Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Real Estate Red Flags

Popular real estate website, Zillow named Tampa its hottest housing market across the country for 2022.

“The housing market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down this year,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowner’s insurance agency.

With competitive listings, agents pull out the stops with attractive idioms when describing their dwellings to get buyers interested. Real estate agents utilize terms that sound appealing, but should raise a red flag.

“One way to do this is by finding euphemisms to throw the most flattering light onto a home-and sometimes obscure a home’s flaws,” explains real estate website,

The following are some common real estate listing terms and their translations to help you become a discerning shopper.

  • Good bones or Tons of potential – These phrases imply the place will need a lot of work
  • Investor friendly or Bring Your Contractor – Similar to the previous phrases, prepare for a mess, meaning renovations that could range from cosmetic to total teardown.
  • Charming or Tons of character- This is often code for “old” and it would be in your best interest to check the plumbing and appliances.
  • Custom, Unique or Artistic– Count on this home having a very specific style and set of features, it could also just be weird.
  • As is or Cash Only- These terms can often come up on foreclosed homes. It translates to the home is in bad condition and the owners cannot afford renovations. It will also remove your negotiating power.

“Keep in mind, Florida foreclosures are a judicial proceeding and could take a year or more to complete,” reports Buck with GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s leading independent homeowner’s insurance agency.

  • Up and coming neighborhood, Trendy or Hip-You are expecting to see cool shops and cafes around the corner but you discover that is a future forecast for the area. A good idea would be to check the local crime statistics.
  • Cozy- This term is positive and will make you feel all warm inside, but it means very small.
  • Natural Landscaping-Get ready to see no landscaping. It is most likely a yard jungle.
  • Secluded, Private, Retreat, Quiet- The house will probably have a long commute to work and the grocery store.
  • Convenient to Shopping- This home is located on a busy street or high traffic area.
  • Well-Maintained-Well-maintained sounds like a compliment but according to, Wired magazine, “It usually means the home is old but not quite falling down.”

Contact GreatFlorida Insurance, if you are looking for homeowner’s insurance. Get a quote as soon as your contract is signed.  We can help you finalize the details well in advance of your closing date.
Ellsworth Buck
Since 2003, Ellsworth has served as Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, a network of independent, franchised insurance agents located throughout Florida. During his tenure he has helped the franchise grow to more than 100 independent locations state wide. He is a 20+ year veteran of the Florida Insurance industry and is a graduate West Virginia University, earning his M.B.A in 1984. He lives with his wife in Stuart, Florida. For more information visit:

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