Every once in a while we need to poke a little fun at ourselves and our industry. This is especially true in stressful world of New York City real estate. Agents often act as Copywriter, Editor, and Designer for their own advertisements, resulting in extremely creative descriptions and interesting new “buzz words” or “catch phrases” designed to catch the eye of a potential buyer or renter. Below is a glossary of terms and definitions poking some much needed fun at our industry's creative writers.
Original Floors: How did the real estate community fool us into thinking this is a good thing? Don't people want new floors? I mean, I love a good antique chair. I can even appreciate one of those wooden Pier 1 wash buckets purposefully designed to look weather worn and damaged. But my floors?! That's like driving a Rolls Royce on four bald tires on purpose!
Used in a sentence: “Honey! Did you see the floors? At first I thought they were sinking beneath my feet and might be dangerous, but the broker told me they were ORIGINAL! Let's stop asking questions and take it!”
Spacious Layout: Translation – Needs a few more walls. Many people make the mistake that this term refers to massive size of the apartment, but pay close attention to the full statement. The claim is not that the apartment is spacious. No. The layout is spacious. It is a subtle but important difference. Maybe the floorplan was printed on over-sized paper. The sister to “Spacious Layout” of course is “Open Layout”. They are basically the same except for the fact that the open layout is not spacious. It is just open. My 5'x5'x7' storage unit has an open layout by the way.
Used in a sentence: "I am not saying I won't consider it Bill, but the spacious layout of this 'loft studio' is somewhat interrupted by the tree-house ladder in the middle of the living room, wouldn't you agree?"
Private Bedrooms: As opposed to the public bedrooms you find at – you know – a brothel or urgent care clinic. You know real estate in New York City has gone off the rails when having a private bedroom becomes a selling point.
Used in a sentence: “This beautiful and airy four bedroom squat loft features all of the conveniences of a traditional four bedroom, minus the private bedrooms.”
Efficient: Well let's just take this one literally. Efficient means achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. Welcome home.
Used in a sentence: "It's a tough choice mom. At the end of the day I guess I just have to weigh the efficiency of a hot plate against the practicality of cooking dinner."
Winter Water View: Translation – there is an over-sized tree with a spacious layout right outside your window blocking your view of pretty much anything for eight months of the year. But, good news! When everything outside dies due to freezing rain and subzero wind chills, guess what – you'll have a sliver view of the East River peeking out from behind the abandoned shipyard!
Used in a sentence: "I would love to meet you for coffee Tom, but a) walking four avenues to the subway in a sub-zero wind chill takes a lot out of me, and b) I only have two months left to enjoy the fantastic winter water view from my bathroom! I'll catch up with you in April."
Bring Your Architect: When this gem is used in an ad, it is an indication that not only are the floors original, but the last owner passed on the opportunity to upgrade the kitchen.
Used in a sentence: “This place is so messed up, we don't think your imagination will be able to handle it. Bring your architect. In fact, have them bring their imagination too. You'll need all the help you can get!”
Stunning: It is amazing how many apartments in NYC are Stunning! When it comes to this term, think Taser. The sheer brilliance of the apartment delivers a strong electrical current to your body which disrupts voluntary control of muscles causing neuromuscular incapacitation until you are able to cope with how amazing the apartment is.
Used in a sentence: "The view of the exposed brick building across the street is stunning."
Upgraded (a.k.a. Updated): Not renovated… definitely not renovated. But not original either! It is somewhere in-between.
Used in a sentence: “My husband original