No hablo Estate Agent

March 13, 2014
Estate agents are wily little chaffinches aren’t they? Wafting in with a cloud of freshly baked bread whiff about their person, mystifying us with their ‘laid to lawn’, ‘link-detatched’ and ‘modern living’ chat. Isn’t all living modern living by definition? WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Photo from here

I like estate agents, honestly I do. I’m an enthusiastic linguist, so deciphering house details is like a little game where the prize is discovering that the house I love actually isn’t built on a roundabout or doesn’t have a body under the patio (it’s a game I never lose).  But now we’ve started our house hunt for real, it’s a bit bloody exhausting to keep having to translate to whittle it down to something that we want to look at. 
It’s taken me a while to build up my almanac of estate agent translations but I think I’m getting there, thought it might help you too: 
Exudes a cosy charm means old and tiny. Possibly smelly.
For sea peeps read: you’re going to need to dislocate your neck and/or face to see the sea from this house. Maybe squint too. And think really hard about the sea whilst tapping your heels together.
Cleverly landscaped – if you’re looking for greenery, jog on.
‘Handy’ downstairs bathroom – want a wee in the night? Ha!
Rural locations can only be accessed via a dirt track riding a pogo stick and cross referencing six different maps and a sat nav.
Boasts outside tap means that you’re going to be paying a lot of money for a tap and not much else. Run. Like. The. Wind.
Go for a central location and you’ll never open your windows again.

If you see has been a much loved family home for our clients for XX years shield your eyes, it’s going to hurt. You may also find a chalk outline on the kitchen floor.
Internal viewing recommended or we really couldn’t find the words for this monstrosity. P.s. wear your bullet proofs; the area is dodgy as hell.
My all time favourite is in need of modernisationwhich pretty much means call in Kevin McCloud and get a divorce solicitor on speed dial, sh*t is about to get real.

Feel free to get in touch if you need further translations, I’m almost fluent now.
I do love it when you get an honest, transparent, down to earth agent though. Like the one who suggested this week that that this ‘family home would benefit from a family living in it’. Can’t really argue with that. 

We’re off to look at one at lunchtime today which I’m pleased to say boasts none of the above…but we’ll see. 

Sigh. 
Book Review: Everything is Illuminated

The Real Live Column

I write a column too (I KNOW!) Here's one I liked writing: On slut shaming. Conclusion: not cool.