Friday, October 27, 2006

Real Estate Agent Rosetta Stone

POULSBO-(ESB) A dramatic development in the ongoing struggle to crack the cipher used by the Real Estate Industrial Complex (REIC), known as FLEECE (Freaking Liars Endangering Economic Certitude for Everyone), was achieved by the Poulsbo based Institute for Economic Reality.

After risking his life, health, and most of his Friday evening, Dr. Eleua von Bloviator discovered a translation algorithm that actually translates the raging torrent of Bravo-Sierra found on most MLS entries into plain-spoken English.

News of the discovery was released with this statement:

"The days of obfuscating and misdirection are numbered. Thanks to the hard work of those at the IER, everyday country bumpkins can understand just what in the world they are reading on the Multiple Listing Service. We certainly hope this serves to level the playing field for everyone involved in real estate transactions.

For those that continue to believe the extortionate effluvium that the REIC employs, we are working on a cure for stupidity. Either that, or move out of Seattle."

Dr. Eleua von Bloviator could not be reached for comment, but released a statement through his publicist.

"It's all insanely, overpriced crap! Don't these people know that the REIC and government are in cahoots to relieve them of all their money? Who is the PEAK IDIOT? What's the frequency, Ken? The Housing Bubble is just the sequel to the Equity Bubble, but this will make Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo look like a stroke of genius! New Coke, parachute pants, and WHAM! Hey! Don't steal my hubcaps! ARMs will adjust. What then, Carnack? The Refs wanted the Steelers to win. Area 51. Does anyone have any lithium?"

Mathematicians at the NSA are trying to decode Dr. E's comments.

The IER has released for publication, some of the more common phrases used by real estate agents in their FLEECE cipher. The list follows:

"return to normal" is REIC-speak for "we have no freaking clue what is happening, but we slap up this euphemism to keep the panic down to a dull roar. All we know is the salad days of 20% y/y appreciation, and bidding wars are over."

"passive security system" = bars on the windows

"vibrant neighborhood" = multi-linguistic ghetto

"peakaboo view" = in the dead of winter, during a 50 knot gale, you may, if conditions are perfect, be able to use a 500 power telescope from the upper windows in the laundry room, and be able to see more than 1/4 mile for half of a second.

"looking for an owner that will give plenty of TLC" = crack house.

"recent thorough renovation" = granite countertops with Made in China cabinets from Home Depot.

"quaint/charming" = smaller than a NYC studio apartment

"professionally decorated" = gay chic.

"blue ribbon schools" = we, along with 99.999999999999% of all sellers, believe our school district is the best in the state.

"exemplary schools" = our graduates can read their diploma

"won't last! HOT! HOT! HOT!" = recently relisted due to lack of activity over the past 6 months.

"professionally landscaped" = lawn service.

"natural setting" = house being overrun by vegetation.

"convenient walk to..." = can get to your destination with less than a gallon of gas. The walk refers to the distance to your garage.

"terrestrial view" = no view

"semi-private" = zero-lot-line zoning.

"classic architecture" = 70s style tri-level.

"two mile exercise loop outside the front door" = you can run on the county road that goes by your house. (serious! That was used on an Agate Pass home I almost bought)

"shows like a model" = the owners have vacated the house and are moving on.

"old world charm" = 95 year old woman, painted the house pink prior to WW2.

"good investment potential" = you wouldn't want to live here.

"highly desirable neighborhood" = characterless track home.

"priced for immediate sale" = we hope you don't lowball us.

"good highway access" = freeway noise will rattle the fillings out of your teeth.

"revived in-town location" = chalk outlines have been washed away.

"gourmet kitchen" = kitchen

"country setting" = you need a 4x4 to get from the paved road to the driveway (not recommended for pregnant women)

"peaceful and serene" = UPS won't even deliver here

"shop" = rotted-out 6x8 woodshed

"watch the eagles soar from the comfort of your Bainbridge dream home" = roof needs replacing

"eclectic" = owner's multiple do-it-yourself projects make the place look like Fred Sanford lives here.

"unlimited potential" = tremendous money pit

"active community" = neighborhood youth actively recycle (fence) anything they can see in your car, or through your window.

"Japanese garden" = ungroomed bamboo tree and ceramic frog.

"park-like setting" = clear-cut

"high quality construction" = at least one person on the job site speaks English. Builder's pending law suits have not yet bankrupted him.

"affordable fixer" = Has been neglected for 50 years, and you are the over ambitious sucker that we are looking for.

"seasonal pond" = mosquito breeding ground. Wetland that renders most of the property worthless and will be protected by a phalanx of overeager civil servants. Will be taxed at waterfront rates.