Can anybody really believe we are more than a year into this pandemic, and things seem worse than ever before? With another lockdown in effect, schools and restaurants closed yet again, and vaccines rolling out at a glacial pace things seem grim, real grim. Like Armie Hammer’s current career grim.
There have been many daily rituals that have kept me going over the past year, one of which is making sure I laugh out loud a few times a day. I’m definitely indiscriminate when it comes to comedy. High brow or low brow, Mel Brooks or Albert Brooks, the eloquent Stephen Colbert or some dude taking a ball square in the crotch. If it makes me laugh it’s all good.
With that in mind, I wanted to write a blog that is light hearted and doesn’t require heavy rumination. I want to put in layman’s terms the sneaky code words us shifty real estate agents love to use. I want to break down and expose these flowery terms for what they really are. So without further ado…
Condo alternative / cute as a button. “This cute as a button home offers condo alternative living without the fees!” Translation: This house is small AF, like teeny tiny shoebox tiny. Smaller than Verne Troyer’s casket (God rest his Mini me soul). If you buy this house you will outgrow it and regret your puchase within a year. Guaranteed.
Transit at your door. “Urban living at its finest with transit at your door!” Translation: This house is located on a busy ass street, with a bus route, bicycle lanes, a shady dive bar right across the street and an on ramp to the DVP. Think O’Connor Dr in perpetual rush hour mayhem, and go get those ear plugs.
Loved by the same family for over 50 years. “On the market for the first time ever, this charming home has been loved by the same family for over 50 years!.” Translation: This home is an untouched time capsule to the 70’s. This home is a museum. Grandma and Grandpa got it on surrounded by wallpaper, blue carpets and antique brown kitchen cabinets.
Attention handymen and renovators. “Attention handymen and renovators, bring your imagination to this blank palette!” Translation: This house is the biggest dump you will ever see. It smells like piss and stale beer and needs a gut renovation and likely more. The water and power are turned off, and it was smoked in for 50 years.
Speak to LA (listing agent) re parking. “House shows like a 10, speak to LA re parking before making an offer!” Translation: This house has no legal OR usable parking. In the first case it means there is a front pad space that isn’t legally recognized by the city (and could be revoked at any time), and in the latter case it means there is a parking space but it’s at the back of a mutual drive that’s so narrow a motorcycle can barely fit down it.
Funky, up and coming location. “Funky, up and coming location offers unbeatable value!” Translation: This neighbourhood is still sketchy and scary AF, and that’s why it’s cheap. Funky = not yet gentrified and still crime ridden. Think Regent Park of 15 years ago crossed with the future town from Back To the Future 2. Single ladies need not apply.
Boutique building. “Rarely available unit for sale in sought after boutique building!” Translation: Unit for sale in a SMALL building without a concierge or any amenities to speak of. The real estate agent dusted off their dictionary and is using the word boutique to jazz up a mediocre offering and goose the price further.
Motivated Seller. “Any offer will be considered, motivated seller!” Translation: In this current market if you are a motivated seller something has gone horribly wrong. Either the enterprising Uber driver and part time discount realtor botched the sale, or the house is overpriced even in the hottest sellers’ market ever. The words “motivated seller” is tantamount to throwing chum in shark infested waters.
Seasonal Lake Views. “This serene oasis in the city offers seasonal lake views. Translation: In the dead of winter, when every single tree is bare and every soul is crushed, if you stand on your tippy toes on a ladder with a pair of binoculars you might see a sliver of the frozen and barren lake.
Long term tenants willing to stay. “Long term AAA+ tenants willing to stay!” Translation: If you are a potential buyer of a house and you see this head for the hills. Long term = rents way below fair market value = tenants who will fight you tooth in nail to leave = a year plus struggle in our current backed up system. Nuff said.
That’s all for now. Stay safe and healthy everybody, brighter days are certainly ahead.