Monday, December 15, 2014

People, Prison & Property

Here's a riddle for you:

Question: What do you get when you cross a notorious motorcycle gang with guns, drugs and assault?

Answer: Another Bakerson house!

That's right. And, this one had some fascinating twists and turns.

What happened? Well, I received a lead on a short sale from a realtor. We made the offer and waited, and waited, and then we waited. The banks are never in much of a hurry. After a couple of months I asked the realtor if she knew what the hold up was. She said the seller was in prison and it was difficult getting information needed to complete the sale. Did you know when a person is in prison you can't just call them up or meet for coffee? It's quite a process. Even getting messages and questions to them is slow and laborious.

Great. Slow banks and a seller in prison. This could be interesting. Anyway, the realtor got the signatures needed and we progressed nicely to closing. Only took us 7 months to get to this point.

Per the agent, the house was occupied and the occupant wanted to buy the house. At this point I had no idea why the seller was in prison or who the occupant was. Naturally, I went to meet him and find out the details of the house and the occupant to work out a deal. When I arrived the house was cluttered with double sets of everything – one set in the house and one in the garage. He told me he was moving in and finding a place for the seller's stuff.

The man was gracious enough and walked me around the house. I then noticed on the back of his belt was the name of an infamous motorcycle gang. Paraphernalia from this same club were everywhere! I furrowed my brow in thought. He told me he owns a house free and clear in Sunburst Farms and was going to free up some capital in that house to buy this one. He didn't have a job. I was skeptical. We worked up a price. But, before he signed anything he wanted to make sure he could get the cash because it was being held up in some “stupid legal issues”. I furrowed my brow again. We shook hands and I left. When I walked back to the car I saw his motorcycle in the driveway. It had two big letters “H. A.” and the numbers “666” on the gas tank. Interesting. I furrowed my brow.

Back at the office I researched the house in Sunburst Farms and found out it was owned by “BD” (Biker Dude) and there was no loan on it. He owned it free and clear. So, maybe he could get the money.

Fast forward 2 years. I am sitting at coffee with a wholesale investor. He found a couple of deals and wanted to discuss building his network and finding more deals. Being curious, I asked him if he was full-time in real estate. Nope. Part-time. His full-time job was on the Glendale SWAT team. I paused. This time I didn't furrow my brow.

Me: Are you familiar with a house on Carol Ann Way that was occupied by a biker gang member?
Him: Yes
Me: Did you shatter the front window and blow out the front door?
Him: Yes
Me: That was my house
Him (bowing his head): Sorry about that.

We laughed at his funny response. That's right! The house was compromised by the Glendale PD. 

About a week after I had walked through the house with BD, the realtor related she received a call from a lady in the neighborhood. The police had blown out the front door and seized the house. Whoa! I immediately went to the house to see it for myself. Sure enough, the front door was boarded up with plywood as was the front window which goes into the living room. There was a notice posted by the Glendale Police Department. The property was seized. Anyone wishing to enter the house must get access through the PD. I called them. They told me they had what they needed and gave me the code for the lock to get inside. The lead detective said BD was arrested and going away for a very long time. Domestic assault, weapons violations, theft, drugs, you name it. Well, there went that buyer. What a bummer. He seemed like such a nice guy.

As I walked through the house I realized we had a dilemma and it involved a bunch of motorcycle club paraphernalia and valuables. We weren't going to simply throw them away. The realtor was called. She said, "Go see BD in jail and ask him." My brother Mike and I went. We talked to him through a video monitor system at the jail and asked what we should do with his stuff. He wasn't very helpful and said he just wanted to speak to the realtor. Well, that was fun. At least it was interesting!

Information was relayed to the realtor. She called a member of the club. (Wait! How did she just have some club bigwig's phone number? This was getting crazy!) The club members said they would just go pick it up. Upon calling the Glendale PD, we heard, “Not so fast! Anything that leaves the house must be supervised by the police.” The Glendale Police met the motorcycle gang there in unmarked cars and no uniforms (per gang request) and monitored them when they removed all of BD's stuff. In fact, the first time the gang showed up to clean it they turned around and left. Why? Because the cops were there with marked cars and in uniform. Makes me wonder, “Who makes the rules?”

We fixed the front door. We fixed the front window. We sold the house without further delay. It was fun.

And THAT is real estate in my corner of the globe.