Before I begin, let me leave you with a few pictures to jump start your imagination.
You are at an appointment with the seller, and the seller nervously shuffles through her belongings to find the keys, the door is cracked and you can just tell by the smell of the air that hits your face that this will make for a great story.
Moist boxes and packages strewn across the kitchen floor, mold growing in the corner of the house, debris and garbage bags filled with actual garbage (for who knows how long) literally filling the entirety of several bedroom. A strange creature living in the garage (more on this later).
When it comes to real estate investing, if you have in the business long enough you will inevitably hear or experience these sort of situations first hand. Let’s take a step back for a moment and see how this house in Fort Worth Texas fell into my lap as we walk through this case study from A to Z.
It all started while I was out for lunch with a colleague who is also a realtor.
We were having a discussion about the Dallas Fort Worth real estate market and how it’s difficult to find deals given we are only at 2 months of inventory. Keep in mind this colleague point of view is coming purely as a realtor and not from the investor mindset.
Anyways, she had just finished up a meeting with a seller and decided it wasn’t a listing that he wanted to take on because A) it sounded like the property needed too much work and B) they needed to sell the house very quickly.
So he referred the lead to me and shortly after our get together I gave the seller a call to find out more about their situation and if I could help them.
As it turns out it was the daughter of the home owners who answered the phone. She was fielding calls because to be frank her parents were too embarrassed about the condition of the property they didn’t want to speak with anyone directly yet (you will find out exactly why they were embarrassed later).
As usual I took the time to listen to her concerns, build a rapport and figure out if we would be a good fit, it was so I arranged an appointment the next morning at the house.
The issue was the sellers needed to sell the property quickly as is to take care of some medical bills. The parents had been living in a condo, and their old home had been abandoned for several years at this point.
We pulled up to the house and I could already tell this was the sort of house that if I had driven the neighborhood, would have been added to my driving for dollars list.
To give you an idea the trees surrounding the house were completely overgrown, and from the looks up it the branches were so close to the roof they were likely scraping off granules. The lawn was overgrown as well, and the exterior of the home wasn’t much better.
On the side of the house the exterior A/C unit looked barely functional. All clues that the house had been vacant for some time and likely needed some TLC.
We set up together to the front of the house and the sellers daughter unlocked the door and said feel free to look around, I asked if she would like to join me, but she insisted that she would like to remain outside.
Once on the interior I could see why. From the moment the door swung open you could detect an unpleasant odor. As I made my way through the living room I could see mold growing in a few corners of the room. As I glanced down the hallways I could see it was filled with random items from a tricycle to a Dungeons and Dragons board game set.
The bathrooms were not much better, fixtures that looked busted and completely rusted and littered with cobwebs. Nothing could prepare me for the bedrooms however. Each one, count three of them, was filled to the ceiling literally with garbage bags. I could see why the homeowners were embarrassed about the state of the home, it had turned into a hoarder home.
The Creature in the Garage
The garage wasn’t much better, a sea of trash once again.
In addition, there was some sort of creature rummaging around in the dark. I had a flashlight with me but even then I couldn’t identify it. Likely the garage had become home to squirrels or perhaps a raccoon. Sort of reminds me of that creature that was in the bottom of the garbage pit in the first Star Wars movie.
After the appointment I gave them a fair offer and she forward it to her parents, but I made sure it was what they wanted, I always offer them another option as well and that is listing the property since I am a Realtor as well.
They decided a cash offer would be better and called me back and they asked if I would meet them for break feast at a local restaurant near the house the next day. Signing contracts over a early morning stack of pancakes, yes sir! Wish I could do that more often.
After everything was all said and done, the clients were very happy and created a win-win situation. I was able to sell their property quickly wholesale and net them more than they were hoping for to pay off the medical bills and net them some spending money.
The daughter was so impressed with my service I was even able to get a testimonial on my website.
Hoarder houses and crazy cat ladies are just part of the norm when you are a real estate investor.
Do you have any crazy stories that can top this?
Be sure to leave your comments below!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.