Estate agents, bless them, have their own special way with words. And, as if spiralling house prices aren't enough to sink all hope in prospective first-time buyers, they also have to navigate the thorny double-speak of the profession's property descriptions.
We've all been there - beside ourselves with excitement about our carefully curated, must-see list of properties that have filled our waking - and sleeping - moments for days, only to stand outside said property and feel the earth give way beneath our feet. Disappointed!
Want more property stories? READ: 5 important reasons why buying a house makes more financial sense than renting
Anyone who's been searching for their dream home through months of frustrated viewings will have learned to fine-tune their reading-between-the-lines skills to Enigma code-breaking levels. But if you're new to the game, we hope our little estate-agent translations may help get you started:
Estate agents say: Some original features are retained
Estate agents mean: But most have been stolen
Estate agents say: Gas cooker point, space for fridge-freezer
Estate agents mean: No cooker. Or fridge-freezer
Estate agents say: Requires some TLC
Estate agents mean: But only from the electrician, plumber, carpenter, builder, decorator, carpet fitter, roofer and local planning officer
Estate agents say: Part refurbished
They mean: ...but then the money ran out
Estate agents say: Wood-effect units
They mean: It is impossible to say what these units are made of
Estate agents say: Easy access to local shops, public transport and motorway links
They mean: Wear ear plugs at all times
Estate agents say: Transport links can be sourced locally
They mean: Good luck finding them
Estate agents say: Dining room with open access to the kitchen
They mean: Kitchen-diner
Estate agents say: Utility room comprising light and power
They mean: And little else
Estate agents say: Active town centre
They mean: My, the locals do enjoy their ale
Estate agents say: Double glazed and centrally heated (where specified)
They mean: No double glazing. Or central heating
Estate agents say: Realistically priced
They mean: Astronomically expensive
Estate agents say: Feature electric fire
They mean: You might want to cover this up when you have visitors
Estate agents say: Mostly laid to lawn
They mean: Rubble and shopping trolleys also feature
Estate agents say: Low-maintenance garden
They mean: Concrete
Estate agents say: French doors allowing natural light to flood in
They mean: No curtains
Estate agents say: Enclosed rear garden, which is not overlooked
They mean: This house is on wasteland
Estate agents say: Gated access to street
They mean: It's for your own protection
Estate agents say: Deceptively spacious
They mean: Small
Estate agents say: Excellent opportunity/offering superb value/attractively priced
They mean: For pity's sake, help us out. This thing's been on our books for months
Happy house hunting!
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Jennifer is the Deputy Editor (Digital) for Homes & Gardens online. Prior to her current position, she completed various short courses a KLC Design School, and wrote across sister brands Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes, Country Homes & Interiors, and Style at Home.
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