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Decoding home listings

If you are exploring real estate listings, pay attention to the format like "3/2.5/2," which typically stands for 3 bedrooms, 2 and a half bathrooms, and a 2-car garage. Also, consider the different living options such as condos, townhomes, or duplexes, as each offers unique advantages and constraints that could impact your lifestyle and financial responsibilities. Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] What we're gonna do in this video is just make sure we know what's going on when we are looking at listings of homes, and I'm going to do this on Redfin. There's other sites, like Zillow, and there's several others that people often use when they're looking for houses. So there's a lot of things going on here, and sometimes they show everything on a map. They show it on a list. But let's make sure we understand some of the terminology here. So what most people care about is the price, which is very clear here in each of these situations. For example, this house here is $269,000. If I were to click on it, I can actually see the listing, but there's some interesting things going on here. Obviously, it gives the address. We can look at it on a map. It says there's four bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths. What is 2 1/2 baths? I think most of us know what a whole bathroom is. Well, a half bath is a bathroom that does not have a shower and a bathtub. You couldn't take a shower or a bath in a half bath. It's usually a toilet and a sink. It's oftentimes called a powder room. So this house has essentially three bathrooms, but only two of them have a place where you can take a shower or a bath. They'll also give you the square footage, which is the size of the house, not the size of the entire property. If you want that, you wanna look up the actual lot size. Now, let me go back to the search. In most cases, when you do a search, especially at a citywide level, you're going to see a lot, a lot of things. It's almost overwhelming to see all of the different types of things. And so you're going to want to filter it in some way, shape, or form. And you could filter it by price. Let's say that your budget is $300,000, but obviously, you wouldn't mind spending a little bit less. Maybe you're skeptical of anything that's less than 175,000. You don't wanna spend any more than, maybe in a stretch, you'll go up to 350,000. So in this case, that has filtered down the number of houses that are of interest to us. Now we can look at the number of bedrooms. A studio is a place that doesn't have a separate bedroom from the living area, that, essentially, the den and the bedroom is all one big room. Oftentimes the kitchen is all in that one big room as well. One bedroom, obviously, that one bedroom is separated, et cetera, et cetera. Baths, we just talked about that. You can have half baths. So you can filter by that. Let's say you need at least 1 1/2 baths. You want to have at least two bedrooms, and obviously this is saying two or more, right over here. So the filter keeps happening. Now they say type of house. So what is the different type of home? What is the difference between all of these? Typically, when someone says a house, this is a standalone house. It doesn't have a shared wall with anyone else, or a shared ceiling or floor with anyone else. It's completely standalone. A townhouse usually means homes that have shared walls. So literally, you can't walk between them. They could have their own backyard. There might not be anyone above or below them, but they are next to each other. So they're a little bit more tightly packed. A condo, it usually refers to an apartment type structure where you can own each individual unit. And a condo or a townhouse, you're usually sharing in the expenses of the building as a whole. Land, well, that's just a piece of land that doesn't have something on it, or maybe it has a tear-down on it, so they're only charging you or saying, "Hey, this is only worth the land." Multifamily is when you could buy multiple housing units at once, so it might be a duplex where there's two homes that are connected to each other in some ways. It could be larger. Sometimes if you're looking to get into an investment, you might wanna get a three or four-unit property and maybe you rent those out as a source of income. And there's other types, mobile homes, and be careful with mobile homes 'cause you can buy the mobile home, but usually, you have to rent the land that it is sitting on, and that rent can oftentimes be pretty significant. A co-op is usually like a condo. It's usually an apartment-type structure, but they get to be a little bit more picky on who's allowed to buy into it, and they usually have a larger shared payment for things in the building, And they tend oftentimes to be a little bit fancy, but that's not always the case. So I'll leave you there. This is just get you a sense of like, hey, let's say I want a standalone house with at least two bedrooms, 1/2 bath, all of a sudden, and in this price range, all of a sudden, I have filtered it down a good bit. There's more to it in every website. Whether you're using Redfin or Zillow or anything else, it's a little bit different, but at least you're now getting a sense of how do you find properties and what these words actually mean.