Real Estate Abbreviations

Do you know this abbreviation?

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BASEMENT: Don’t let this abbreviation get you down. Whether finished or not, a BSMT gives you extra indoor space for entertaining, storage, or hobbies. Your W/D may also live here (see below).

How about this one?

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CATHEDRAL CEILINGS: Taller than HI CEIL (High Ceilings), cathedral ceilings may or may not feature C-FANs (Ceiling Fans). High, vaulted, and cathedral ceilings offer additional vertical space, which may often open up living space to the second floor or allow for bigger VUS (see below).

This is a tough one.

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ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE: Not related to home descriptions, per se, this is still a good abbreviation to know. When compared to FRMs (Fixed Rate Mortgages), ARMs could direct your home purchase. The world of mortgage and finance abbreviations deserves a quiz of its own!

Believe it or not, you want one of these in your home.

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FRONT ROOM OVER GARAGE: This is one FROG you’ll want in your home! These are extra spaces that can be used as bonus rooms, play rooms, offices, home gyms, or studios. Especially if the home you’re looking at doesn’t have a BSMT, it’s good to know there’s a FROG.

Not what you think it is.

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FORMAL DINING ROOM: Before you get excited about the disembodied ghost of America’s longest serving president haunting your dream home, take a breath. In real estate lingo, FDR is a formal dining room.

Don’t worry—this one’s safe for work!

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NATURAL STONE FIREPLACE: In the internet age, it’s easy for buyers to see this abbreviation and confuse it with NSFW (Not Safe for Work). But don't worry. There's nothing weird in the basement—at least, not based on this abbreviation.

We were awed by this one, too! (And not in a good way.)

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VIEW: One of the most important features in buyers’ home search in Western North Carolina, this is also one of the least attractive abbreviations. (At least, we think so.) “View(s)” has also been abbreviated VW, VUS, and VWS.

Was this abbreviation even necessary?

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LOFT: You really save space by dropping that “O”! But it also raises some confusion. “Did they mean ‘left’? Or ‘lift’? OMG—does this home have an elevator with a British accent?” Nope. But a loft is pretty cool, too, right?

This abbreviation is all washed up.

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WASHER AND DRYER: You may recognize this abbreviation from Craigslist ads or previous apartment searches. It’s great to know what appliances come with a home, including D/W (Dishwashers), DSP (Garbage Disposals), REF (Refrigerators), and TRC (Trash Compactors).