Stealing Prescription Drugs from Open Houses

On occasion, most of us will end up with a prescription for a pain killer. Whether you had an injury, surgery, or illness, it is not uncommon to head home from the doctor’s office with Vicodin, Percocet, or another pain killer. But when left alone in an open house, you may find your drugs have gone missing. Continue reading

Sharpie Parties – Trendy Way to Vandalize Abandoned Homes

Vacant homes are a target for all sorts of crime. In some cities, criminals break into foreclosed, abandoned homes to steal copper piping. In others, the homeless seek residence in empty properties. In California, however, a new crime has sprung up in empty homes across the state: Sharpie Parties. Continue reading

Bank Takes Wrong Home and Loses Possessions

There are few nightmare scenarios worse than a foreclosure. You lose your home, your finances are in ruin, and it takes a decade for the bad news to be removed from your credit report. What’s even worse, however, is when a bank forecloses on a home that you own outright and mortgage free.

A family arrived at their desert home near Twentynine Palms, California, not far from Palm Springs, to find their home broken into and all of their possessions gone. Continue reading

Dead Body Found in Garage

dead body in car
Real estate investors commonly buy homes in “as is” condition. this often leads to cleaning out nasty messes from prior owners and tenants, and usually results in bringing on a cleaning crew or remodeling part of the home. However, you rarely expect to take ownership of a home to find the body of the previous owner rotting in the garage. Continue reading

Property Zoning Nightmares: How City Government Destroyed Josh Terry

A few months ago, I heard about a 29 year-old couple,  Josh Terry and his wife Jenn, who bought a building in Oak Cliff, a suburb in Dallas, Texas, and converted it into apartments, or should I say, was in the process of doing it before the city, that initially approved the project and issued many permits for it, changed their minds and shut them down.  Today, Josh Terry informed me of new developments in the story and sent me a link to the Dallas Observer’s article detailing those recent developments. Continue reading

Wrong House Gets Demolished By Accident

Created by Surachai courtesy of

P.J. Deller Excavating & Hauling, a demolition company contracted by the City of Pittsburgh accidentally tore down the wrong house due to an address mix-up. Ooops?

One would think that the key to success for a demolition company would be the speed and efficiency of their demolition process, but you’d be wrong. Actually the success or failure of a demolition company rests mainly in their ability to correctly identify the house they’re about to destroy. Continue reading

The New Crop Of Landlords – Unsuspecting Victims

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A large number of homeowners, paying two mortgages because they can’t sell their previous home, are finding out that being a landlord isn’t as easy as it sounds.  With housing prices in decline, many homeowners are deciding to rent out their old house rather than take a loss discounting their house to a price low enough to sell it.  According to RISMedia, “People don’t want to be landlords, but they really have no choice, said Dennis Dickstein, a Realtor at Real Estate One in Farmington Hills, Mich., who estimates that 20% of his deals are leases.”  Continue reading

City of Dallas Screws Investor Out of $100,000

Think government is there for the people?  Think again.  In Oak Cliff, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, a real estate investor named Josh Terry decided to fix-up an existing multifamily property in the Oak Cliff area.  He got a ruling on zoning, obtained permits, and did everything legal.  The city gave him their blessings, permits and permission to perform the renovation.  The remodeling started.  New paint, new tiles, new carpet and after $100,000 invested in the project the building was starting to show improvements then the unthinkable happened.  Continue reading

Haunted Listings – Real Haunted Houses For Sale


Halloween by Salvatore Vuono – used with permission by

Agents specializing in niche markets is nothing new to real estate, but specializing in the buying and selling of haunted houses is something I’ve never seen… until now.  Are you looking for a house with a ghostly presence?  The San Diego Paranormal, and Medium, Bonnie Vent can help your real estate agent find that perfect haunted house to fit your needs.  Their website lists several houses, currently occupied by ghostly tenants.  Some of the descriptions of the goings on in these houses may effect resale value somewhat.  Here are a few of the paranormal activity descriptions of the houses for sale on that site.  Here are a few: Continue reading

Voyeurs Invade Open Houses In New York City

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Rather than being a buyer’s market or seller’s market in New York, open houses are attracting the voyeur market.  Looking at real estate listings has become a spectator’s sport to see what the Joneses are up to.  Almost half of the people going to open houses in New York are there to rummage in the closets, scarf down the free Hors d’œuvres, and look for decorating tips, according to a survey reported in The New York Post.  Continue reading

Dog Held For Ransom For Unpaid Rent

Talk about harsh.  The real estate agent acting as property manager for this New York apartment complex not only got this tenant fired from her job, but held her dog for ransom to attempt to collect back due rent.  Her inability to pay her rent stemmed from being a victim of identify theft.  Apparently this property manager wasn’t too sympathetic.   While there is no doubt that she owed rent and they had a right to collect, the means in which they pursued the matter were a bit harsh.  Creative, but harsh. Continue reading

The New Foreclosure Victims – Innocent Homeowners Like You

Banks are foreclosing on homeowners who are in default. While they’re at it, they’re even foreclosing on homeowners who are either current with their payments or don’t even have a loan with that bank.  The confusion created by the robo-mortgage fiasco has resulted in lots of mistakes involving who owes what, and where those mortgaged houses are.  However, that confusion hasn’t stopped banks from plowing ahead and throwing out the innocent with the homeowners in default. Continue reading

Former Real Estate Agent Chauffeured A Mummified Corpse In Her Car For Months

In Costa Mesa, California, a 57-year-old former real estate agent, was caught with a mummified corpse of a woman in the passenger’s seat of her 1997 Mercury Marquis.  The police are trying to discover the female corpse’s identity.  All they know is that she was a transient from the Fountain Valley area, known to the driver as Signe.  Police estimate that Signe had been dead for three to ten months due to the amount of decomposition and mummification.  Her body only weighed 30 pounds when she was discovered.   Police officials are studying her DNA and dental records to discover her identity. Continue reading