I can't believe they did that!

Real Estate Agent with Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 DRE #01423125

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 Out in the corn fieldsthere 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 There's the well but no house!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. Unfinished garage

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. 

Posted by


Jim Patton - Realtor
Aspire Home Real Estate
DRE# 01423125

Serving Stanislaus, Merced and San Joaquin Counties in California's Central Valley.

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Comments (36)

Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Jim,

That confirms my advice to always look at a home or have someone else look at it in person before making an offer. You cannot smell the pictures, but having the house come up missing would be another reason. Cool story!

Sep 16, 2022 08:48 AM
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 - Silver Spring, MD
Fluent in Real Estate & German, M.A. ABR ASP CIPS

Oh wow! I've seen houses destroyed but I've never had one go MIA. I second the comments: your story takes the cake Jim Patton. I'm just glad that this wasn't a sale and not a surprise you (didn't) find after the settlement table!

Sep 16, 2022 09:19 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Laura Cerrano who knows why banks do the things they do?

Sam Shueh Thanks for stopping by.

Aura Alex  I saw a lot of that too.

Debra Leisek it was quite the experience.

Michael Jacobs that's the truth!


Sep 16, 2022 12:21 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Dorte Engel never skip that final walk through.  If the house is still there that is.

Andrea Bedard it's something I'll never forget.


Sep 16, 2022 12:21 PM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

Wow, that is pretty amazing, what it must have cost to move the house, makes you wonder why they didn't pay the mortgage. I wonder where the house ended up?

Sep 16, 2022 12:58 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 it was an older farm house.  There is a lot of farm land in the area.  My guess that someone got a home on their land for the price of moving it there.  Just a guess...

Sep 16, 2022 01:03 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Jim:

I have to say that is quite a story. Wonder what ultimately happened?!


Sep 16, 2022 05:30 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

I never heard anything else from the bank Jeff Dowler, CRS.  I wonder about too from time to time.

Sep 16, 2022 07:42 PM
Peter Mohylsky, Beach Expert
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

I grew we need to redefine the term moving day. 

Sep 17, 2022 05:48 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

That's one I've never heard of! Like you, I've seen appliances and light fixtures stripped from property, but the whole house has never gone missing, until your recount! We really do have some crazy real estate stories.

Sep 17, 2022 10:31 AM
Elyse Berman, PA
LoKation Real Estate - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824

I remember when they took different parts of the house, but I've never seen them take the whole house.  That's a good one!

Sep 17, 2022 01:38 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Peter Mohylsky I guess if you move that way you don't have to box anything up.  Just leave it where it is and move the house.

Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty I hadn't seen it either and have not seen it since.

Elyse Berman, PA it was a first (and last) for me too!

Sep 17, 2022 02:09 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jim Patton - now that is CRAZY!!! 

Sep 18, 2022 03:42 AM
Scott Seaton Jr. SLS Home Insp
SLS Home Inspections-Kankakee Will Iroquois Grundy Counties - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Pretty clever by the owner. Wonder where he ended up? I've seen house moving projects. It's a big slow process.

Sep 18, 2022 05:48 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

It certainly was Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP 

Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector there is a lot of open farm land in the area so it could still be out there somewhere.


Sep 18, 2022 02:10 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Jim, yes the BPO days did you get listings from it? Or just made a lot of small money with it? Endre

Sep 18, 2022 04:30 PM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Endre Barath, Jr. I did get REO listings from doing BPO's. 

Sep 19, 2022 12:12 PM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Haha! Things that happen in real estate get to the point where you really can't make stuff up. Hilarious story, Jim, that takes the cake and everything else of value!

Sep 22, 2022 10:08 AM
Jim Patton
Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816 - Modesto, CA
Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties

Hi Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can! I was famous around the office for a while.

Sep 25, 2022 07:26 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

HaHa,,,, great story!

Hey lets just give you credit for finding the place at all!

Oct 01, 2022 06:39 AM
Jim Patton

Thanks Sharon Tara It did take me a bit of time to find the place.

Oct 02, 2022 04:45 PM