When one commences the home shopping process, one is forced to quickly become acquainted with the subtle, linguistic nuances of Realtor-speak (a near vernacular sibling to Orwellian Newspeak), lest one find one’s self forced to politely smile and nod as a maniacally ecstatic agent effervesces about how the seller’s extensive doily collection adds a certain Victorian chic to the water-stained ceilings and rotting sub-floor – a certain je ne sais pas. You may not know, but I certainly do, and such language isn’t fit for use by this composition or a lady.
In Realtor-speak, euphemisms and understatements are the guiding beacons. Thus, “nice home for the money” reads parenthetically, “(so long as you don’t drop more than some spare change).” “Easy access to the airport” translates as, “Runway only takes up half the living room.” “See it before it’s gone!” whispers as an afterthought, “because the termites have already eaten half.” “Loads of potential!” translates as, “Loads of manure (would be a more prudent investment)!” “Cute” reads, “You might be able to fit your entire thigh in here.” “Own cheaper than rent” implies, “although a box would be preferable and more economical.” “Small yard with minimal upkeep for today’s busy lifestyle” means, “You will see more of your neighbors than is legal in most of the continental forty-eight states.” “Bring your ideas” adds, “and a blowtorch.” “Cozy bungalow” translates as, “I hope you like the smell of your husband’s armpit, because that’s where your head will be stowed to fit within these two hundred square feet of despair.” “Situated in a quiet, shady location” forewarns, “pack lots of mace.” “Fixer upper?” No, my friend, that is a “burner downer.”
Some houses even manage to defy the laws of physics, as several have been declared as “close to everything!” Either the realtor is astronomically optimistic about the property’s future potential to bi-locate, or someone had better alert NASA. After perusing the hoards of perky verbiage describing piles of drab domestic dumps, it was most refreshing to find a listing that was, at best, brutally honest. Mr. Nihilistic Realtor relates that the six-hundred square feet of house need more rehab than a Columbian drug lord, and that expansion is prohibited due to the impracticalities of fitting an entire house on two square feet of land. The exterior makeup of the house is described as “asbestos/asphalt.” Priced at well under the value of the property itself, the ad implores the buyer to “tear it down.” At least this realtor has the chutzpah to admit it.