House hunting has brought out some interesting things that make me go "Hmm." For example, the people describing their listed home as a bungalow. I was pretty sure I knew what a bungalow was, but I went and looked around on the internet a bit to update my knowledge. The only thing I had wrong is that the bungalow terms I saw described them as one or one-and-a-half stories. Although I did see pictures that looked like they were two stories. Still, I had the general idea right. A long, sloping front roof, with a porch at the front of the house. Long lines. What today would be called an open floor plan. Built-in cabinets.
However, when I see somebody list their house as a bungalow, I'm pretty sure by now what I'll see, and it's not a bungalow. It's more akin to what I would describe as a cottage. No front porch. No long lines. No built-ins. Just a small square house. People also seem to have forgotten the description of Cape Cod, a cottage with an extra bedroom or two on the second floor. Even realtors are not immune to not knowing how to describe a house properly, and it's their job, for goodness' sake!
I'm also seeing a huge difference in prices asked for homes. For example, two condos are listed in the same condo development. One is an end unit, with a basement. One is a middle unit, with no basement. Same number of bedrooms and baths. Yet the one without a basement is asking $500 more to rent! The only guess Mr. BTEG and I have is that those whose asking price is high either did not put enough down initially, or took out an extra loan on their property. Still, when housing prices have dropped dramatically, it's difficult to ask someone else to make up for your shortfall, when there are lower priced homes that are about equal. Of course, this also belies the idea that a drop in house values automatically translates into lower prices for the renter. People who bought high, or did something else like I described, may still be trying to make up the difference on their homes. It doesn't mean they'll get it, but it's one less home out there to interest you.
Oh, and if your home is "just listed," your realtor really ought to have a picture up that doesn't show snow on the front lawn. That just screams, "We tried to sell the house earlier this year, and didn't get any takers." Which in turn smells of desperation.