This is something that has been bothering me more and more lately. It is making me angrier and angrier. This is a true story involving my family.
My mother’s parents were serious, sober, frugal people. They were in their twenties during the Great Depression. When they were in their 70s and 80s, at family reunions, my grandmother would not throw out the plastic utensils and plastic plates, she would keep them and wash them. My grandparents never got over what it was like during the Great Depression. Like many people who lived through the Great Depression, they were very frugal, careful with money, and didn’t like wasting anything.
My grandfather became an Electrical Engineering professor at a university in Florida. In the summer, he did consulting work. After about twenty years of working, he had saved up enough money to buy three acres of land on a lake in Florida, and build a home that he designed.
The home was simple, practical, and well built. It was four bedroom, two bathroom. It was a very long, single story house, with high ceilings, that was built into a hill overlooking the lake. The back of the house was half way above ground level, and the front of the house was completely exposed. The design of the house, and that it was completely surrounded by tall old oak trees, made it very cool in the summer.
My grandparents lived in this house from approximately 1950 to 2000. During this time, my grandfather planted the three acres with about every kind of tropical and semi-tropical plant that you could think of. Avacados, bamboo, bananas, elephant ears, ferns, lemons, limes, lillies, ginger, grapefruit, hibiscus, kumquats, oranges, roses, tangerines, tomatoes.
Not long after my grandfather died, my grandmother wanted to sell the house and move into an assisted living facility, she was about 90 years old. The house was put on the market for sale.
The town had grown tremendously since 1950 when the house was built. The property used to be on the outskirts of town, but it was now right in the middle. Large custom homes in this area, were now being built on 1/4 acre lots, or smaller. Just the land value of these three acres with about 1,000 feet of lake frontage in this city in Florida, was probably $800,000.
A person who I will now refer to as a weasel piece of shit loser, came knocking on my grandmother’s door, “Oh hello, I don’t know if you remember me, I grew up in this neighborhood. I used to live right over there, I am so-and-so, my parents were so-and-so. I see that your house is up for sale. I always admired this house. I would sure like to buy this house.” My 90 year old grandmother vaguely remembered who this man was.
My grandmother discussed with my mother, and my mother’s two brothers, what their thoughts were on selling her house to this man who grew up in this neighborhood, at way below market value. My mother, and my mother’s two brothers did not object to this.
Within a few months after the property closing, my sister went to the assisted living facility and asked my grandmother if she would like to go back to the house to visit. My sister had been going to this house for 35 years, for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, family reunions, and weddings. Everyone in my family had many memories and attachment to this house and this property. Certainly, the owners who my grandmother had sold this house to for about $250,000, when it was worth more like $800,000, would not object to my grandmother visiting.
When my sister and grandmother arrived at the house, and knocked on the door, the wife was pleasant enough, though she was surprised. She was there with her boyfriend. Her husband, the man who had persuaded my grandmother to sell the house to him, she had kicked him out.
Even though my grandmother was 90 years old, she pretty quickly realized what a mistake she had made. I don’t know if she ever fully grasped how big a mistake it was. The whole intention was, that someone who grew up there, and had always admired the house, would get the house, appreciate it, and be able to raise their family there. The reality was, she had just gifted $550,000 to people that she didn’t even know, for no good reason.
My mother, my father, my mother’s two brothers, their spouses, their children, my sister, and myself, we all had such very strong memories of this house and this property. This property is not replaceable both in the memories, and what is physically there. No one in my family could afford to pay the fair market value of this property. No one in my family was scheming or treacherous enough to even think of suggesting to my grandmother to sell it to them for less than fair market value.
At the time, I could somewhat see my grandmother’s, my mother’s, and my two uncles’ thinking that at least someone who grew up in the neighborhood would get it and have a chance to raise their family there. No one foresaw that his Bitch wife, would kick his ass out about one month after closing.
I am sure that the loan officer at the bank said to the man and his wife, “We have no problem giving you a $250,000 mortgage on this property, the property is appraised at $800,000. The day that you close, you will have $550,000 equity in the property.” That is all the wife needed to hear. Her husband was a loser, going over there and trying to talk some 90 year old woman into selling him her house, that there was no way they could afford. It worked. This was a surprise to her, that her loser husband would ever accomplish anything, and now was her chance to cash out.
1. Wait for closing. 2. Kick the husband out. 3. File for divorce. 4. Division of joint marital property. 5. Force the sale of the house by demand for half of equity. 6. Collect $275,000, half of the equity in the house.
If you have elderly parents who own valuable property, print this out and give it to your parents, and to your brothers and sisters. Don’t even consider doing anything like this. It amounts to giving your life savings that you have accumulated over 70 years, to people that you don’t even know, for no good reason.