It’s so hard to say goodbye

…to a good neighbor. They are sadly, all too often hard to come by. We’ve been lucky to have some great neighbors directly on either side of us for about a year now. Then suddenly, we noticed one neighbor packing up and moving out the other day.

It makes me sad for many reasons, only one of which is that there are already two houses on the street for sale, one of them abandoned and empty for some time now.  The little cul-de-sac that is my home is changing, and not for the better. The scary thing is, who knows what kind of neighbor we’ll get next. I hope good ones who care for their yard and keep things neat and tidy, but from the looks of most houses around here these days, the odds are against that.

I noticed the fleeing neighbor in the front yard the other day, and stepped out to talk, say goodbye, and tell him that we’ve enjoyed living next door to him and his wife.

That’s when he tells me, “So, did you hear what happened?”
Loving to be in on the word, I pounced on that! “NO! What?”
“Well, “he says, “We’ve been renting that house, and we wanted to buy it. ”
“Oh,” I said, “We thought you had bought it.” Remembering that it had hosted a sign that said Rent or Sale before he and his wife moved in last year, and a conversation with them about their excitement about buying.
“Yeah, so did we.” he says.
What? My confusion surely showed on my face so he elaborated.
It seems that when he inquired about the house, the company told him that it was for sale, but he was required to rent it for 6 months, then he could begin the process of buying it, rent paid would be attributed toward the purchase.  He was cool with that, and signed up. After his 6 months, he went to the company and said he was ready to start the buying process and they told him, Oh, well, actually, at this time that specific house is not for sale, but it will be in 6 months. If you want to continue renting for 6 months, at the end of that time, then you can begin to buy it.  So he went along, again.
Well, this was the end of that 6 months, and guess what? They told him the same story again, except this time, they told him that he’d have to wait a year, and on top of that, his rent was going to increase!
He and his wife decided to get a real realtor and are now buying another house. Actually buying it. But they were sad because they liked this house.
I was sad because we liked these neighbors.
When The Wifester arrived home from work and I told her the story, she said, “Wow, that’s exactly what happened to the last couple that lived there.”
Hmmmmmm

Now, I don’t know if it was the same realty company renting to that couple as was to this couple. (That’s asking for memory to go back further than mine is capable of.)  But for two different families to have the same wool pulled over their eyes in regards to the prospect of buying the same house and to both end up in an endless rental cycle? That seems to be a bit too much of a coincidence to me. Sounds like someone’s rental company is practicing some bad Juju!

Now I have to watch for the sign to go up in the yard again, so I can tell you who the company is…

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11 Responses

  1. That’s absolute cr** in my opinion. I’d be finding out who is the legal owner of that house and start raising cain. In today’s market, to purposely put the screws to a willing (and I assume qualified) buyer is ridiculous. I wonder if they have any kind of written rent-to-own agreement, or if there are specific purchase options in their lease?

    It just sounds really fishy that they’d require him to rent the house first, though, rather than just sell it outright while they could. Makes me wonder if the title isn’t clear, foreclosure proceedings hadn’t been finalized or whatever.

    Kathy, you’re the real estate queen . . . what’s your take on this?

  2. Send me the address by email and I’ll look it up to see who the owner is. Interesting. Misleading at best, fraudulent at worst.

    I’m sad because they didn’t call me to be their “real” Realtor!

  3. Kathy, I would have pointed them to you, had I known of their woes before it was too late…I’ll email yah that addy.

  4. Would it be the same company that has all those awful black & yellow signs all over town advertising “Lease to Purchase — saving up to $10,000/yr ” or something like that?? Isn’t this kinda the same thing that caused the housing problems we are still having — folks getting into something they can’t afford, filing bankruptcy, foreclosures — Section 8!!! How can this type of, in my opinion, unscrupulous action still be taking place today — sounds illegal to me. Can someone explain how the Federal Government allows this to continue or is it La Vergne!

  5. This house is owned by a real estate company. I’m also interested to know if they are the same ones responsible for the black & yellow signs all over LFE. I have the same questions as you, CeeDee! How can this type of shady behavior continue to happen? Haven’t we learned enough of a lesson from the past few years of crashing markets and failing banks to not allow these things to go on in our cities?

  6. Sounds like the little company with the yellow and black signs needs a visit from the US Justice Department or whoever handles Fair Housing Issues.Fines and lawsuits will have this companies owners looking for housing.

  7. One thing that gets me in this story is how little you and your wife communicate and share things. If she had told you about the last couple months before, maybe you could have saved this poor couple a little less heartache. As for the company that “owns and rents/leases with option to buy, they are committing fraud against these people, and should be sued for any and all costs the couple(s) had to pay out toward what they thought was going to be “their” home. If you can track down the other couple and any others that the company has dealt with in that manner, they can all sue and go after them. If nothing else it can prevent them from continuing to do this to anyone else. There is strength in numbers at times like these…best luck to all of you.

  8. bj – As in any marriage, sometimes spouses forget to mention things to their partner. For example, take my husband 14 years ago when he showed up at home with a new car. Happy I was not. Do it again, he did not. But I definitely feel there could be fraud, although I’m NOT an attorney. If I were the couple, I’d seek one immediately.

  9. bj – I think it’s quite funny that you would assume that my wife and I don’t communicate. In fact, we have the most open, honest, fluent communication of most couples I’ve ever encountered.
    The fact is, the last couple to have lived in that house had moved out over a year before I met my wife, who already owned our house. The neighboring house was empty for nearly a year after I moved in, which was over three years ago, so there was never any reason to discuss the story of the former renters, until this situation occured with this couple, who have only been in the house for a year now. She may have even told me the original renter’s story, but like I said, my memory does not stretch back that far.
    After years of sitting empty, once this couple moved in, the former couple was all but forgotten about.
    These things happen.

  10. Let’s remember, we are only hearing one side of the story. Lease purchases are always tricky. You not only have to pay the rent, but you also must have the ability to buy the house (which typically means being approved for a mortgage).

    It could be that your neighbors couldn’t qualify for a loan to buy the house and wanted to save face with you, so they made up this story and blamed the landlord. From your story it already sounds like they weren’t planning on telling you goodbye, perhaps they just didn’t want to tell you why.

    I’m not saying that is what happened, and I’m not saying your neighbors were bad people. Just remember, there are always 2 sides to every story. If everything went exactly as you said (they had a contract with the option to buy the house and the landlord just said no for no apparent reason), I can’t imagine they would spend all the money required to move without at least talking to a realtor or real estate attorney. Remember, by moving they not only lose they extra they were paying each month towards the urchase, but they also have to pay first months and last months rent wherever they move, plus the costs of moving.

    Again, I’m not saying your neighbors are bad people. I’ve had neighbors I know well get foreclosed on and they haven’t told me because it’s embarrassing. That’s ok. I’m just saying this is a very fishy story and it wouldn’t surprise me if it weren’t true.

    And if it’s not true, someone might want to take the name of the real estate company off this board before someone get’s sued for slander.

  11. MichaelinLV good point, I understand taht there are two sides to every story. what seemed odd was that there were two unrelated couples with what appears to be the same weird circumstances happen to htem. One family, and I’d be inclined to write it off as “I didn’t get a full story” but two different families? A bit of a coincidence, it seems. But I certainly agree about removing the name of the company in question, and have.

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