One of my favorite real estate stories began from a random call I got one day at the office……a prospective tenant was calling to find out about a house to rent near Mahncke Park that was already rented. I asked him why he would want to rent when he could buy a home around the corner for almost the same amount a month…. he gasped…..”I could really pay the same amount to buy?”…..and I confirmed….Leo called my preferred loan officer before meeting me ….and yes, it was true….his mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, would actually be a little less than the rental amount was going to be.
I quickly ran out to look at the house before meeting Leo…..and when I opened the door…..a horrible smell hit my nose. I called my husband before continuing to walk inside……I was afraid it was a dead body. It wasn’t a dead body….but it was the largest squirrel I had ever seen…dead in the middle of the living room. Somehow he got inside (I am assuming the squirrel was male) through the fireplace…and couldn’t figure out how to get out. I called the listing agent and told her about the squirrel…..and she called someone to have it removed.
I met Leo for the first time…..at the front curb of the house. Once I explained about the squirrel….we walked inside. Leo loved the house….it was perfect for him. We made an offer….and it was accepted. Leo had the home inspected and a few items needed repairs…..the most important item was a bee hive removal…..in the brick on the side of the house….requiring the Queen bee removal….and the seller agreed. Leo was buying the house with a VA loan…. the appraiser came out and gave it a value much higher than our sales price but required several items to be repaired….but somehow, by mistake, the seller was told of the appraised value (not by me)…..so she refused to make the repairs in hopes that the buyer would back out and she could sell again at a higher price. Leo decided to make the repairs at his expense….and the seller agreed to let him hoping he wouldn’t make his closing date on the contract.
We made the closing date…..but not without a little stress. One of the repairs was regarding the yard (adding extra dirt on the side of the house) and the appraiser had to come back out to re-inspect. Leo and I met early that morning at the house…I brought him donuts. Leo had done the yard work himself….and was sweating and dirty….and scared. What if the appraiser didn’t approve the repairs? We said a silent prayer and Leo drank the coffee and ate a donut while watching the appraiser walk around the house…..finally….in what seemed like a million hours (maybe 20 minutes) the appraiser walked up to us…..and asked if Leo was the buyer. We introduced ourselves….and waited. The appraiser laughed….and asked if we were as scared as we looked…..so we laughed….and admitted we were. He then asked if Leo did the grading…. Leo croaked out, “yes”…..and the appraiser said, “great job”! Leo jumped up and started dancing around….and I joined him! What a great way to begin the day!
After Leo closed and moved in….he called. He found some books in the attic…and one in particular he thought I would want. He asked me to come by….he wanted to keep the book a secret until I saw it.
The book was “Businesses That Built San Antonio”….and my dad had taken many of the photos and also was one of the businessmen featured in the book. I didn’t own this book. I didn’t even know it existed.
Leo’s comment? “This was the first book I opened after finding the box in the attic…and when I saw your Dad’s name I knew it was just another sign that you were supposed to sell me this house…thank you so much”.
Sometimes being a Realtor is priceless. This was one of those times. Thank you, Leo. It was my pleasure.