“What goes around comes around!” What does that even mean? I am kind of equating it to Karma. You earn what you get. At least sometimes that appears to be true. Many years ago I sold a property to a young woman, who at the time was probably the youngest person I had ever sold a property to. That was 25 years ago. She was already thinking at that time about setting herself up for retirement. Wow, talk about forward thinking. Well, there is another cliché that says something about “the best laid plans of mice and men!” Both of these clichés have a direct bearing on this small story.
For the last 25 years this professional woman has taken very good care of this property. It might be worth pointing out that I sold her this older home near the campus as a triplex at the time. Even though she keep the property very well maintained she experienced a very severe burst pipe in the basement which pretty much wiped out all of that lower level apartment. Oh well, she had insurance so set to work to fix it. Therein the nightmare starts. Being very conscientious she hired licensed contractors to do the work and they set about getting the proper permits from the city. Did I mention that this burst pipe effected the whole plumbing and electrical system of the home and consequently all her tenants had to vacate? So, all this work, no income to support any mortgage and now she encounters the city!!
Because of a departmental “crack-down” on student rentals that the city considered less than adequate they decided that this property had never been properly zoned for a triplex. This even though in their records they had recognized that use on numerous occasions. So now the nightmare kicks into high gear. Three years later after meeting upon meeting with city, attorneys and contractors the property is all fixed up and ready to hit the market.
Needless to say this retirement investment has nearly bankrupt this, now middle aged professional lady. The end product is a very nice DUPLEX, no longer saleable as a triplex. When she was finally ready to put the property up for sale I felt so bad for her experience that I elected not to take a listing commission on the property. I let her know that we still needed to pay whatever Realtor actually sold the property, even if it was myself, but that I would not take a listing side of the commission. She was tearfully grateful. I, of course, make my living by serving my clients so well that they always come back to me for more. So this decision to forgo my commission was not taken lightly. On the heels of a 5 year recession my income, now that the market has rebounded, has lots of recession era “holes” to fill. However this only felt right and finally she saw some light at the end of the tunnel and a little assistance, for a change, in getting there.
So the karma part comes in that the same morning we put the property on the market an investor watching new listings like a hawk called and wanted to make an offer. To make a long story short, there ended up being multiple offers and even though I was very careful to make sure that all competing offers were not given to me prior to my presenting them to the seller MY offer ended up being the best and Fred gets paid on this one anyway. So I get to do a good deed. I get to make a client for life feel like they got a little bit of their suffering paid back. AND, everyone wins. This has got to be my favorite transaction of the entire year!