The insider’s guide to real estate lingo


Today’s online real estate listings are much more sophisticated than years gone by. house property

There are plenty of pretty pictures, floor plans and even walk-through videos designed to attract oodles of potential buyers.

But just because there are more visuals than there used to be, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the words that go with the listing are any more insightful.

Real estate lingo has always been difficult to understand because agents generally adopt unique terminologies to help “promote” their listings.

So, how does the average buyer or investor, decipher their words from reality?

Why use this insider’s guide to real estate lingo of course!


Quirky can often mean bad — that is, a “would-be” renovator or interior decorator was the previous owner and they liked things their way so you have dark cupboards masquerading as bedrooms and feature walls festooned with pink flamingos.


Let’s fact is, cosy can mean tiny or minuscule or you can’t even swing a kitten in it.


Ditto above, but imagine a property or rooms that are even smaller than that.


The previous owner LOVED orange and that’s why every room (even the loo) is painted their favourite colour.

Potential study or second bedroom

While there is legislation to prevent misleading advertising, sometimes a potential study or second bedroom is actually just the broom cupboard trying to be something else (and failing!)


‘Must-see’ is one of the most overused terms in real estate, because you’ve often seen most of the property via the online listing — that is, unless the agent is trying to create some excitement by only featuring the exterior of the property in the listing … which rarely works as a marketing tool, by the way.

Sunny  apartment-2094699_1920

In some states of Australia, sunny is not necessarily a good thing — in fact, the cooler the better during our regular summer heatwaves.


Classic often means it’s weatherboard, fibro, really old or perhaps is filled with asbestos.

Classic Australian 

This can sometimes reflect the fact that the property is old, fibro has asbestos and an out-of-order outside loo too.

Renovator’s delight 

Renovator’s delight means all the above, but you’ll need to replace 98% of the stumps and take out a second mortgage to cover the refurbishment.


When a property is character-filled, it can mean that the previous owner was an amateur “artist” so each room has been painted with different exotic native animal motifs.

Funky garden house

While funky is still generally cool, when it is used to describe real estate you’re probably going to find shag-pile carpet, a conversation pit and paisley wallpaper throughout.


A courtyard can mean different things to different people, but generally, it means an outdoor “space” of indeterminate size or quality.


The 1940s post-war property is mostly in original condition but the kitchen taps were updated in the 1990s so that could be classed as being more modern, I guess.

The bottom line … property purchase home

While this article is meant to be humorous, it’s important that investors do their due diligence on every property that they’re interested in.

This includes using the listing as the first port-of-call, regardless of the flowery language that may be used, and then attending an open home or inspection to continue their research.

There are many steps to successful property investment, and even more important than choosing the right property is choosing the right location — and area with the potential to outperform market averages.

Even if you end up buying a quirky must-see property that’s a renovator’s delight, you can still make money if you look past any marketing gimmicks and stick to sound investment fundamentals.


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