QOTW: What is the funniest thing to happen to you in RE Investing

111 Replies

With the stress of the holidays looming, I thought it could be fun to share the lighter side of real estate. What are some of the funniest experiences you've had as an investor? How did you handle it? What would you do differently? Did it change how you did business going forward? 

Crawl Space Humor 

9 months ago - I went into the crawl space of a rental to wrap some PVC plumbing. About 25 feet under the house I hear the wind blow the crawl door shut.  I figured crawl doors never latch on their own. Unfortunately, this one did. I had 90 minutes of 24" crawl space meditation before my wife arrived to let me out. 

5 months ago - I went in the crawl of a new constriction rental around 8am to check the framing. About 5 minutes in, I hear a rustle deep in the crawl a voice in the dark says 'well good morning'.  Scared the do-do out of me! It seemed a well mannered homeless dude had moved into the crawl without even submitting an application or signing a lease.

How did it change my business model? 1) I block the crawl door from shutting whenever I go under a house and 2) I always ask if anyone is home before entering a crawl. 

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Every time I try to say "asbestos" the spelling flashes across my mind and I decide to mispronounce it.  Then clients or contractors have to ask me again how many houses I've sold or flipped.  Stupid word

Not exactly with me as an investor...but I was building a house for an investor so I guess that counts...

So I was walking through a rough inspection with a newer Building Inspector and he was calling out all kinds of mistakes he was seeing - where's the 4x4 from that top plate to the beam....where's the support for the brace? On and on......I knew nothing was wrong. So I finally walked over and said 'show me what you're talking about'

Turns out he had the plans upside-down................................ :-)

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :
Originally posted by @Kaylee Walterbach:

Two words: carpet baseboards...

I'll see you your carpeted baseboards, and raise you a carpeted bathroom.

Did no one stop to think about hygiene? I had an apartment with a carpeted vanity area that you could scrape hairballs off of on the daily.

I did an inspection (for a renewal) on a wrong property. I walked with the tenant, through the whole house, noting things that needed fixed, talk about things that were her responsibility etc. When I was leaving, I noticed two numbers were transposed 🤪 

@Alicia Marks funniest and also most disturbing - didn't know at the time but a tree root was blocking our sewer line at our duplex. The guy downstairs was gone for a month, and over that month - sewage had exploded out of the toilet and was everywhere! The toilet looked like a portal to hell. I put on some gloves and used my hands to shovel it all into buckets. I had never seen anything like it before - I really couldn't believe my eyes. I realized that day that I had a pretty strong stomach. Every landlord eventually has their toilet story . . . that was mine. I found that tree and those tree roots and tore them out with vengeance. 

A couple months ago I went to look at a house that was being sold as-is. I knew from the price that it would need some work. I am not even sure this is funny as much as creepy.

- Locks on the outside of bedroom doors. 

- Mirror on the ceiling in the living room.

- Front door had a bracket to hold a 2X4 across the front door.

- Lots of crosses and other religious stuff.

- Deep freeze sitting outside in the back yard. I dared my realtor to open it. He wisely declined.

- The biggest tree house I have ever seen in the back yard.

We decided not to make an offer because I was pretty sure it was a meth house.

Originally posted by @Casey Caton :

@Alicia Marks funniest and also most disturbing - didn't know at the time but a tree root was blocking our sewer line at our duplex. The guy downstairs was gone for a month, and over that month - sewage had exploded out of the toilet and was everywhere! The toilet looked like a portal to hell. I put on some gloves and used my hands to shovel it all into buckets. I had never seen anything like it before - I really couldn't believe my eyes. I realized that day that I had a pretty strong stomach. Every landlord eventually has their toilet story . . . that was mine. I found that tree and those tree roots and tore them out with vengeance. 

 I'm gagging and laughing at your "portal to hell".

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From a Facebook Page response: I had a house-hack a few years ago and built a custom bar into the house. I went to Mexico on vacation and brought back a set of 4 tequila bottles which I put up on the bar as decoration until I wanted to drink them. A few weeks go by and I notice one day one of the caps are tilted off a bit. One of my tenants drank the tequila and had the balls to refill the bottles with water. The next day I ended his lease. His girlfriend SHOUTED at him and broke up with him over it because now she had to find another place to live.... And they moved out separately.

I had a young couple living in a house. The guy had been through several jobs while they lived there. Most recently, he went through police academy and quit after one month on the job. Then he became an electrician.

They had given notice and I started showing the property. I had an appointment to show the property and 15 minutes before I get a text from the tenant. "Suspicious package on the sidewalk." He includes a picture of what appears to just be a wad of paper on the sidewalk. I ask him if he picked it up to look at it and he says, "No, I secured the perimeter and called the police." 

Let me level set for just a moment. This house is located in a B+ neighborhood that is one block from an elementary school. The neighborhood is filled with families. It is safe and quiet. There would be no reason to expect the bag to contain drugs, which apparently he did. 

The person I am showing the property to is already on their way and the police are headed to the house! I tell him, "I am showing the house in a few minutes and you called the police?". He says "I know it isn't ideal." As I get close to the property, I get a text that says "Officer took a look and the rolled up paper was filled with sand." I text him back, "glad we solved that mystery". 

I am in full support of "see something, say something" but why on earth wouldn't you just pick it and examine it? This isn't CSI where they are going to dust the package for finger prints. Even if they did find that it was drugs, they are not going to launch an investigation. I am still trying to picture him "securing the perimeter" for a wad of paper with sand in it. 

I represented a buyer to purchase her first home. The property needed some work so I referred my handyman. The two hit it off and subsequently started dating. Add 'matchmaker' to my BP profile skills. 

Many years ago, I was checking out an electrical issue that one of the tenants called in. While there I went into the closet to reset the beaker, I open the door, leaned in to reset a breaker and was done. However, there was a shoe rack on the door that I didn't pay much attention to until I was closing the door, right in front of my face was an ad**t toy. WOH! too close for comfort! Just sitting in the top of the shoe rack in one of the pockets.

I haired a management co, they can deal with the toys. :-p

Another time I was showing a friend one of my properties, we went after lunch, both dressed up still from work. He also owns a sizable restate portfolio. One of the tenets called in earlier about a clog in sink. I thought, while there I could look to see if it was an easy fix, it was, he and I fix it and left. Later while taking with him, we came to the retaliation of how much money was in that apartment, both him and I, just to fix a clogged sink, lol, we both laugh about it. So, I haired a management co. If it's nothing major, I don't go to any of my properties. I pay someone to take care, and to maintain my properties. It’s not an ego thing, it’s just that my time is more valuable that a $60 clog sink, lol, lessen learned.

I'd say the funniest thing that happened to me was during light due diligence of an apartment building a couple of weeks ago.  Property manager had turned all the power off to all of the vacant units so each unit is dark and we are walking around each unit with flash lights. During our walk through I ended up shining my flashlight directly on a woman's face that was squatting (I thought she was deceased in the heat of the moment) in the unit and it scared the crap out of me.  I ran my chunky *** outta there.  I just left the property manager in there to deal with the woman that I thought was dead.  She came running out and said "What did you say?"  I said "There is a body in there"  and she was like "and you left me in there with it?"  "Yes I did! I ain't sticking around to find out what happened to her."  My partner and the maintenance guy are just standing outside busting their guts laughing so hard at how distraught the property manager and I were.  Turns out they were just squatting, and they immediately left the property.  Moral of the story.  You do not have to be faster than the bear, just faster than the slowest person.  HAHA.   

I was heading home from working on a property and got a call from a man who wanted to see a property that just came open. I told him I would meet him there and he said it would take him about 20 minutes. I got there a little early went to turn on lights and the such. I usually take my dog to work so I let her out and put her in the back yard. We both had to take care of some personal business. While I was in the bath room, I heard someone screaming bloody murder outside. I went to the front door and there was a grown man screaming and crying. 

It seams I failed to close the gate to the backyard and my dog Angel (very sweet dog) had the man pinned on the porch. She wasn't growling or acting aggressive. She just stood there staring at him.  His back was against the front door and he wouldn't move to let me out. I had to go through the garage and called Angel. She trotted over to the truck and hopped into the extended cab.

I went over to apologize to him. I guess he was too embarrassed because he got back in his car and left. It was difficult, but I refrained from laughing until I pulled out of the drive.  

I have a tenant with a Boxer "watch dog." So every time I go over there and the owner is there, the dog totally loses her mind and barks. Bark, bark, bark every minute I'm there.

When the owner's not there, the dog just looks out the window from the couch at me, and when I open the door and come in, she comes over for a pat, and then walks back to the couch and lies down again, looking out the window. Not a peep out of her.

Originally posted by @Guy Yoes :

I was heading home from working on a property and got a call from a man who wanted to see a property that just came open. I told him I would meet him there and he said it would take him about 20 minutes. I got there a little early went to turn on lights and the such. I usually take my dog to work so I let her out and put her in the back yard. We both had to take care of some personal business. While I was in the bath room, I heard someone screaming bloody murder outside. I went to the front door and there was a grown man screaming and crying. 

It seams I failed to close the gate to the backyard and my dog Angel (very sweet dog) had the man pinned on the porch. She wasn't growling or acting aggressive. She just stood there staring at him.  His back was against the front door and he wouldn't move to let me out. I had to go through the garage and called Angel. She trotted over to the truck and hopped into the extended cab.

I went over to apologize to him. I guess he was too embarrassed because he got back in his car and left. It was difficult, but I refrained from laughing until I pulled out of the drive.  

 What kind of dog was it?

Originally posted by@Mindy Jensen :
Originally posted by @Kaylee Walterbach:

Two words: carpet baseboards...

I'll see you your carpeted baseboards, and raise you a carpeted bathroom.

I'll see your carpeted bathroom and raise you a multi-million dollar ocean front home in Massachusetts where the entire first floor had WHITE wall-to-wall carpet - INCLUDING THE KITCHEN AND BATHROOM!!!