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Helpful Abbreviations and Their Meanings When Looking for a Home

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There are lots of abbreviations that you may come across when looking for a home or reading an ad about a specific house, but here is a list of some that you may not know:


4B/2B -- four bedrooms and two bathrooms. "Bedroom" usually means a sleeping area with a window and a closet, but the definition varies in different places. A "full bathroom" is a room with a toilet, a sink and a bathtub. A "three-quarter bathroom" has a toilet, a sink and a shower. A "half bathroom" or powder room has only a toilet and a sink.


assum. fin. -- assumable financing


closing costs -- the entire package of miscellaneous expenses paid by the buyer and the seller when the real estate deal closes. These costs include the brokerage commission, mortgage-related fees, escrow or attorney's settlement charges, transfer taxes, recording fees, title insurance and so on. Closing costs are generally paid through escrow.


CMA -- comparative market analysis or competitive market analysis. A CMA is a report that shows prices of homes that are comparable to a subject home and that were recently sold, are currently on the market or were on the market, but not sold within the listing period.


contingency -- a provision of an agreement that keeps the agreement from being fully legally binding until a certain condition is met. One example is a buyer's contractual right to obtain a professional home inspection before purchasing the home.


dk – deck

expansion pot'l -- expansion potential mean that there's extra space on the lot or the possibility of adding a room or even an upper level, subject to local zoning restrictions.


fab pentrm -- fabulous pentroom, a room on top (but under the roof) that has great views


FDR -- formal dining room


fixture -- anything of value that is permanently attached to or a part of real property. (Real estate is legally called "real property," while movables are called "personal property.") Examples of fixtures include installed wall-to-wall carpeting, light fixtures, window coverings, landscaping and so on. Fixtures are a frequent subject of buyer and seller disputes. When in doubt, get it in writing.


frplc, fplc, FP -- fireplace


gar -- garage (garden is usually abbreviated as "gard.")


grmet kit -- gourmet kitchen


HDW, HWF, Hdwd -- hardwood floors


hi ceils -- high ceilings


in-law potential
-- potential for a separate apartment, subject to local zoning restrictions

large E-2 plan -- this is one of several floor plans available in a specific building


listing -- an agreement between a real estate broker and a home owner that allows the broker to market and arrange for the sale of the owner's home. The word "listing" is also used to refer to the for-sale home itself. A home being sold by the owner without a real estate agent isn't a "listing."


lo dues -- low homeowner's association dues. Be sure to find out how "low" the dues are compared to other dues in the area.


lock box -- locked key-holding device affixed to a for-sale home so real estate professionals can gain entry into the home after obtaining permission from the listing agent


lsd pkg. -- leased parking area. May come with additional cost.


MLS -- Multiple Listing Service. An MLS is an organization that collects, compiles and distributes information about homes listed for sale by its members, who are real estate brokers. Membership isn't open to the general public, although selected MLS data may be sold to real estate listings Web sites. MLS's are local or regional. There is no MLS covering the whole country.


pot'l – potential

pvt -- private


pwdr rm -- half bathroom or powder room


REALTOR® -- a real estate broker or sales associate who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Like me!  :) *NOTE: Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. 


title insurance -- an insurance policy that protects a lender's or owner's interest in real property from assorted types of unexpected or fraudulent claims of ownership. It's customary for the buyer to pay for the lender's title insurance policy.


upr -- upper floor


vw, vu, vws, vus -- view(s)


I hope these are helpful to you! If there are any others that you would like to ask about, please contact me at jlyne@ebby.com !

 


Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Small_HolidayHouse

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion. 

I'm lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.

 

Prioritize

The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.

 

Safety

Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

 

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow. 
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

 

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house. 

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.

 

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?