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INVESTORS’ CORNER: Neighbor’s perfect timing

An attorney called me about an estate he was handling and looking for a buyer for the house of the deceased. Figuring that if I bought this one I would become the go-to guy for this attorney, I grabbed my wife and quickly rushed over to check out the house.

It was little creepy. We had to go in through the broken back sliding doors. The house reeked to high heaven and was rather filthy. The belongings had already been removed from the property. The walls had dirty marks about 2 feet up around most of the house and we figured he had big dogs. That’s what it smelled like.

I quickly made an offer and received notice a couple days later that they would sell to us. After closing, we set about making the house beautiful. For some reason, we really wanted to make this house nicer than the ones we had recently done. We bought more expensive tile and flooring and added some other nice touches we hadn’t done before.

Throughout the rehab process, the neighbor came by quite a bit and chatted with me about all matter of things. He really was a nice guy and kept an eye on the place for us when no one was there.

After about a month and a half, we finally finished the house. My wife scheduled the cleaning crew and bought some signs for the front yard. While she was there putting the final little staging touches, the friendly neighbor came by.

They began talking about the transformation of the house. My wife mentioned that she could not believe the smell and that the previous owner must have had some really big dogs. To this, the neighbor politely told her that he did not have any dogs. My wife responded that it certainly smelled as though he did. The neighbor then promptly stated that he was the one who found the previous owner. “He was lying right there. Right where you are standing now.” He had been dead for several days before being found. The body decomposing was the cause of the horrible smell.

My wife was feeling uncomfortable at this point, but the neighbor just had to keep laying it on. “There were 3 liter bottles full of urine almost stacked to the ceiling taking up most of the living room.” He had some issue with the bathrooms and duct-taped the doors shut and didn’t want to use them. “He was going in the backyard for number two.”

WHY DID HE NOT FEEL IT NECESSARY TO DISCUSS ANY OF THIS WITH ME ON ANY OF THE DOZENS OF OTHER OCCASIONS THAT I SPOKE WITH HIM???

The author of the above article asked not to be identified and is not a member of Metrolina REIA. JC Underwood is a director at the Metrolina Real Estate Investors Association, which provides education, mentoring, and networking for real estate investing in the Charlotte region. For more information, visit www.MetrolinaREIA.org.

 

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