be a happy, satisfied customer, they are also see you as a potential sale. Your job as a buyer is to try to save yourself as much money as possible. Don't be swayed by their arguments. Don't "settle" for a house you really aren't happy with. Question the broker about a better rate, a lower payment.

While all of this may sound like a lot of work, you'll discover that searching for that dream house can be quite an enjoyable journey. Once you're comfortable with the language and have such trustworthy and informative web sites such as To guide you, you'll discover it isn't necessarily a chore. And while the "forces that be" may want to persuade you to buy a home larger than you like or even in an area you don't care for, you'll soon feel comfortable adhering to your agenda and your needs in your first home.

Happy House Hunting! (It really can be fun!)

About the Author: Jeff Little, www.a-real-estate-guide.com, Real estate buyer and investor.

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