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Understanding Real Estate Terms and Lingo, Part 1

If you’re not familiar with the world of real estate, the terminology may seem like another language—but it’s not too late to learn! Find out what your real estate agent means when they say things like “FDR” because they definitely don’t mean Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Real Estate Terms and Lingo

5B/3B – When you see this on a listing or in an email from your real estate agent, they’re talking about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. In this case, there would be five bedrooms (most commonly defined by law as a room with a window and closet) and three full bathrooms. A full bathroom means there is a toilet, sink and shower or tub. A half bathroom (or half bath) is a powder room with only a toilet and sink.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage – This is a type of real estate loan in which the interest rate varies over time based on a prescribed formula or set of conditions. Sometimes called a variable rate mortgage, the ARM usually changes with the economy.

Assum. Fin. – This is an abbreviation for “assumable financing,” also known as an “assumable mortgage.” What this means is that the outstanding mortgage and terms on the home can be assumed (or taken over) by the new buyer.

Closing costs – These are costs and expenses that are paid by the buyer and seller when the real estate deal closes, including things such as brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney’s settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance, and more. Closing costs are usually paid through escrow.

CMA – The comparative market analysis (or competitive market analysis) is a report that shows the prices of comparable homes in the area that were recently sold, are currently on the market, or were on the market but didn’t sell. This is often used to help appraise the home.

Contingency – When there is a contingency on an agreement, it means that it isn’t legally binding until a certain condition is met. For example, an agreement could be contingent upon the buyer’s right to having a professional home inspection before purchasing.

Dk – This is an abbreviation for “deck.”

Expansion pot’l – This is an abbreviation that means the home has expansion potential—there could be extra space on the lot or the ability to add another level. This will always be subject to zoning and regulations.

FDR – When you see “FDR” on a listing or in an agent’s email, it means the home has a formal dining room. That means there is a space or room, not a part of the kitchen, specifically designed for a dining room table and other pieces.

Fixture – This is one of the tricky real estate terms because it is constantly in dispute by the buyer and seller. A fixture is anything that is permanently attached or part of the real property. “Real property” is legally defined as real estate, while “personal property” is anything that can be moved. Some examples of fixtures include wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, landscaping, window coverings, etc. Whenever there is doubt about what is considered a fixture in the home, be sure to get it in writing.

Frplc, fplc, FP – These are abbreviations for “fireplace.”

Gar – This is an abbreviation for “garage.” If the abbreviation is preceded by a number—2 gar, 1 gar, etc.—it indicates the number of car spaces available.

Grmet kit – This abbreviation means the home has a gourmet kitchen. This often means there will be high-end appliances, top products (such as granite countertops, pull-out cabinets, etc.) and a spacious feel.

HDW, HWF, hdwd – This means there is hardwood flooring in the home. Often, the listing will indicate which rooms have hardwood flooring.

Hi ceils – This is an abbreviation for “high ceilings.”

Those real estate terms and definitions should give you a good start when it comes to understanding your real estate agent and the listings they send to you. If you’re searching for the right real estate agent in Rockville and the surrounding areas, contact Coakley Realty today!

Check out real estate terms & lingo, part 2 »