I have a house that I need to rent out but it's old and completely run-down.
The house will be demolished in a year or two when the owner is ready to develop the land.

What buzz words or phrases can I use that describe something old/bad/derelict but in a positive light? I don't want to lie but I don't want to advertise it as a s#!t hole either, haha.

Things like "A house with character"

closed as primarily opinion-based by Matt E. Эллен Feb 4 '15 at 13:39

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    "Not in an active volcano zone" might be viewed as a positive. – Sven Yargs Feb 4 '15 at 4:20
  • 3
    "Beats camping on the freeway"; "Would appeal to mycologists"; "Conveniently located near multiple street corners". – Erik Kowal Feb 4 '15 at 6:01
  • "Fixer-upper" is, as far as I know, the standard. It covers a wide range of sins, from basically sound but needing a complete remodeling, to something best served by demolition. – WhatRoughBeast Feb 4 '15 at 20:48
  • Unfortunately, "fixer-upper" has almost no appeal to a renter. If the advertisement were for a buyer, you might say "Perfectly sound, usable lot for sale; included structure should come down easily." – Sven Yargs Feb 5 '15 at 3:17

It's not small and rundown- it's a compact charmer.

It's not in a bad neighborhood- it's in interesting surroundings.

It's not old and out of style- it's a vintage structure with period appeal.

It doesn't have inadequate electrical power and bad pipes- it has preserved traditional features.

It doesn't have inadequate security- it has an inviting presence.

It doesn't have leaky windows and doors- it has an airy and open feel.

It doesn't have a dirt front yard with a car up on blocks- it has low-maintenance landscaping.

There are probably more, but maybe that will get you started.

  • It ain't infested with fleas, it's pet friendly. The roof doesn't leak, it's includes some utilities. It's not lead paint, it's a sweet paint job. It's not no heat, it's energy efficient. It's not a deathtrap, It's offers life-altering experiences. It's not a lie, when someone believes it. – ben rudgers Feb 4 '15 at 12:28

Still standing is a half-full glass truth.


If the house were on sale you could use the following sugar-coated expressions:

  • With the right tender love and care this charming [year] home will spring back to life.

  • Now this is a home with lots of potential.

  • A house that allows you the freedom and creativity to do anything you want.

But the property needs to be rented, so I would emphasize the aspects which might sway someone to live there. The cheap rent; the facilities nearby, e.g train station, schools, hospitals, parks; the number of bedrooms; the low rent; the vicinity to the city centre; the friendly neighbourhood; the affordable rent; a spotless home in need of a few repairs; the ridiculously low rent...

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.