No Saguaro

No Saguaro

January 11, 2012

Tucsonans Are Douchebags - Example #2,017 (Updated, 1/13)

We only wish we could have talked him out of making the purchase and the move when he first looked at the property, but he was not to be discouraged.  We just wanted to prevent someone else from suffering what we suffered when we made an identical unwise decision years earlier.  Alas, history truly does repeat itself.  I refer to the rude awakening of our new neighbor, a transplant from back east like us, on moving-in day, to the disgusting state of filth and disorder in which his newly acquired property had been left by the previous owners.

As is the general rule with so much of life here, what is bad about Arizona as a whole is amplified threefold in Tucson.  It is no different in matters of real estate.  Arizona has acquired a well-earned unsavory reputation in this area.  One does not have to search far to find unqualified and unprofessional agents, shady mortgage lenders, and incompetent, dishonest, and unqualified “home inspectors.”  Sellers here appear to think that mountains of cash representing their asking price will magically land in their laps once they put their homes on the market, no matter how deplorable their home’s condition.   Because the housing bubble of the last decade gave this place the closest thing to economic growth that it will ever have, the inmates came to believe, more strongly than people anywhere else in the nation except possibly Florida, that the train would keep rolling, that housing prices would only go up, up, UP, and that any asking price was the final, unimpeachable word.  Compounding their delusions, and reflecting their well-known irresponsibility with money, many Arizona homeowners, especially here in Tardtown, weren’t satisfied just with buying houses through subprime mortgages.  They also took out home equity loans – sometimes more than one, as was the case of the previous owner of our house.   Then the bubble burst.

Amoricons in general are either ignorant of or cannot stand to come to terms with the laws of economics.  Arizonans in general, and Tucson Tards in particular, cannot even fathom the concept of economic laws.  But that didn’t change the fact that once the housing bubble burst, those laws made their presence felt, with a vengeance.  Suddenly, Tucson Tards who thought that their over-mortgaged homes had set them on Easy Street for life discovered that no one was going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a flimsy mobile home or prefabricated house that sat on a couple of acres of dry desert scrub land.  At the same time, those subprime “balloon” mortgages –you know, the ones that the sleazy mortgage lenders told the gullible tards would never adjust upward more than a quarter of percentage point per year—suddenly got a whole lot more expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that the Tucson Tards, with their shitty minimum-wage jobs that wouldn’t have qualified them for a mortgage to begin with under real, non-FED-manipulated market conditions, couldn’t afford them anymore.  So the tards, desperate for a way out, began to abandon their properties at astounding rates, or put them on the market, believing, for reasons only the Lord Himself could fathom, that there were people out there even stupider than they were who would pay a premium for distressed property in the middle of the desert, property generally with limited or no access to civilizational amenities. 

Occasionally a white knight in the form of a potential buyer with cash, usually always someone from out of town, guided by one of the area’s sleazy and incompetent real estate hacks, would find some luck Tucson Tard trying to escape their mortgage and would offer them at least enough to cover most of their existing mortgage balance, or some amount approximating the actual current market value of the property.  Amazingly, most of the tards balked at such offers, demanding their full, bubble-era asking price, however unrealistic it was, and simply decided to hold out (to no avail) for more money. 

My new neighbor was such a white knight to my previous neighbors, who had the property on the market for two full years without having so much as a single competing offer.  I don’t know what my new neighbor finally got the sellers to agree to for a sale price, but I suspect that it was less than half of what they were asking.  They probably suffered a loss on the sale (welcome to the club!) and for that reason were resistant to doing anything to the property that they weren’t compelled by law or contract to do.  Of course they were anti-social, inconsiderate douchebags to begin with anyway, but the humiliation of having been victimized by the economic realities of the current housing market only amplified their preexisting tendencies.

So what did these douchebags do, or not do to the property?  For starters, they left the place a filthy mess, just as was the case with our property, and, I suspect, based on conversations I’ve had with other neighbors who’ve moved here within the last few years, every other property in this part of town.  In my new neighbor’s case, the previous owners did not know what soap, water, brooms, mops, disinfectant, bug spray, floor wax, and vacuum cleaners were, or chose to ignore their duty to use them.  He reported that the house’s kitchen and both bathrooms were “black with filth, grime, and grease,” that the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in particular, were “so filthy and sticky as to be unusable,” and that the carpet, though salvageable, looks as if dirt and coal dust had been ground into it.  It took nearly a thousand dollars of his own money to get the place clean and inhabitable. 

Second, as also happened to us, the previous owners made off with fixtures that were supposed to convey with the property.  This is a common scam here in Tard Town, the natives apparently believing that, given the glacial pace of legal procedures here, along with the stonewalling for which people here are famous, most buyers will decide that it’s not worth the time, money, effort, and agony to seek legal recourse for this breach of contract once they’ve committed to purchase of the property and are read to close.  Infuriatingly, they’re right.  Not only are the real estate agents here culpable in this unethical behavior, but the state’s courts put such claims at the bottom of their priority list.  Even a small claims case around failure to convey can take over a year to adjudicate, by which time it’s simply no longer an economically viable undertaking. 

Nice scam.  You’ve gotta hand it to the tards.

Oh, and don’t bother trying to sue real estate agents here for malpractice or breach of contract.  Their lobbyists have already effectively talked the state legislature into making sure that such suits will go nowhere.

So I wish my new neighbor, a really great guy who can help us to add much more needed intelligence and decency to this neighborhood, the best of luck.  We’re taking bets on how long the “new resident’s magical trance” will wear off and when he’ll start to see the locals as the thieving, lazy, ignorant slobs that they clearly are.

Update:   Apparently the particular Tucsonans mentioned in this post are also thieves and vandals.  My new neighbor informed me today that in addition to having left the property a filthy mess, the douchebags who were the previous owners also drained the 200-gallon propane tank of all fuel and left a large, gaping hole in the living room wall, apparently gouged out by a careless furniture move or application of heavy blunt object.  Truly despicable, careless, irresponsible human beings, these creatures.  Alas, my neighbor realizes, as we did when the same thing happened to us, pursuing legal charges against the previous owners for damages is a fruitless act.  I might recommend that he do what we should have done when the same thing happened to us: sue both his real estate agent and the seller's agent for negligence.  Since he was unable to be present to conduct the final walk-through of the property that  took place prior to settlement, he had stipulated (hopefully in writing) that his agent was to act as his agent by inspecting the property and ensuring that it was in habitable condition before settlement.  This she clearly failed to do, as did the sellers' agent by ensuring that her clients had the property in a condition fit for transfer.  I don't know if there's legal precedent for such a lawsuit, but if so, he should avail himself of it.  Being every bit the douchebags as are the rest of the inhabitants of this cesspool of humanity, both his purchasing agent and the sellers' agent clearly were derelict in their obligations.  If this practice of carelessness remains unchallenged, more of the same will happen to other home buyers in the future.