The language of real estate


The book, “Ethnologue: Languages of the World,” says there are 7,097 known living languages in the world. Do you think that includes the language of real estate? If it doesn’t, it should.

Real estate has a language all its own, and if you’re planning to buy a home, it’s crucial that you become familiar with the lingo. Instead, of words, the real estate vocabulary consists of a series of acronyms and abbreviations -- an alphabet soup that isn’t all that easy to digest. The language harkens to the day when houses were advertised in the classifieds and in listing books, and words were at a premium. The tradition has stuck in space-limited Multiple Listing Service ads.


Saratoga charmer: 4/2 SPLT with CENT H/A, CW/CD, FPGAS and FROG. MEIK has new REF, G-RNG, D/W and MCW. FNCD YD with INGRD PL. 1,967 SQFT. No HOA.


In real estate language, that translates to:

Saratoga charmer: 4 bedroom, 2 bath split-level home with central heat and air, washer and dryer, a gas fireplace and finished room over the garage. The modern eat-in kitchen has a new refrigerator, gas range, dishwasher and microwave. Fenced yard with in-ground pool. 1,967 square feet. No homeowners association.

It doesn’t get any easier when it comes time to execute the purchase contract. POF? Proof of funds. PMI? Private mortgage insurance. CLTV? Combined loan to value.

It’s tough enough buying a house without having to decipher a new language. That’s where your Realtor comes into play. If you’re looking for a home in Saratoga County, Warren County or anywhere in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy metro area, please contact me at so that I can help you through the ABCs of real estate.