Three Little Words Every Buyer Should Loathe to Hear

The New York Times “Appraisal” column takes us on a tour of Manhattan apartments with the words “TLC” in their listings and

The New York Times “Appraisal” column takes us on a tour of Manhattan apartments with the words “TLC” in their listings and it reads more like a Dantean tour of the six circles of Manhattan real estate. 

The journey starts innocently enough with Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Madeline Williamson, who says, “TLC means that you love it as it is now and love it even more when you get it the way you want it.” Given that the worst the Brooklyn Heights townhouse (pictured) seems to suffer from is some truly garish green tiles, we feel ready to forgive her. 

Craig M. Dix, who recently sold a $9.5 million Upper East Side townhouse with a listing that mentioned TLC. Said Mr. Dix: ” ‘Cozy’ means minute. ‘Quiet’ means it’s in the back of the building. It’s just the language of the industry. TLC means a total gut job.”

We’re more inclined just to give him points for honesty. Finally The Times encounters Citi Habitats broker Karen Stone, who recently took a client to see a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper East Side listed as needing TLC. Ms. Stone and her client discovered that the apartment had no operating electricity and that the seller had removed all the appliances. Flashlights in hand, they found a renter who was living there in conditions so bad that they first mistook him for a squatter

Robbed of all innocence, The Times suggests we substitute “handyman’s special,” “needs renovation” or “Bring your shrink, your contractor and a bottle of Scotch.”

lkusisto@observer.com

Three Little Words Every Buyer Should Loathe to Hear