I’ve moved many times in the last 7 years – not always by choice, but suffice to say that I am almost a pro at it.
This time though, while looking for houses, I seem to come across a good number of scams. People who live in another state because their jobs transferred them there and since many people are looking at the house, would I consider putting down a deposit to hold my spot?
One man seemed pretty legitimate. The price was comparable to what the rentals in the area were going for (not like the guy who wanted $1700 a month for his 3,000 square foot house in Newport Beach that is right on the water. Yeah, not suspicious AT ALL). and when I emailed him (off Trulia – not even Craigslist, where it’s expected that you’ll either get an awesome deal or get shot) for more info, he sent me the address and 11 photos and told me to drive by.
It all sounded pretty good. The only little red flag that popped up was that “Dean” shared a lot of info about himself in his email. Since the house was two streets over, I drove by to check it out. When I got to the vicinity of the house, I couldn’t find it at first. I then happened to glance across the street and see the house in the photos and it indeed had a for rent sign on it. I pulled up, looked around and emailed the guy back and told him that I’d like to set up an appointment.
He emailed back that he was living in Florida and that I could just look “through the windows,” because the photos he sent were exactly as the house looked and that the house was vacant. I didn’t recall it being vacant and I also recalled that there was a back house on the property not mentioned in “Dean’s” emails. So, as it was only two blocks away, I figured I’d stop by again.
It most certainly was not vacant. Also, I noticed that the address “Dean” gave me was one number off. So, I called the number on the big FOR RENT sign in front of the house. And spoke to the real owner of the house, whose name is Bill by the way.
When I got home, I emailed Dean and told him that the house wasn’t vacant, that he got the address incorrect and that he sent pictures of the wrong house. Lo and behold, about 10 minutes later, “Dean” called me. In very broken English, he insisted, INSISTED that the house was his and if I wanted to fill out the application. I finally hung up on him after I continued to repeat that he had the wrong house, the wrong address and it was someone else’s house!
He then emailed me with “OMG!!!!! You found someone on my property. I need to get back there to confirm things for myself.”
To which I replied, “Make sure you go to the correct address.”
P.S. I’ll finally be revealing Good News Part 3 TOMORROW! Stay Tuned!