This month Eileen Burns and Kathy Streib are hosting the ActiveRain challenge for September titled Crazy Real Estate Agent Stories - September Challenge. For this challenge we are challenged to tell a story about the craziest situation we have been a part of during our career in Real Estate.
I Can't Believe They Did That!
I have been in the Real Estate business since 2004 but definitely one of my craziest days in Real Estate happened back in 2010. At that time I was listing and selling lots of short sales and bank owned properties (REO's) I was also doing a lot of broker price opinions (BPO's) for banks and asset management companies. The Broker Price Opinions were pretty simple in most cases. A lot of the time it was just a drive by of the property. I would take the required exterior photos then go back to the office and pull up the comparables and enter all the information.
This particular BPO was in September of 2010. It was for a small ranchette in Hilmar Ca. Hilmar is a pretty small town in rural Central California. There is a lot of open farm land surrounding the town. In September in this part of California there is a lot of corn being grown. So I was out in farm country with fields of corn all around me. The only addresses I could see were on the mailboxes along the road. This was in the days before GPS on our smart phones. (Don't think I even had a smart phone then)
I was driving slowly watching the addresses when I realized I must have passed the property. I retraced my route and saw an opening in the corn that looked like a dirt driveway. I pulled in and there was an opening in the corn. But... no house.
I did see what looked like an unfinished garage without the garage doors. There was also what looked like a well on the property. But that was it. I thought maybe the bank was mistaken and this was just an empty lot. So I took a few photos and headed back to the office.
When I got to the office I searched on Googlemaps for the property. And there in the photo on Googlemaps was the house. Up on blocks with the house moving truck in front of it and the garage that I had seen in the background. (I wish I still had the map photo) Now this was back in the days when homes were getting foreclosed on all over the place. It wasn't uncommon for the previous owner to gut the house on the way out. I had seen lots of homes with missing bathroom fixtures, missing appliances and even kitchen cabinets removed. BUT THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD SEEN SOMEONE TAKE THE WHOLE HOUSE!
I let the bank know what I found and they put the BPO on hold and that was the last I ever heard from them about this property.