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Phrases to look out for in real estate ads

Phrases to look out for in real estate ads

You will never come across a real estate listing that mentions the negative aspects of a property. For example, you won’t see a listing mentioning that a house has small rooms. After all, sellers and their agents are primarily focused on selling the property. As such, sellers accentuate the positives of home and aim to paint a good picture of the property. With this in mind, it is important to pay attention to the phrases and adjectives that are used in a property listing. That being said, if you are looking to buy a home and are reading a lot of listings here are some phrases to look out for in real estate ads.

Handyman special

Firstly, a property that is described as ‘handyman special’ could require anything from minor to more substantial repairs. Handyman special covers a host of issues from paintwork, landscaping, plumbing and other issues. Generally, when a handyman special property does not include a full set of pictures then that is cause for concern. It is therefore important to approach handyman listed properties with great caution.

Vibrant neighbourhood

Another phrase often used in property listings is ‘vibrant neighbourhood’. While the term sounds impressive, it could also be used to mean that there is a lot of activity in the area. From extensive foot traffic to bus stops in close proximity, all these can be camouflaged under the term vibrant neighbourhood. It is best to visit these homes at all hours of the days to assess the noise and activity in the area.

Developing a neighbourhood

The adjective developing neighbourhood can allude to the fact that the property is in an underdeveloped area. This could mean that there aren’t sufficient services and amenities in the area. In addition, it could signify that construction projects of various natures will be coming to the area. While there might not be any construction currently taking place in the area, it can commence at any time.

Quiet neighbourhood

You are probably wondering, what is wrong with a quiet neighbourhood? Well, quiet is a relative term that applies to people differently. Approach listings described as quiet with caution as they could not be as quiet as claimed. Take the time to visit an area described as quiet to assess if the noise levels are to your liking.

Good neighbourhood

Simply describing a neighbourhood as being good doesn’t give the buyer much information about the property. It is essential to give potential buyers as much information as possible in the listing. Therefore, expressions such as ‘good neighbourhood’ are too vague and should not be taken at face value. Similar to ‘quiet neighbourhood’, this phrase is subjective and could mean different things to different people.


There is usually a great misconception over descriptions that include the adjective updated. Most buyers often consider updated to refer to modern upgrades of the property. However, sellers often use the phrase to describe some form of upgrades that have been made over time. In some instances, a seller may use the term to indicate that new appliances have been added to the kitchen.


When you come across a property listed as ‘dramatic’ then you need to worry. In real estate the expression if often used to mean that the property is quite different and usually unlike anything you would have imagined. This is not always a good thing.


Teddy Chibanguza

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