Saturday, May 01, 2010

The golden age of ethical real estate

Although New Zealand real estate firms are not generally as professional as their overseas counterparts there are some excellent practitioners in our main centres who endeavour to ascertain buyers' requirements and do not waste their time with properties outside the given guide-lines.
It has not always been like that and for a period in the mid sixties the Auckland real estate world could be likened to the wild west with some quite appallingly unethical firms and their gangster salesmen roaming the commercial scene.
The profession has its own language and it might be useful for me to interpret some of the more commonly used phrases for the property newcomer.

A 'good long term investment' is really a property that is a poor investment with adverse characteristics that cannot be removed in the foreseeable future. Dodge these unless you are intending to live forever.

The 'residence of a gentleman' usually a dilapidated, large inner city fire risk being encroached upon by commercial development. The expression is particularly favoured by some of the older established Wellington agencies whose principals may well recall when gentlemen once existed, although to my knowledge none have been sighted north of Christchurch since the First World War.

'This most valuable property' is the description of last resort and is commonly applied to property being auctioned. Such properties have absolutely no redeeming features and the phrase is used when the agent is entirely bereft of anything else to say.

If one had the task of advertising a sackful of toe-nail clippings then about all one could possibly say is 'a most valuable sack of toe-nail clippings.'

A 'holding re-development proposition' is four slum cottages occupied by the Black Power gang and zoned industrial.

A 'prestigious holding' is a property near Woolworths and a 'tidy little investment' will be something small and nasty with a dubious income.

Bob Jones in Smither, Elizabeth, and David Hill.
The Seventies Connection.
Dunedin: McIndoe, 1980; pp23-24


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