Craigslist Housing Ads Decoded

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Craigslist the last few days, engaging in real estate porn, dreaming of a bigger kitchen and a wee bit more space. We aren’t ready to move just yet (and we might have to stay in our current place if we can’t find something in our current neighborhood because we love our current neighborhood) but I figure it doesn’t hurt to start looking.

I’ve noticed though that sometimes you need to read the Craigslist ads very carefully and watch for keywords, words like:

“Cute”= small

“Bungalow”= small

“Charming”= small and old

“Great neighborhood!” (but doesn’t say which side of town)= one nice block amidst many sketchy blocks

“You have to see to believe”= I don’t have digital camera and/or am too lazy to post pictures

“Multiple cats okay! We love kitties!”= current tenants have cats, hope you don’t mind the smell of pre-existing cat piss

“Close to everything” (but no location given)= Everything is a relative concept. We are all close to everything.

My favorite (by which I mean the exact opposite, of course) are the ads that don’t list location, rental rate or size of the place. That is code for “I don’t really understand how Craigslist works and I’d love for you to waste your time calling me to find out that the place is not at all what you are looking for”. 

I did find an ad today for a house that is perfect (on paper) for the Monkey family. We have a showing on Wednesday. I’ll be sacrificing a goat to the housing gods on Tuesday and/or just keeping my fingers crossed real hard.

2 thoughts on “Craigslist Housing Ads Decoded

  1. Mads says:

    I had the same problem looking for apartments on Craigslist. I always start by filtering out results without pictures. If you can’t post a picture, I’m not wasting my time with your ad. That’s a personal policy.

    Good luck with the house!!!

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