I like to share stories of why I got into business. One of the absolute best stories happened about 4 years ago, but I still remember it to this day.
I was helping a young couple named Chris & Lauren, who were searching for a home, and the top of their price range was about $200,000. Back in 2011 that was pretty doable in the market, especially for a couple seeking a house with less than 4 bedrooms.
Chris and Lauren were not looking for much. They wanted a house that they could grow with, and they planned on having a couple kids at least. They thought that even if they had 3 bedrooms, and if they had 3 kids total, they could put a couple kids in bunk beds in one room, and have another kid with their own bedroom. They also wanted a small yard for a dog. Pretty much the American Dream, or what they saw as the American Dream.
Lauren had a job at a bank in Westminster, and Chris was an assistant manager at a restaurant in Thornton, but was interviewing at Progressive Insurance at the time (he got the job two months after we started searching for a home). Lauren is from Glenwood Springs in the mountains of Colorado, and Chris is a native of Montana.
They wanted to stay in the Denver Metro area, and had some areas they really didn’t want to move to, but we had a massive area to search.
At the time, I was about 8 years into working in Real Estate, and had been working on getting families bank owned homes, short sales, and foreclosures for about 4 years. I was, at the time, proficient enough in the business side of things to be able to communicate well with the banks, lenders, title and insurance agents to make things as smooth as possible for every party involved.
Chris and Lauren saw about 20 homes, and nothing really struck their eye until we came upon a corner lot in a cul-de-sac in Westminster that they fell in love with. Now, let me preface, it’s very difficult to fall in love with a foreclosure or short sale home because of the immense amount of work that normally comes with buying a property of this nature.
This specific home had been used as a rental for a number of years, and when we went to look at it, there were tents in the backyard, chickens wandering the property, and the inside smelled like someone had smoked a cigarette and blown the smoke right in your face.
But Chris and Lauren saw great potential, and they asked me to begin the process to try and buy the home.
REO properties are not easy to close. Normally, there are many steps to the offer process, and after receiving a counter-offer from a bank, there is normally a long wait to see if they have accepted a counter offer from the potential buyers.
In this case, Chris and Lauren thought there was no way that they would be buying this home because the bank initially rejected their second counter offer. Since I had seen this before, I tried to convey that this was just a bump in the road, and there was still the possibility of them landing in that specific home.
After a couple months, and both of them moving on to a few other not as desirable homes, I reached back out to the bank in Denver, and asked them if they had received any more offers for the home. Fortunately, they said they had not, and I inquired if they would be willing to drop their price by 5 thousand dollars.
After going back and forth with the banks board, they finally agreed to the price of $194,500, and we had a deal. But I wanted to surprise Chris and Lauren, and I had just the right idea.
I reached out and asked if they would like to grab a bite to eat at CB & Potts off 120th in Westminster, and we met for dinner on a Friday night in early September, 2011. When we sat down, I asked them if they wanted to go search for more homes. They said yes reluctantly, thinking that they had been rejected again. Then I said ‘Or would you like to go sign the contract to buy this home at the price of $194,500’. They were ecstatic, and I think we scared a few people in the bar area by how loud we were celebrating.
One month later, the property was theirs, and they began the extensive renovation.
I just met with Chris and Lauren again last week in front of their property, and spent a couple hours with them going through the home and seeing the updates.
You’ll see a pic below of them in front of the home that they have put so much work into, and this is one of the reasons that I’m in the business that I am.
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