'with a little tlc this home....' vs 'needs updating'

JamieJune 7, 2011

I have learned that "chef's kitchen" means there is an island. That is helpful info. It gives you some idea about the kitchen.

What is the difference between "needs updating" and "with a little TLC".

Is it a matter of degree, with one expression indicating a worse condition?

Does TLC mean systems are broken, and updating mean the cabinets are are out of style? Pink or green tiled bathroom?

Which would decode to "copper plumbing corroded and due to be replaced with pvc"?

Which would decode to "needs 200 AMP panel and rewiring"?

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In our area of the country, "A little TLC" means a ton of crap to fix and repair.

"Needs updating" means things are functional and livable, but may not be up to current tastes.

"Chef's kitchen" can mean a variety of things in listings, including commercial grade appliances and stainless steel counters. Actual professional chefs, and those who use their kitchens on a regular basis for cooking and not "entertaining", hate islands because they are usually incredibly inefficient.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:00AM
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I agree with badgergrrl. "TLC" means there are things that aren't working properly. Or flooring that is in great disrepair. ANd I would also throw in that the kitchens and baths are probably in need of something between super-scrubbing and dynamite.

"Updating" means things work, but aren't current. I would think this means original kitchens and baths in a 1960s - 1990s home, and possibly wallpaper, panelling, vinyl flooring and carpet that needs to be removed.

As far as plumbing and electrical go . . . it sounds like you're looking at homes more than 50 years old. In my area it is seldom mentioned in the listing that the electrical/plumbing needs to be updated, but it WILL be mentioned if it HAS been updated.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:19AM
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All all depends on the mood and personality of the agent entering the wording description.
I am amazed by some of the creative descriptions.
Think of the phrase a picture is worth...

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 10:23AM
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Agreed on those fixes, if they've been updated in old houses, people will say.
I wouldn't mention the electrical or the plumbing issues. People who buy old houses either are familiar with those types of things, or they learn REALLY fast. ;) Unless the wiring is unsafe, then you may want to say "includes allowance" and let the buyers deal with it. (NOTHING in old houses is ever straight forward, and if you offer to fix it before the sale, lord knows what kind of can of worms you'd open up.)

Even then, I wouldn't mention that in the listing, put it in the hand out that they get once they've walked through and fallen in love with the place.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 11:04AM
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If you haven't noticed by now, in the USA, a seller of any product can say just about anything they want about whatever they are selling. It isn't like there is a federal law defining what "Needs a little TLC" really means.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 12:55PM
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That's true. But figured there was a realtor mind at work, a way of thinking about the condition of homes and using words to describe them that realtors share and with which I am unfamiliar. Sort of like French.

One realtor in my area did tell me that an island meant you could say "chef's kitchen", so I figured there was some kind of code for the other terms.

For example, I know what a "character" house is, and how they only say "formal dining room" when there's an actual separate room. Sometimes decoding is easier than others.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 1:18PM
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Realtors have their own bizarre command of language - and most of it's completely wrong and fluffed to get eyeballs. I once saw a house listed as "Craftsman-Bungalow-Tudor-Prairie-Colonial-Cottage Style" Well, unless it's the biggest hodge-podge of a house, it can't possible be all of those. (It wasn't, it was just a nice early 30s Tudor - the realtor was either ignorant or trying to up the search hits, making them look ignorant anyway.)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:51PM
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I would worry more about getting good quality photos. 90% of people search for homes online these days, and the pix catch their eye more than the description. Also, make sure there's pictures of every room. If you don't show the kitchen or one of the bathrooms, folks assume it's for a reason, and not a good one. I'd rather see a 70s disaster bath that just needs some paint and new fixtures than wonder how bad it really is.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 2:53PM
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Real Estate speak varies from place to place. There is no way to know what a particular agent means by a phrase. They are simply writing a description in the best way they know how.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 4:53PM
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Due to the topic, I misread badgergrrl's last sentence. I thought she said she'd put the TLC wording on the handout the buyer gets after he's walked in and *fallen through*. lol ("Money Pit" memories.)

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 5:38PM
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"I have learned that "chef's kitchen" means there is an island. "

Not here!
Your effort to decode will have to include regional differences. Here that means commercial appliances, NOT an island.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2011 at 6:13PM
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