We had an incident in 2013 when a man walked into our office and demanded to see some property in Marathon. He continued to describe the property with much enthusiasm and his interest in real estate. As the conversation carried on, he became irritated and angry and began discussing the recent Boston Marathon bombing and how he knew about bombs and wouldn’t mind blowing up a few people. Our Agent became very concerned with his tone and behavior and the subject of the conversation and his threats. We called the local Sheriff department and they waited outside for our queue if the threat became more serious. Luckily, he ended up leaving, but still agitated. The Sheriff stopped and questioned him and found out he had been released from a mental hospital. That is just one bizarre story, of many, that our office can share. Working as a Realtor can be a fun and exciting job. We have the opportunity to meet hundreds of people and hear amazing stories of life changes and adventures from all over the world. It is so gratifying when we can help a buyer find the perfect home and be part of their life and dreams.
Unfortunately, the world has become a pretty scary place and working with strangers day-after-day allows Realtors to mix company with people they don’t know anything about. Lindsay Buziak was a Realtor in British Columbia who was murdered in 2008 during a showing with a client. Beverly Carter was attacked, kidnapped, and murdered at a showing in Arkansas in 2014. Crystal McDowell was another successful Realtor murdered in Baytown, Texas in 2017.
These cases are just a few of the stories where Realtors were targeted and murdered because of their community image, being at the wrong place at the wrong time, or were simply targeted based on their looks and charm. As a result of these attacks, the National Association of Realtors has advised Brokers to incorporate safety measures for their Agents to abide by as additional protection when showing property.
Real estate is considered a high-risk profession. At Mtn. View Properties, we have policies and procedures in place to protect our Agents and insure they are aware of their surroundings and the clients they work with. We not only have to be aware of people, but wild animals, dogs, and unsafe conditions can be a threat as well. We do not enter a home where we have not become friends with a dog. We do not enter a foreclosure without caution of animals or squatters. We have rules and steps to follow when showing property to strangers to protect ourselves. I believe it is important for every company or industry to have procedures if they are meeting with people outside the office or in the field. You never know when your life can depend on it.
Buying a home is usually a 1:1 ratio compared to renting. That means that you can find a home and make a mortgage payment that is equal to the monthly rent you were paying before. However, we don’t want to sugar coat things too much. There are a few things to know so you are prepared to be a homeowner. First, you will need to get pre-approved to consider buying a home. You need to call a lender and discuss your situation and see what your monthly payment and down payment requirements will be. Once they issue this magical pre-approval letter then you are free to call a Realtor to help you shop. One of the best things about buying your own home is that it belongs to you. You can change the color, make changes to the kitchen or have a dog and no one will tell you no. The drawback is that you become your maintenance man. You can no longer make a phone call to have someone fix your clogged drain or broken air conditioner without paying for their services. This leads to the next suggestion of having an emergency fund. This is your home and it will require maintenance and things do break. So be prepared and have at least $500-1000 set aside for when those breaks occur. Do you research and make sure you are changing the necessary filters and insulating pipes and doing the right routine maintenance to avoid certain seasonal problems. Lastly, your neighbors are forever. You can no longer eagerly wait for your lease to end and move if you become annoyed with your neighbor or their barking dog. Make sure when you are shopping for the right house to buy that you like the area and the neighbors. Buying a home is the largest investment you will make in your lifetime so make sure you invest wisely. Call Mtn. View Properties and we will gladly hold your hand through the process and provide the necessary advice along the way.