I’ve been looking to buy a home in Toronto for quite a while now.

So I consider myself a bit of an expert in having your dreams dashed and second-guessing your career choices.

It’s been a tough road.

On the plus side, I am far less naïve than I was when first I went to an open house and mortgage calculated.

For instance, I now know what a mortgage is. I also now know I can’t afford a mortgage.

I’ve come to understand that a "listing price" is, in fact, just a series of numbers carefully assembled to seduce me. (The sale price is typically a longer series of numbers.)

And lastly, I’ve come to understand that a "listing" is, in fact, just a series of words carefully assembled to seduce me. (Relying on a real estate listing to accurately describe a home is like relying on Trump’s doctor to accurately report on his health. Or like trying to date online.)

The following 10 translations should help you to understand a real estate listing — without being hooked by the hyperbole. These are the greatest, most educational tips ever published. So pay attention.

When a listing says ...

1. Expansive Views

Translation: There is nothing for miles around. Consider this if you are someone who sometimes needs things ... like milk.

2. European Finishings

Translation: This is far too general a descriptor to be noteworthy. IKEA furniture is, by definition, a European finishing. I once used a public washroom in Vilnius, Lithuania that, technically, had European finishings.

3. Nature Lover's Paradise

Translation: They have a raccoon problem.

4. Pride Of Ownership

Translation: Our pride of ownership is less than it would be if we could sell this house and buy a better one.

5. Superior Craftsmanship

Translation: Superior to what? Everything is superior to something. The craftsmanship in our house is superior to the craftsmanship in our doghouse, but I’m not sure I’d brag about that. (Also, our dog’s house has European finishings).

6. Spa-Like Bath

Translation: Resist the urge to feel soothed and comforted by this claim. Nobody will be massaging you in this spa-like bath. Your husband is going to barge in unannounced to this spa-like bath. The only thing that truly makes this bath spa-like is how expensive-like it is.

7. Airy And Sun-Filled

Translation: The house is poorly insulated.

8. Nanny's Suite

Translation: This room is too ugly to be a den and too small to accommodate a member of the family. You’ll need to pay someone to live in it.

9. Too Many Upgrades To Mention

Translation: Really! How many upgrades could there possibly be, such that you can’t list them in a list created for that very purpose. How about mentioning one of the upgrades, and then coyly writing "To Be Continued …?" Or mention the only part of the house that has not been upgraded. Seriously, I have too many problems with this ridiculous claim to mention.

10. Ideal Family Home

Translation: The house is big enough that you can ignore your kids.