Real Estate Listings - A Short Guide to Lingo and Acronyms

Real estate ads are usually
full of acronyms and terms that are unfamiliar to first-time buyers. Here's a
cheat sheet to let you in on the lingo.

4B/2B: four bedrooms
and two bathrooms

assum fin: assumable

bedroom: usually a
sleeping area with a window and a closet, but the definition varies in different

bathroom: There are
three types of bathrooms: a full bathroom is a room with a toilet, a sink
and a bathtub; a three-quarter bathroom has a toilet, a sink and a
shower; a half bathroom or powder room has only a toilet and a

closing costs: the
entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when
the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission;
mortgage-related fees; escrow or attorney's settlement charges; transfer taxes;
recording fees; title insurance and so on. Closing costs are generally paid
through escrow.

CMA: comparative market
analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA is a report that shows prices of
homes that are comparable to a subject home and that were recently sold, are
currently on the market or were on the market but did not sell within the
listing period.

contingency: a
provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally
binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer's contractual
right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.

dk: deck

expansion pot'l:
expansion potential means that there's extra space on the lot or the possibility
of adding a room or even an upper level, subject to local zoning

fab pentrm: fabulous
pentroom, a room on top (but under the roof) that has great views

FDR: formal dining

fixture: anything of
value that is permanently attached to or a part of real property. Fixtures
include installed wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings,
landscaping and so on. Fixtures are a frequent subject of buyer and seller
disputes. When in doubt about who will have ownership of fixtures, get it in

frplc, fplc, FP:

gar: garage

gard: garden

grmet kit: gourmet

HDW, HWF, Hdwd:
hardwood floors

hi ceils: high

in-law potential:
potential for a separate apartment, subject to local zoning restrictions

FHA: Referring to financing; Federal Housing Administration  

FHA, FHW: Heating...forced hot air, forced hot water

large E-2 plan: one of
several floor plans available in a specific building

listing: an agreement
between a real estate agent and a home owner that allows the agent to market and
arrange for the sale of the owner's home. The word " listing" is also used to
refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real
estate agent isn't a " listing," it’s called a FSBO (for sale by owner).

lo dues: low
homeowner's association dues. Do your research to find out just how " low" the
dues actually are compared to other dues in the area.

lock box: locked
key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can
gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent

lsd pkg: leased parking
area; it may come with additional cost

MLS: Multiple Listing
Service. An MLS is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes
information about homes listed for sale by its members, who are real estate
agents. Membership isn't open to the general public, although selected MLS data
may be sold to real estate listings Web sites. MLSs are local or regional. There
is no MLS covering the whole country.

nr bst schls: near the
best schools

property: movables
, such as appliances and furniture

pot'l: potential

pvt: private

pwdr rm: half bathroom
or powder room

real property: real
estate is legally called “real property”

title insurance: an
insurance policy that protects a lender's or owner's interest in real property
from assorted types of unexpected or fraudulent claims of ownership. It's
customary for the buyer to pay for the lender's title insurance policy.

upr: upper floor

vw, vu, vws, vus:

I am sure we are missing a us if you find one you don't know. We will be happy to let you know and add it to our list!