Is Real Estate a Helping Profession? Kind of.

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/x2Z

 

I like my job.  If I do it well, it pays well.  If I don't do much of anything, it pays for what I've done.  The bottom line in this field is that you get out of it what you put in it.  That's not completely good enough for me.  I want more.

Most of my adult life has been involved in some aspect of the helping professions.  Real estate probably wouldn't sound like a helping profession, but it can be if you broaden your view. 

I was at a adoption party Saturday.  While talking with friends, I was relating Happy couplesome of the events that have taken place in the past year.  One particular event came up that made me realize that my Realtor license isn't just about me and making money.  I can use it to help people in more ways than simply buying or selling their homes.

I had a couple call who were looking for a rental.  They were prosperous and successful business owners who had fallen into a bad situation and needed housing.  I had talked to them a few years before just as their circumstances were beginning to unfold.

They had built a house on a cost-plus contract.  What that means is that if the cost of building exceeds the contracted price, the contractor can continue to the finished construction and pass the extra cost on to the buyer.

Exhausted man at his computerThis couple had worked hard, and their success had afforded them a great home.  So, they built a magnificent home.  It was a sprawling 8000 square foot home in an upscale neighborhood.  They had contracted to build it for $800,000.  When they got the final bill, it was $1,250,000.  The contractor had run over more than 30%.  He had unwittingly priced them out of their own house. 

They managed to live in it for a few years.  That meant making the $10,000 a month mortgage payment, but they couldn't do much of anything else.  The future looked pretty bleak for these guys.  They once were prosperous and happy, and now they were slaves to their house.  Their future meant no vacations, no college for the kids, no free time and little of anything else. 

That's where we linked up.  As the weight of their house began to take it's toll on them, they called me.  They ultimately went into foreclosure and they lost Exhausted womantheir home.  What was meant to be their dream home, their retirement home, their final home had become the nightmare on their street.  

Not too far from their home, I have a wonderful property that I offered to these folks for just a little over 10% of the former mortgage payment.  It's about 1000 square feet smaller than their house.  So the adjustment would be minimal.  The lower rent meant they could actually save money each month while getting their lives back on track.

When the wife asked me why I had picked them over the dozens of other people who had inquired about the rental, I told her,"Because you need a break."  They're a really nice family with no hint of pretense.  They just wanted a great house to raise their kids in, and they got it at a terrible cost. 

That little break has helped them get control of their lives.  I was able to use my real estate license to make a difference in the life of someone who had been beaten and bruised by life.  It helped my owner client, and it helped this customer.  Everyone won in the end, and once again, I got to walk away smiling and satisfied with the outcome.  

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Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Li.

Mar 11, 2012 10:28 AM #2
Rainmaker
591,375
Curtis Van Carter
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley, Yountville Napa Valley - Yountville, CA
Napa Valley's Broker Extraordinaire in Yountville

Mike

Truly a very nice gesture on your part. The old adage lives on, better to give than receive, cheers cvc

Mar 11, 2012 10:58 AM #3
Rainmaker
967,269
Joyce Kelley
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc - Gulf Breeze, FL
Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl.

I did not know that about cost plus but I need to remember that for the future, that may not be such a GOOD THING.

Mar 11, 2012 11:02 AM #4
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Curtis.  Have a great Sunday.

It really isn't a great idea, unless you're the contractor.  8-)

Mar 11, 2012 11:11 AM #5
Rainmaker
493,520
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Mike, like I said before, what goes around, comes around! You are featured in the Active Rain Go-Givers Group

Mar 11, 2012 11:17 AM #6
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Andrea!  

Mar 11, 2012 11:29 AM #7
Ambassador
1,610,327
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Mike- you just brought a huge smile to my face.  So many good people have faced these set backs and your couple was very lucky to have found you.  Thanks, Mike!

Mar 11, 2012 12:18 PM #8
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Glad to hear that, Kathy.  I had another similar situation Thursday, but that's another blog.  8-)  Happy Sunday!

Mar 11, 2012 12:19 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,183,647
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Good Afternoon Mike, i have to agree you get out what you put in. The job can be very rewarding, it is times like you just experienced with that professional couple that are rewarding when we can truely help someone and make them happy. Enjoy your Sunday

Mar 11, 2012 12:29 PM #10
Rainer
391,721
Kristine Ginsberg
Morris County, NJ: Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Morris Plains, NJ
Morris County, NJ Stager

Mike - this story is all too common and it's not surprising that you stepped in and helped this family in such a desperate situation. As usual, you always put a smile on my face and remind me there's always more we can do for people who have fallen on tough times. You are always an inspiration!

Mar 11, 2012 12:33 PM #11
Rainer
234,320
Doug Bullwinkel
Vitek Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

This was a win-win situation for everyone.  You were able to help these people find suitable housing that allowed them to keep their present lifestyle while dropping their monthly housing expenses by almost 90%.  You win by doing the right thing for people and knowing that these people will never be late with their rent payments. 

Mar 11, 2012 12:54 PM #12
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Scott.  I was so glad I was able to help them over the hump.  

Thank you, Kris.  You're too sweet.  This couple was so beat up.  I just couldn't leave them in that condition. 

They've been great tenants, Doug, and they take really good care of the house.  

Mar 11, 2012 02:28 PM #13
Rainmaker
631,367
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley ~ 845-527-7115 - Newburgh, NY
LIC R.E Salesperson - Homes for Sale Newburgh NY

Mike, there are so many people that have been in bad situations that we can't help. It's nice to know that we can do great things at times, and yes it certainly feels good! 

Mar 11, 2012 05:21 PM #14
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Absolutely, Janis.  It makes me terribly sad when I see a need that I want to help but can't.  Have a great week!

Mar 11, 2012 05:44 PM #15
Rainer
307,049
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

I'm glad to hear that you were there to help these people.  Agents come sometimes forget that the real reason we get into this service industry is just that--to serve.

Mar 11, 2012 05:56 PM #16
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

This one worked out just great, Jennifer.  Have a great week!

Mar 11, 2012 06:16 PM #17
Rainmaker
1,162,937
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Mike.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Great feeling to be able to help people who need a break.

Mar 12, 2012 03:19 AM #18
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

It is, Conrad.  This one worked out really well.  Have a great Monday.

Mar 12, 2012 03:28 AM #19
Rainer
146,554
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors
Mike a great news story. Helping others is what life is all about and being a professionals realtor allowed you to extend yourself to this couple, good for you.
Apr 24, 2012 06:59 PM #20
Rainmaker
841,247
Mike Cooper
Winchester Real Estate Sales, Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Pro

Thanks, Wendy. Those folks in the blog area still with me as renters. 

Apr 24, 2012 07:04 PM #21
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Mike Cooper

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