What Estate Agents Say & What They Really Mean

Whether you are looking to purchase your first property, are moving home or are looking to rent somewhere, estate agents are notorious for their use of descriptive language. Here we take a look at some of their most popular terms and what they really mean.

Easy access to the motorway


Think this means that you’re a short drive away from the motorway, making your morning commute so much quicker and easier? Think again. What it means is that the property is right next door to the motorway, and you’re going to have articulated lorries thundering just metres from your bedroom window twenty-four hours a day. If you’re thinking of buying this house, we suggest you invest in a lifetime supply of earplugs.

Ideal for first time buyers

First time buyers

A house that is keenly priced and perfect for someone just starting out on the property ladder? Think again. This phrase means the property is small, scruffy and situated in an area so rough, you’d be mad to leave the house after-dark. The agent interprets ‘first time buyer’ as ‘someone desperate to get on the property ladder and will buy anything’.

The flat is close to local amenities

Local kebab shop

A short walk from a local high street with an array of friendly local convenience shops, artisan bakers and shops selling organic produce? Sadly not. What it actually means is that the flat is above the chippie and smells heavily of grease. To make matters worse, it’s situated in the middle of a red light district with a nightly parade of hookers, drunks and druggies shouting and screaming throughout the night. Fine if you like fast women and fast food…

Situated in a highly sought after area

Hipster man drinking coffee

On the surface, this sounds like a good thing, and to some it probably is. What it means is that the local greasy spoon cafe now sells mochaccinos and organic white tea and you can’t move for shops selling antique junk for fortunes. The place is also full of hipsters who have stupid beards and thick-trimmed glasses. It also means that you’ll probably be paying £50K over the odds for the privilege of said ‘highly sought after area’.

Effective use of space

Tiny apartment

A small house or flat that has been cleverly designed to make the maximum use of the space available? Maybe. But, what it probably means is that it’s a bedsit that is actually quite small. And, we mean REALLY small. Did we mention the toilet is in the cupboard?

No onward chain

Ghostly apparition

The chain is one of the nightmares about purchasing a house. You’re all set to move in and then someone in the chain pulls out and the whole sale falls through. Nightmare! So, if the house you’re moving into has no onward chain, which must be a good thing, right? Yes, but what it also means is that the person who lived there probably died there and when you move in you’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a ghostly apparition looming over the bed.

Vibrant area

Street drugs

This gives off the impression that you’ll be living in an area of upmarket bars and restaurants with a buzzing street market selling vintage clothing and street food. What it really means is that you’ll be living in the arse-end of town with a vibrant collection of drunks and druggies for company.

Studio apartment

Tiny studio flat

A studio apartment is pretty much a posh name for a bedsit. If you want to be able to wash the dishes, watch TV and answer your front door all without getting up from the toilet, a studio apartment is for you.

Four bedrooms

Single bed

What this generally means is that the property is actually three-bedroomed with the addition of a cupboard that has just enough room for a bed in it.

Exposed rustic brickwork

Exposed Brick Work

That sounds nice doesn’t it? Exposed rustic brickwork conjures up images of a classic country cottage with beautiful features. What it probably means is that the entire place needs re-plastering and it’s going to cost you a fortune.

Internal viewing recommended

Dilapidated house

The property may well be stunning inside, but if an estate agent is recommending internal viewing, it almost certainly means that the outside of the property is in absolute disrepair and looks like it is in the middle of a warzone and has taken some heavy shelling.

And, things aren’t much better if you’re looking to rent somewhere…

No deposit with the first month rent-free

Slum of an apartment

Sounds like a great deal, doesn’t it? That’s going to save you some serious money! But, have you stopped to ask yourself why? The landlord must be completely desperate for a tenant, so that probably means that the property is an absolute hole that nobody else wants to live in. They’re banking on the fact that you’ll be greedy enough to take the first month’s free rent and then just be too lazy to actually move out.

Pets allowed


It can be really hard to find somewhere to rent if you have a pet, especially if you’ve got a cat or a dog. If you see a property that says that pets are allowed, it could mean you’ve found a landlord who loves animals. What it probably means though is that you’ve found a property that is such a dump that even the most destructive dog couldn’t make it worse and you’ll be living with a host of other animals if you move in, as it’s infested with pigeons and rats.

Would suit students

Girl about to be mugged

‘Suitable for students’ probably means you’re renting a room for the same price as you could rent a house in the nicer part of town. Generally the room will be damp and in disrepair and as the property is situated in a student area, which is generally high in crime, there’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll be mugged every time you leave the house.

The other tenants are very sociable

Loud neighbours

Looking for a room in a house share is always scary, as you don’t know how well you’ll get on with the other tenants. The phrase ‘the other tenants are very sociable’ can come as something of a welcome surprise, because, after all, you wouldn’t want to live with people who are miserable, would you? What this phrase often means, however, is that the other tenants are so sociable that they spend most of their time drinking all night and listening to very loud dance music that makes you slowly go mad.

So, next time you’re looking for somewhere to live, keep in mind that what estate agents say and what they really mean may not always be the same thing!