A Real Estate Annoyance or Six.

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I've started looking for a new place to live again, and I'm still infected with the notion that I could afford to buy a place. I'm sitting on a couple of things before I get together the financial part of the deal but for now I'm looking at places. The whole process annoys me as much as it stresses me out, which is a lot. Here are some reasons.

Are you sure that's "uptown"?

This is probably never going to die, and it's probably been there since well before Craigslist, but it's still really annoying. I search by neighbourhood a lot, because I know neighbourhoods (Chicago is, after all, a city of neighbourhoods, so I'm told), and I know which ones I'd like to live in and which ones are undesirable to me for one reason or another. Don't try to bait and switch me by labeling something further north than Foster and further west than California as "uptown". That's not uptown, that's the middle of nowhere and dangerously close to being nowhere at all. I'm not even sure which neighbourhood that would be, but it's not Uptown and actually not even within easy walking distance of Uptown's centre. That means it should not show up in my search for "uptown".


WTF does that even mean? It's a condo, it's for sale, it's listed in the "Real Estate - By Owner" category... can I pick it up for just two C-notes? Really? What're the assessments, like $10/mo? If you're not comfortable listing the actual price then don't list the property online and go through a broker or someone who's capable of that level of subtlety. Listing a property for less than a grand when it's obviously more is annoying at best and dishonest at worst. If you meant to put a "K" at the end of that but didn't, it still shouldn't be showing up in searches for sub-$150K real estate (not that that's what I was searching for).

For the love of God please proofread your posts!

This goes for anybody who's selling anything whether it be on eBay or on Craigslist or in a real-world forum like a newspaper's classified advertisements. Accuracy in writing reflects precision in thought, and no matter how intelligent you are it makes you look silly if you just toss off some quick copy without even glancing at it twice or—heaven forbid!—actually reading it aloud to yourself before submitting. I am not a grammar nazi by any means, and I forgive a lot of poor grammar and poor spelling in forums and comment sections because I know it's casual writing that's one-off and not really expected to be held up to any sort of standard. If you're selling something though, you need to hold my attention and describe the item you're selling in coherent enough writing that I feel confident handing money off to you in exchange for it. Otherwise it could've just been your cat jumping on the keyboard or something.


Unless what you're typing is an elaborate acronym for something or it's a single word you want to emphasize and you don't have access to italics or bold face font, don't capitalize it. Ever. This is a rule. All-caps text reaches the trifecta of being difficult to read, offensive to the eyes, and rude (in online forums, all-caps reads like yelling). If I load a page where the entire description is in all-caps, I just move on. There's no more reason to continue reading it than there is to try to piece together the ravings of a madman. Why bother?

Nobody cares what "market value" is.

I really couldn't care any less if a place is "$40K below market value!!1" because I'm the market in this case. If I purchase it at the price listed, that's the market value, 'cause that's the price it sold for in the market, of which I as a consumer am a component. Don't try to hustle me by making the implication that its value will somehow jump by five figures in the near future and you're just getting rid of it because you want to give the world a good deal.

So there's just a handful of things... and with writing them I have successfully procrastinated away the time I had set aside for looking for a new place today :D. Don't worry, space cadets, I'll be back at it later.