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Watch Out! Listing Red Flags in the Hub

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Welcome back to Curbed University! We guarantee it to be the most non-boring expert advice you have ever gotten about buying and renting a home in the Hub (not a guarantee). Additional questions as well as topic suggestions welcomed through the ever-trusty tipline.

O.K., more about buying in the Hub (we've covered myriad aspects so far, from how much home you can afford (no, really, how much) to short sales to broker commissions. Now, we're going to look at listings.

Most condo and single-family home listings you encounter will be pretty straightforward. There will be details about the square footage; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms; a few adjectives and adverbs about what a wonderful place it is; maybe even a little history (“Joseph P. Kennedy ran gin out of the basement in 1929,” that sort of thing). You may, though, encounter some acronyms and other collections of letters that leave you scratching your head.

Here is some of the most common brokerbabble:

EIK: eat-in kitchen
FROG: family room over the garage—extra space!
HWF or HW: hardwood floors
SF or s/f: square feet or foot
SS: stainless steel (as in any kitchen appliance)
Vu: view(s)
WBFP: wood-burning fireplace
W/D: washer/dryer
WIC: walk-in closet

And, of course, here are translations of some phrases and words you might already be familiar with:

As-is: the place needs repairs and the seller is not going to pay for them before the deal closes (or afterward, for that matter)
Bank-owned: the place has gone through some kind of foreclosure process and the lender behind the last mortgage now owns it
Chef’s kitchen: gorgeously apportioned kitchen (see also: Galley kitchen)
Cozy: small—double-check the square footage!
Galley kitchen: either a long hallway-type kitchen or a tiny kitchen
Handyman’s delight: needs work
In need of TLC: see above
Turnkey: what you see, including the furniture and the operating lava lamp, is what you buy
Walking distance: w/in two miles of something (even in the winter!)
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