After a decade of searching for and dwelling in dozens of Boston apartments, I consider myself a master of the vocabulary used in Craigslist apartment postings. Below, some of my favorite words, terms and phrases used in postings from Charlestown to Cambridge to Jamaica Plain. Of course, my personal interpretations and definitions of said terms follow.
Penthouse! – Chances are that this place is probably more Flowers in the Attic than Pretty Woman. You certainly won’t be enjoying your penthouse on August 4th when it’s 104 degrees outside and 125 inside your rooftop apartment that used to be a crawl space.
Garden Level – The only garden here is the one you may look out on through your barred windows. If you don’t like rats, then you probably won’t like this basement apartment. Bring your sump pump!
“NYC Style Loft”- They’re preying on the kid that moved to the city with big dreams and a backpack. Maybe this apt. seeker saw Three Men and a Baby a few too many times when they were little and “NYC Loft” brings them right back to watching Tom Selleck awkwardly change a baby. If this loft came up in your price range (and I’m assuming you can’t afford a real NYC style loft – whatever that means) there’s a good chance it’s in a land far-far away from downtown Boston.
“Artist Loft” – This loft is different from the uptown NYC loft above. The term “Artist Loft” evokes more of a bohemian feel, read: better for a workspace than a living one!
Cozy – Code word for small. Very small.
EIK! –Don’t bother bringing your dining room table! You’ll be enjoying meals on your couch.
South End right near Mass Ave! – Roxbury.
Students Welcome! – This place has to be disgusting. If they’re straight up asking students to live there I can’t even imagine what this Brighton/Allston undergraduate beer den even looks like.
Airport views – More like “airport sounds”. If you can actually see the airport from your apartment, chances are you’re going to be waking up to 747s landing on your head for the next year.
Murphy Bed – What is this Who Framed Roger Rabbit? I thought these beds in the wall were just something in movies, not in Navy Yard apartments going for $24oo a month. Imagine someone pulling that thing out of the wall after a hot date? That thing has got to be a one-night stand deal breaker.
Also, look out for key words and phrases like “charming,” “classic” and “Victorian.” These words may seem innocent enough, but they’re simply masking the cold hard facts – old, never renovated, and did I say old?