computer keyboard with buttons relating to an online estate agent

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Most Americans Struggle With Real Estate Terminology

June 1, 2022

Watch the jargon you use in real estate. Many Americans are confused by terminology common in the industry, from “mortgage rates” to “down payments,” a new study shows.

More than 56% of respondents flunked a quiz of common homebuying terms, including those two, a survey conducted by MoneyWise of 1,116 people shows. Younger generations—mostly first-time home buyers—struggled the most. For example, less than a quarter of Gen Z respondents, who are in their early 20s, could pass a quiz on common homebuying terms. Only baby boomers, who may have more real estate experience, typically passed the real estate quiz.

Check out the chart below to see how well each generation performed on the real estate terminology quiz.

A chart of real estate terms and their usage rates.

Overall, understanding mortgage rates seems to be the most difficult concept for all generations, followed by the concept of interest.

Friends and close family are the most common source of gaining homebuying knowledge, the survey finds. Real estate experts and online articles also were said to be helpful. Gen Z respondents—the youngest age segment active in real estate—tend to tune in to social platforms for their real estate knowledge. For example, 30% of Gen Zers say they learned about home buying on Reddit and nearly one in four learned about it from TikTok.

Survey results about homebuyers' real estate knowledge.


How Much Do Americans Know About Buying a Home?” MoneyWise (April 28, 2022)