July 22, 2012

Translating Realtardese to English as She is Spoken

Movoto’s blog has some pictures today that illustrate the disconnect between listing copy and what the house actually looks like.  They’ve encouraged other blogs to share it so here it is.

Agent Speak 101

Are there any phrasings you’ve noticed particular to Bay Area homes?  The first one we’ve noticed right away, having moved here from somewhere else.  And almost everywhere else this expression does not mean what they think it means.

The others are just part of the pleasure of living in the RBA, like paying more for the same groceries.

Some RBA Realtardese

Lingo What you think it means What it actually means
Huge Yard 120722-lingo-hugeyard-md

Acres and acres of space


There IS a yard.  At least a yard wide.

Close to

Three blocks from the bus


Close to freeway.  Real close.



Best part of town



Convenient to emergency psych ward

Now it’s your turn!  If you can provide pictures as well, we’ll add them into your comments for you.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:28 am

16 Responses to “Translating Realtardese to English as She is Spoken”

  1. Crissa Says:

    Morning Sun or Evening Sun or ‘Great for Morning Person’ etc – a large building or hill blocks all sunlight except for one time of day. But finding… Hmm.

  2. mabledu Says:

    i also moved here from somewhere else… in my current neighborhood, anything over 5000′ is called a HUGE YARD. we have different understandings of what that word huge means. the word origin must go way back in time to men explaining size discrepancies.

    another gems –
    grand entrance or grand room – so small you only need to spend a grand
    gourmet kitchen – personnally, i don’t eat kitchens so i don’t know what one would taste like
    designer paint – names like Wind Swept or Stormy Dusk instead of grey, or Big Sur Dawn instead of golden yellow
    pet friendly – stains & smells already waiting for you

  3. SEA Says:

    Actual listing copy: “Now is the time to buy”
    What it means: Pharmaceutical Opportunity.

  4. SEA Says:

    By the way, that Movoto blog is entertaining. In one entry, David Cross writes, “You’re Making Your Landlord Rich” the methodology is:
    “For Math Enthusiasts Only

    To complete the cost analysis, we compared the average monthly mortgage cost and associated taxes of a 3-bedroom, single-family residence to the average monthly cost of renting an apartment.”

    This can loosely be translated to “just trust us, since you’re not a math enthusiast.” There is a hint toward the “automatic price increase,” since Cross included, “The analysis only compared the current cost of renting to the current monthly cost of buying and does not include the benefit of avoiding future rent increases or gaining property appreciation over the ownership period.”

    All Cross had to suggest was, “The pride of ownership is worth it, no matter how much the cost.”

  5. Swan Says:

    “Kitchen awaiting buyer’s own ideas.”


  6. SEA Says:

    “Kitchen awaiting buyer’s own ideas.”

    Really means: place is complete with a console television.

  7. nomadic Says:

    “Kitchen awaiting buyer’s own ideas.”

    As long as your idea includes gutting it. That floor is something else!

  8. PK Says:

    Bay Area Home Buying Thesaurus!

    Unique Architecture – A Ranch
    Classical Styling – A Ranch
    Postmodern – A Ranch
    Stylish Facade – A Ranch
    Large House – 1,400+ Square Foot Ranch

  9. mabledu Says:

    pk wins the prize. brilliant!

  10. Name Says:

    Sorry for this off-topic question.

    Does anyone know of a Bay Area (town) *individual* income percentile or distribution data / calculator?

  11. Divasm Says:

    “Close to shopping” = Forget being able to park in front of your house during Christmas season.

  12. Sunny(vale) Kim Says:

    “House with a character” = No renovation, no update, no maintenance in last 50 years.

    “TLC” = Need a fat checkbook

    “Quiet/peaceful neighborhood” = You won’t know your neighbor in next five years, other than saying “hi” on driveway once a month. It’s suburb after all.

    No mention of neighborhood = You don’t want to know your neighbors.

  13. PK Says:

    #10 What town? If it’s one of the big targets like PA or something I can probably calculate it for you – but I don’t know how useful it would be (retirees, renters, etc.).

  14. nomadic Says:

    Following Sunnyvale Kim’s lead…

    “Fixer” = would be condemned in 38 states

  15. Crissa Says:

    You can download some of that from the 2010 Census, Name.

  16. AstroWallaby Says:

    “Bonus Room” = converted garage
    “Mother-in-law unit” = converted garage
    “Possible Rental” = converted garage
    “Do Not Disturb Tenants” = converted garage, attic, crawl space and shed.

    And of course don’t forget:

    “(Any mention of permits)” = freaking illegal

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