Advice and Opinion

Deciphering real estate catch phrases for first time buyers

by Francois Labuschagne, Product and Marketing Manager for Junk Mail

Any first time home buyer will tell you that aside from finance, there is nothing more daunting than sifting through all of the property advertisements to find the perfect place, especially when that sifting includes deciphering the words that advertisers and real estate agents use.

At Junk Mail, we see everything from cosy homes, to renovator’s dreams and everything in between.  But what does it all mean, and how can first time buyers decipher the words, to find the house of their dreams?

Here are some of the most frequently used real estate catch phrases that you should look out for that may make the search, a little less overwhelming.

For example, cosy starter homes, are normally very small houses, townhouses or apartments that will suit couples and/ or newlyweds that don’t have kids, or aren’t planning on having them for a couple of years.  It is probably a two bedroom, one and a half bathroom home.

Renovator’s dream, or properties needing some TLC, sometimes come with a smaller price tag to purchase, but may need additional investment.  These are ordinarily properties that need more than just a lick of paint.

Generous proportions will get you a big house, big garden and with it, a big price tag.  Worth taking a look if you have the means, and plans for lots of entertaining, and eventually a family.

Homes that are architecturally designed are normally found within luxury estates and would have been custom designed for the original owner.  It is important not to get lured by the design, but to take a practical approach to lifestyle, budget and suitability of the design.  Oh yes, and the price tag.

Aside from being aware of the more common real estate catch phrases, it is also important for first time home buyers, to be able to identify a potential property scam.

Be aware that it may be a property scam if:

  • you are unable to view the property, pending a court case

  • you need to pay a deposit without being able to view the property

  • there is no for sale (or even to let) sign in front of the property

  • you can’t get contact details of previous owners or renters