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The Coloring Books

Real Estate Agent with Foster Realty, Inc. RB-15721

I received a foreclosure assignment in a better part of town. The house had been in foreclosure for a while, with weeds growing tall in the yard and the paint peeling off in patches. As I was inspecting the property, the adjacent neighbor stormed over, her face flushed with anger.

With no hesitation, she launched into me as soon as I got out of my truck. "You need to put boards up between our properties!" she demanded. "Your side has rats, and you need to stop them from coming on my side."

I tried to explain, keeping my voice calm. "I am really sorry, but boards won't stop rats. They can squeeze through small spaces and climb over boards. Maybe we can both set some traps.”

She wasn't having it. She went and got her husband and started shouting, calling me every name in the book. When they finally realized that I was not going to install any boards, they stormed back to their house, slamming the door behind them. 

When I next visited the property for my weekly inspection, I saw the neighborhood children playing ball in the street. I was heartbroken when they began calling me names as I drove by - the same names they had heard the neighbors yell at me.

Determined to show the children that I was not a bad guy, I went to the office and got some coloring books and crayons we always have on hand. I went back and held out the books and crayons. “Hey, guys. I hope you have fun with these.” Their eyes lit up as they took the gifts. “Thank you, Auntie!” I felt better. 

The following day, it rained heavily. Concerned about the condition of the foreclosure, I headed over to check if the rain was getting in. As I approached, my heart sank. The coloring books I had given the children were strewn across the yard, soaked and ruined by the downpour.

🔑 Children are always watching what we say and do.

Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Oh, this truly is a sad story, both regarding the home owners who wouldn't listen to reason, and the children who are learning awful lessons about how to treat people. The coloring books being thrown outside - I'm thinking the parents wouldn't let them keep them. How awful.

Jun 06, 2024 04:54 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster

Aloha Kat! I think you are right. It makes me sick to think anyone would take a coloring book away from a child. People are so strange. Thanks so much for reading!

Jun 06, 2024 09:54 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

How sad and what a reflection of our culture.  Thank you for staying above the atrocious behaviors of the adults and children. Possibly the adults threw the books in the hard and not the children?

Jun 06, 2024 05:58 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster

Hi Leanne! Yes, I am sure that is what happened. I can only hope they didnʻt get angry with the children for having the books. Thank you for commenting

Jun 06, 2024 09:47 AM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

So good

Jun 06, 2024 09:02 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster

Thank you so much Ginger!

Jun 06, 2024 09:45 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Sylvia,

I think you came up with a great idea to try and bridge the gap. Unfortunately in our country right now this is a typical refection of our culture. Our children are having such bad examples put in front of them and t's only going to get worse. It's sad..really sad!

Jun 06, 2024 10:50 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Aloha Dorie! You are so right. It is a completely different world from the one I grew up in. We would never have seen our parents behave that way and I would never have uttered such language as a child. Although, after a long career in real estate, I now have a very colorful vocabulary. Thank you for commenting!

Jun 06, 2024 11:16 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

So did you ever see any of the Rats the psycho neighbors were screaming about ? …….


Jun 06, 2024 04:47 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Hi Michael! Thankfully, I never saw them but there was evidence they were there. Ick. Thank you for reading!

Jun 06, 2024 05:08 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

Welcome to the Rain. Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as a follower. I would love the follow back. Also, then we both get 50 points. Bill

Bill Salvatore, Realtor- Arizona Elite Properties

Jun 07, 2024 04:12 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster

Thanks Bill! 😄

Jun 07, 2024 01:16 PM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

I agree with all the others who see this as a sad commentary of todays attitudes. I do question why the bank or lender doesn't take better care of the property. When I have worked with properties in this state of financial disarray they were always good about keeping the property looking good in hopes of getting the most money back on the defaulted loan Sylvia "Elsie" Foster

Jun 07, 2024 12:38 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Hi Bob! For the last several years, many of the REO I am assigned were drug houses and/or in similar poor condition. By the time I get them, they have been sitting empty and deteriorating even more for an average of eight years. Many lenders just want them gone instead of paying the exorbitant cost of repairs in Hawaii, not to mention the current ridiculous years long wait for a building permit. And in Hawaii, just about everything needs a building permit. Thanks for the great comment!

Jun 07, 2024 01:15 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Sylvia "Elsie" Foster   That was harsh for the kids to I sure reluctantly, throw the books back as their parents didn't want any part of the bad lady.

Welcome to the rain

Jun 07, 2024 01:27 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Hi Ed! Yep, that's me. The bad lady. 😐

Thanks for reading!

Jun 07, 2024 02:48 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754

Sylvia "Elsie" Foster   Some of those 'too good ' neighbors should be as 'bad' as you are purported to be

Jun 09, 2024 10:07 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sometimes it takes something as simple as crayons to just have a nice gesture come through for a kid. It’s really not that complicated as we think it is..

Jun 07, 2024 05:55 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Hi Laura! So true! Not complicated and very low cost. Thanks for reading! 

Jun 07, 2024 06:00 PM
Melanie Bocock
M Bee Creative - Naples, FL
Marketing creative in Naples, FL

Screaming at you, like it's your fault?  Crazy. 

Jun 13, 2024 08:07 AM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Hi Melanie! Everything is my fault. I am a real estate agent. 🤷

Jun 13, 2024 10:47 AM
Brenda J. Andrew RENE, PSA, MRP, SRS
Professional Realtor in N Houston & Corpus Christi

Hi Elsie, I haven't had an experience like this, but have had people call me off of the sign and let me know what was going on with the property - like if windows were left open, or people were over snooping around.  I am thankful the neighbors were not this harsh.  It is very sad to see the example the adults set for the children.  You handled yourself very well.  

Jun 14, 2024 06:58 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

Thanks Brenda! These homes have often been vacant for many years and the neighbors are already upset. When I show up, they are ready to vent. I recently had one vacant for ten (10!) years. The neighbors did the same thing. All I can do is explain that soon they will have new neighbors. That usually calms them.  Thank you for reading! 

Jun 15, 2024 01:31 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

What a shame! I wonder if those adults think that the example that they are setting for the children is going to help them to grow up to be intelligent, reasonable adults.

Jun 20, 2024 04:59 PM
Sylvia "Elsie" Foster
Foster Realty, Inc. - Waianae, HI

I doubt they care. Thanks John! Enjoy your day.

Jun 20, 2024 05:15 PM