In case you want to win in the real estate category on Jeopardy or boost your real estate IQ, this post is for you. Here are five real estate words that
will definitely might make you sound smart. Enjoy and find a way to use them soon.
Superadequacy is basically a synonym for “overimprovement”. It’s when a property is overimproved and the cost exceeds the value it adds to the property. Examples of superadequacy would be an 8-bedroom house in a 3-bedroom neighborhood, an air conditioning unit in Antarctica or a $50,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 neighborhood.
Example: It’s nice that Lola’s McMansion gives shade to all the neighbors, but it’s still a superadequacy.
2. Functional Obsolescence:
Functional obsolescence is “a reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed” (from Investopedia). In real estate, we see functional obsolescence when there is a feature of a house that is not useful to buyers for one reason or another. It may have been acceptable at some point in the past, but is now outdated, or it may simply be odd and less appealing. Examples include having to walk through a bedroom to get to another bedroom, having no dishwasher or laundry hook-ups, having a giant indoor spa that takes up half the master bedroom, having no bathrooms on the first floor or only having one bathroom in a 4-bedroom house.
Example: The property on Main Street sold for less because of functional obsolescence. Buyers just didn’t like only having a sink in the master bedroom instead of a full bathroom like all the other houses.
Fenestration is the design and placement of windows (and other openings) in a building. Most of us probably observe fenestration all the time by saying things like, “ooh, I love that big bay window off the front dining area” or “I like the house for the most part, but the windows make it look like a space ship.”
Example: Ginger loved the house, but wasn’t so sure about the fenestration. Would future buyers really buy a house with parallelogram-shaped windows next to a circular entry door?
Bifurcation is a word to indicate something is split into parts. When it comes to the housing market, we’d say the market is bifurcated because there are different segments of the market. We see this clearly when there is a price difference between traditional sales, short sales and foreclosures. In this case the market would be bifurcated because the market is split into distressed sales vs. non-distressed sales.
Example: Johnny knew the market was bifurcated, so he hoped to buy a bank-owned fixer for less so he could “move up” into a more expensive neighborhood.
5. Easement Appurtenant
An easement appartenant is an easement which is annexed to the ownership of one parcel of land that allows one party the use of his or her neighbor’s land and which runs with the land when the title is transferred to another party (from RealEstateWords). The best example is one neighbor driving over another neighbor’s land to get to his lot.
Example: Everyone says I’m a nice guy for letting my neighbor use my driveway to get to his house, but it’s really just the easement appurtenant.
6. Parcel Mullet (Bonus Word)
This word probably won’t make you sound smart, but since we’re talking about real estate words, it’s worthy of mention. My friend Heather Ostrom and I invented this one. A parcel mullet refers to the phenomenon of having a well manicured short lawn in the front yard, but a wild long yard in the back. Or in laymen’s terms, business lawn in front, party lawn in the back. If you didn’t know, the mullet is a hairstyle that is short at the front and sides, and long in the back (Wikipedia). Read more on the parcel mullet here.
Example: Bobby felt strangely proud of his parcel mullet being three feet high.
I hope you enjoyed the post. If you want some practice using these words, I’d love to see you slip one of them in a comment below.