In losing a house, they found a home.

Services for Real Estate Pros with Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina

A faded bush did appear, thick in foliage to any seer.  It won't quite disappear, that foliage that I no longer fear.

      ~Gunther Moses~

If you think buying a home can be scary, try renting a house.  We hear stories daily on the obstacles present when buying and then closing on a home.  The fact is that once you own it, you freaking own it.  You own its troubles, its grace, its everything... for the most part, it's your place.  But if you are renting it ...

There's a little story I'd like to share.  The participants are Lee & Shannon.  They rented their house for five years.  During that time, their Landlord seemed difficult, if not totally obnoxious.  If something went wrong with the house, phone calls went ignored and any communication from said party seemed obsolete.  However, when the rent was due, that Landlord was always available.  And 'he would get back to them in a few days' concerning any problems with the house.  Of course that 'few days' turned into the next month when rent was due.  Yet again, the rent would be paid and the landlord skated around handling any problem with the living conditions.

Patterns persist.

Leaky facets, clogged drains, faulty electrical outlets, and a lack of hot water were only minor areas of inconvenience.  Luckily, Lee knew how to deal with most of that type of stuff.  But when the basement was flooded by a particularly feeble bout of rain and phone call after email after phone call to the Landlord went unanswered, the floodgates of change called their name.  When they got a letter from the Mortgage Company to start making their payments directly to them, that calling started to scream.

Home-ownership had been a dirty word to Lee & Shannon for quite sometime.  They had been content with renting.  Truth be told, they had owned one over 5 years back and were put into an adjustable rate mortgage at the time.  While a nice option for some people, it didn't turn out that way for them.  It happened to be a treatment for buying over their heads.  Lee & Shannon got out and thankfully suffered no severe credit ramifications from the experience.  But they did suffer a very bad taste of what owning a home is all about.

With their rental situation in limbo, they opened all doors to make sure a roof was above their head.

From this front, they found a Mortgage Guy and I forget his name... though I remember the last name rhymed with 'Party'. ;)  They compared the cost to rent vs. the cost to own in the price range of their particular area and financial ability to afford such.  Not surprisingly, the numbers weren't so different.  In fact, with lower home prices and interest rates to write your Aunt Susie about, it turned out that buying a home would be a cheaper expedition... at least in regards to monthly payment.  Sure, leaky facets, clogged drains, faulty electrical outlets, and a lack of hot water could become an issue down the road, yet a Home Inspection intertwined with Lee's ability to deal with such things left a better taste of what owning a home could become.

They closed on their home on November 30th, 2009. 

Oh the glory, the romance of that day.  A fear arrived and was dead upon display.  It didn't take a smile, nor new-born tear, yet for the rest of the story... you may want to click here.

      ~Gunther Moses~

Comments (84)

Emily Lowe
The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty - Nashville, TN
Nashville TN Realtor

Great story!  I still and will always believe that a "smart" purchase in a home tops renting any day!

Oct 04, 2009 03:23 PM
Ryan Shaughnessy
PREA Signature Realty - - Saint Louis, MO
Broker/Attorney - Your Lafayette Square Real Estate Partner

Jason - Great story... Too often this same story has a different ending... like lender deems home vacant and enters or suit is filed for unlawful detainer to gain possession... Glad it worked out.  I like you ending better and congratulations to the new homeowners.

Oct 04, 2009 03:36 PM
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Jason -- My wife and I had our own rental nightmares.  We sued, placed liens, and lo and behold, the owner contacted us 14 years later, we had forgotten all about the lien we placed on them.  Triple damages.  I encourage renters to stand up for their rights if they are violated.

Oct 04, 2009 04:07 PM
Lisa Lewis
The Residential Group - Spring Lake, NC
Agent, Fayetteville NC ~ 910-578-2359
A wonderful story indeed.
Oct 04, 2009 04:15 PM
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

Nice story toclose the day off with.   since he had to do all the work himself, there was no downside to owning for them at all.

Oct 04, 2009 04:40 PM
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Commercial - Whittier, CA
Top Producing COMMERCIAL Team 30+ years experience

Jason. I will always prefer the certainty and the pride that comes with home ownership. No rent raises and no mean land lord.

Oct 04, 2009 07:38 PM
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

Most landlords are not "mean". they have their own money invested in the property and are interested in maximizing the return on that investment. Why would they purposely allow repairs to go undone: there is more to this story here.  

Some people should not be homeowners whether or not they have good credit scores. "Goodbye Mr.Landlord, hello Mr. Plumber" is something many prospective homeowners do not expect nor budget for. In my area rents have not gone up any where near as fast as taxes and insurance, so even with a fixed rate mortgage the expenses are like to rise.

One poster mentioned that he collected on 15 year old judgement that he had forgotten about. How did he do this? In Ohio, these liens expire after 5 years if they are not renewed. (Ask me how I know this!)

Oct 05, 2009 01:19 AM
David Monsour
Keller Williams Keystone Realty - Gettysburg, PA

Jason- well written.  So many are overpaying in rent and don't understand that home ownership is within their grasp.  I'm sure they appreciate you enlightening them.  No more landlord to call when somethings broken, nobody to check in to see how the property looks.  Tax benefits and a HOME.

Oct 05, 2009 02:12 AM
Karen Kruschka
RE/MAX Executives - Woodbridge, VA
- "My Experience Isn't Expensive - It's PRICELESS"

Jason  Beautifully done - we actually sold a home to a first time couple - they were in their 70's and had always rented.  They bought when they had saved enought to pay cash - go figure  Karen

Oct 05, 2009 02:49 AM
Home Loan Search.Online
Home Loan Search Online - Newnan, GA

Great story and example of the professionalism of the mortgage guy :) showing the value in owning vs. renting. 

Oct 05, 2009 03:56 AM
Tim Ludemann
Ochopee, FL

Great post and congrats in advance on the closing!

Oct 05, 2009 07:20 AM
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX


Nice that you could help them no matter what the date.

Oct 05, 2009 08:25 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

It's good to remember that the point of all the hassles is to help people.  It's good they'll be having one of their own soon.

Oct 05, 2009 03:12 PM
Lisa Ludlow Archer
Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area - Waxhaw, NC

it is amazing what people are going through these days. Glad it all worked out for your clients.

Oct 05, 2009 05:05 PM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Marte - I've wrote about it and said it before; I believe a fixed rate is probably the best type of mortgage to get into for a majority of folks out there.

Mike - In most cases, you need good credit to even rent these days.

Sharon - "If you have to live somewhere, you might as well be in charge!"  Very well put!!

Bev & Bob - True that.

Lyn - It ain't over yet, but we are off to a great start.

Russ - Most landlords I know are good folks.  Yet, there are those few in every bunch.

Sis - He is pretty fly for a Mortgage Guy;)

Patricia - That you do.

Bob - Actually, it is a real scenario that is set to close the end of November.  I don't make the settlement dates; I just strive to make sure we close on them.  Though, I understand your point on what could possibly go wrong.  In this atmosphere, nothing surprises me.  I've changed my Title from Mortgage Consultant to Chaos Control:)


Oct 06, 2009 04:44 AM
Nyssa Smith
Keller Williams Advantage Realty - State College, PA
REALTOR, State College Area Real Estate

Nice happy ending Jason!  I hope all goes well for their closing on Nov. 30th!!!

Oct 07, 2009 12:50 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Sybil - That's a good starting point for most.  In fact, I'd venture to guess that it may be the best option for some individuals their entire life.  Nothing wrong with that.

Sandy - Actually, their credit has (to my knowledge) been more than decent, even with the circumstances years back.  They just found themselves in a situation where a change would do them good.  It's my role to ensure that change is good for them in both the short and long term.

JB - That's a fact.

Kathryn - I think there will always be folks who are afraid to own.  To some extent, rightfully so.  The picket fence isn't always as ideal as those black and white movies.  However if we persistently educate, I do believe the rest will take care of itself.

Emily - Agreed.

Ryan - I will congratulate them on November 30th:)

Chris -  Sorry to hear about that, yet it is one of life's inevitable truths at times. 

Lisa - Thank you:)

Jirius - As I mentioned, their trepidation was based on 'experience past'.  I'm pretty sure this time will be a different experience, a better one.

Mark - Being a guy who owns a home myself, the pros tend to outweigh the cons.

Thomas -  In no way was I making a general statement about Landlords.  I think Real Estate Investors are vital to the health of not only the housing industry, but our economy as a whole.  That written, "Why would they purposely allow repairs to go undone: there is more to this story here."  Slumlords exist and 100% financing on Investment Properties also existed at one point.  That's all I know.

David - I concur.  Thanks man:)

Karen - Now that is a wonderful story!  You should post on it if you already haven't.  If you have or are going to, feel free to provide the link here.

Erica - No it isn't.  It never will be.  I think they will be fine, now they have a Mortgage Company to deal with;)

IMF - I have my moments:)

Tim - Thank you kind Sir.

Brenda -  They helped themselves; I just added a bit of my expertise into their equation.

Erica - No sweat.  Thank you much for that comment.  Bill's a good guy.  I'm just the prick on the inside of it all;)

Christine - Sometimes we help and receive no monetary reward.  Sometimes we help and it can be argued that we receive too much of a monetary reward.  As long we help, I believe either case to be moot.

Lisa - The ink isn't dry just yet, but they should be and will be in good shape.  The atmosphere these days is quite interesting, for sure.

Nyssa - Me too!  And I'll make sure it does with every iota and fiber of my being.

Oct 07, 2009 02:06 PM

Who gave permission to print my poetry?

Oct 10, 2009 09:43 AM
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Jack - I didn't print any of your poetry; I just wrote an article.  I'm guessing you are referring to the comment section where a bit of your poetry is written.  Take that question up with the commenter.

Oct 10, 2009 10:00 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Jason.  YOu did a good thing.  Turning Renters into Buyers is an income source.

Oct 14, 2012 07:37 AM