Language decoder


Niki Tehranchi
by Niki Tehranchi

For the past year, I have been actively searching real estate listings in search of that perfect house. From websites to the LA Times Sunday edition, word of mouth to driving aimlessly in the sought after neighborhoods looking for Sale signs, conferring with endless supply of real estate agent friends and relatives, stopping by for an open house between doing groceries and pulling an all nighter working on that brief, I have done it all.

What I didn't realize was I should have learned a new language to decode the telltale terminology in some of those ads, before wasting time and gas money on those houses with supposed "old country charm and tropical paradise-like yard." For the real estate lexicon is as foreign to the vocabulary you and I would use, as aramaic would be to a Valley girl.

Real Estate Speak: Charming Cottage

Regular Speak: You can touch the kitchen sink with your big toe from the toilet stall you are sitting on, in the master bathroom.

Real Estate Speak: Lush, tropical paradise like grounds

Regular Speak: There is a lone statue of a giraffe in the middle of foliage that has not been landscaped since 1949.

Real Estate Speak: Old world feeling

Regular Speak: Get ready to replace the plumbing!

Real Estate Speak: Minutes to Beverly Hills

Regular Speak: Yeah. About 60 minutes.

Real Estate Speak: Partial view

Regular Speak: Twisting your neck 360 degrees a la Linda Blair in The Exorcist to catch a glimpse of unobstructed sky from the attic may result in permanent damage.

Real Estate Speak: The owner was almost done remodeling.

Regular Speak: What is that big hole in the roof?

Real Estate Speak: This is a bargain, at 300K reduced.

Regular Speak: Only because it was 500K over the neighborhood price to begin with!

Real Estate Speak: Room for a pool

Regular Speak: If by pool, you mean one of those plastic tubes that toddlers waddle in.

Real Estate Speak: Bank owned foreclosure is a great opportunity

Regular Speak: Especially with tens of thousands of unpaid back taxes and that family of vagrants growing weed in the backyard :)

And my favorite:

Real Estate Speak: Emotional house

Regular Speak: Does regurgitation classify as an "emotion"?


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more from Niki Tehranchi

Twin bedroom

by Anonymous77 (not verified) on

Space for a twins bunkbed.


How about Iranian Real Estate Agents?

by Anonymouse on

We know there are many of them out there.  Anything you've heard from them?  Like occazion-e. Couple more for me:

Real Estate Speak: Beautifully landscaped.

Regular Speak: Overgrown bushes and Azaleas.


Real Estate Speak: Remodeled kitchen.

Regular Speak: Mix and match appliances.


Real Estate Speak: Double sink bathroom (his and her sink).

Regular Speak: in the basement.

Niki Tehranchi

LoooL Thank you for your comments!!!

by Niki Tehranchi on

Real Estate Speak: First time on the market in fifty years!

Regular Speak: Are those graves in the backyard?


Real Estate Speak: Seller had to suddenly relocate

Regular Speak:  There is a chalk outline of a human body in the middle of living room


Real Estate Speak: Hurry up, don't lose out on this one time deal

Regular Speak: Reverse psychology

Honest Hassan

Or, when you ask your parents to find you a wife from back home.

by Honest Hassan on

What they say:

"Our son is very passionate"

What it means:

He has a temper.

"He was married to an American woman, but Americans don't understand us"

She had to take a restraining order against him, for him to finally leave her alone.

"He is a social drinker"

He has 2 DUI's.

"He has his own business"

He runs a 7-11.

"He is very manly looking"

Unibrow, bald, hairy.

"He does everything for his friends."

He has 4 roommates.

"He's very humble."

"He drives a 85 Dodge."

He's working on his Ph.D."

He just got his GED.

"He's good on computers, always researching the latest developments"

He's always surfing for porn.

"He's even been published"

 He's always on, making idiotic comments... :-)


(Thanks Niki for the inspiration!)


so true

by IRANdokht on

I loved the "old world feeling" s definition LOL

When I was selling my house, I took a look at the advertisement and fell in love with it myself!

It's an art to make something mediocre sound irresistable, kinda like the personal ads...




This is good

by Anonymouse on

Some more

Real Estate Speak: Must see inside.

Regular Speak: If you can live with problems outside.


Real Estate Speak: Immaculate inside.

Regular Speak: Something wrong ouside.


Real Estate Speak: Owner/Agent.

Regular Speak: Fixer upper.


Real Estate Speak: Quiet cul-de-sac.

Regular Speak: 2nd left, then 1st right, stay on left, go through yield sign, go over 4 speed bumps, 1st right, 5th house on right.


Real Estate Speak: Just off beltway for easy commute.

Regular Speak: Highway noise.