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You may want to head over and read Kevin's very interesting and well written post that was written a few days ago and didn't get any comments. It looks like he's fairly new to ActiveRain but has become a Rainmaker.
Introduce yourself and lets get him more involved in the ActiveRain Community.
Please be so kind as to leave comments on Kevin's post. I am going to disable comments here.
As an owner of a professional Highlands Ranch property management company in CO, I have seen many baffling, humorous, and even scary events unfold, but until recently, had never experienced a Twilight Zone moment.
For the younger people who have never heard of the Twilight Zone, it was a TV series that ran from 1959-1964. Hosted by Rod Serling, who smoked on camera each week, and had the steely disposition of a cornered badger, the show took seemingly normal events and gave them bizarre twists.The success of the series led to a movie, a radio series, a comic book, a magazine, and various spinoffs spanning five decades.
My Twilight Zone episode began with a phone call from one of my out-of-state investors. She told me her tenants had not paid rent in over two months, and she was wondering if I could go by the house and find out why. That's right...over two months with no rent. (I could rant about that bit of news for a bit, but that is probably left to another post.)
Since I had sold her the property a few years prior, I decided to take the high road and go take a look. Besides, she owned three properties, and I had been bugging her for months to pry open the wallet and pay for actual professional property management. But I digress.
Arriving at the house, nothing looked unusual. The front yard was well kept and mowed. No old newspapers littered the driveway. After knocking, I let myself in with the key. The house looked "normal" with all the usual furniture and trappings of suburban life. But as I walked into the kitchen, the hair on the back of my neck stood up, and I instinctively reached down for the trusty .45 riding on my hip.
The family's half-eaten breakfast littered the kitchen table, as if a hasty departure forced them to forsake their waffles. The refrigerator was full of food. I went upstairs and checked all the bedrooms, finding no people, but noticing all their clothes were still in the closet. The kids' jammies were still on the floor by their beds. Mom's nightgown was slung over the end of the bed in the master.
Fearing the worst, I knew I had to look in the basement next. As I crept down the stairs, I inhaled deeply, trying to see if I could pick up any scent that would indicate foul play. Nothing. Freshly cleaned laundry sat neatly folded and stacked on the counter near the washer. Bizarre. I slowly cleared the basement, and all the crawl spaces. Still nothing, thankfully.
Now what? I decided to do what every property manager dreads: make contact with the neighbors. So the nice lady next door told me that she had not noticed the mom and her three kids around the house much in the last week or so. She did say she saw "that man" come screeching into the driveway a few days ago. She said he burst into the house, and the neighbor could hear shouting. Not finding anybody in the house, he slammed the door and tore out of there like his hair was on fire. The neighbor said there was murder in his eyes and they were sure glad the mom and kids had made their escape already.
The neighbors had mowed the lawn, cleared away the newspapers, and generally kept the place presentable for the last month, as this domestic drama played out. The lady next door said the couple was splitting up, and the man had been in jail until that morning, and the mom and kids had been living away from the house with family. But just a few days ago, the mom had come home, grabbed her kids and disappeared, moving out of state with just the clothes on their backs. Poor thing. She said the kids were crying and looked scared as their mother packed them into the family minivan.
We ended up donating all of their clothes, dishes and other household accumulations to charity. We sold all their furniture, and made enough money to cover the clean-up expenses, plus a little extra for the property manager's retirement fund. We went about the normal business of preparing the home for the rental market.
If only the story had ended there...but it would not make a very good Twilight Zone episode if it did, now would it?
Turns out, the mom had escaped from a mental institution three days before my visit. She was a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic, who had picked her kids up at school, gone to the house to pack, and then disappeared with the kids, who had been placed in the care of their father. Seems the woman had a serious violent episode at the house, three weeks prior, and the father had the kids with him while she was hospitalized.
So remember, never make assumptions and never trust the neighbors to give you the real story on anything. Also, watch for reruns of the Twilight Zone on late night TV. You just might learn something.
Kevin Mackessy owns and operates Blue Olive Properties, a Highlands Ranch property management company, and serves all of the south Metro Denver area. Kevin can be reached at 303-956-3507 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He works with new and experienced investors, and home owners, offering professional property management solutions. Kevin is also a proud NARPM member.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.