We Buy Houses Stockton, Even the Burned Ones
On that Monday I received that call from Jose about a house that he was “interested in possibly selling”. I could tell that Jose was tentative; he was uncomfortable talking to me. His questions weren’t rehearsed and he was a little unsure of what to ask. He was just plain skeptical. I understood that. But I also understood that up and until that point I had just answered the phone with my usual… “hello, this is Peter Westbrook, how can I help you?”
You see, It all starts with a phone call. Yes I get emails, and text messages too, but the phone call is what generally “gets the ball really rolling. People generally don’t know what to say or expect when they call me. I understand that. What I do… the buying of homes is not necessarily a routine proposition for most people. For some it happens once or twice in their lifetime, it is considered stressful and complicated and it is perceived to be a mountain of paperwork. (That in it self is worthy of another blog posting). So when people call, I understand that they are not sure what to expect.
When I asked Jose how he had gotten my phone number and heard about me, his response made everything clear.
He said that he had seen a sign near his house (on a telephone pole) that said “We Buy Houses Stockton, in any Condition” and my phone number 209-481-7780 and so after some cajoling from his wife, he picked up the phone and called. He said he really didn’t believe that anyone could help him, least of all from a sign on the side of the road.
I assured him that I was a good listener, that I was real, that my business was real and that I could probably help him unravel the problem that he was faced with if he’d let me help. I explained that he should be cautious and skeptical, that he was normal in thinking that he needed to be guarded and that it was OK to be a Nonbeliever. After all he had seen was a phone number on a sign, nailed to a telephone pole.
I explained that I understood and that a sign on a telephone pole were hardly credentials. I reassured him that the process was one step at a time and at his pace. He was reassured, or at least as much as he could be for the moment.
Once he settled down I asked him to tell me about the house. How many bedrooms and baths are there? Was there a garage? What condition was the house in?
Jose, told me that he had inherited the 2 bedroom 1 bath house from his parents who had passed five years ago and that he owned the House free and Clear and was considering to sell it. He also told me that the house had been vacant for all of that time and that he had been meaning to “fix it up”, but he just didn’t have the time and money to do so. He then said, there is one small problem, there was a fire at the house two weeks ago and the garage had suffered some damage. I didn’t probe any further because in my business, seeing is believing.
Jose explained to me that someone had broken into the house the past weekend and started several small fires and that the garage had the worst of the damage. The police and fire department were called and the fire was put out and. He stated that he did not think that the house suffered any substantial damage. He then said he had got a notice from the health department that he needed to clean up the mess. He didn’t know where to start. He said he didn’t have any money, there was no insurance on the house and that he didn’t know what to do or who could help. The city and the county had already posted notices and they wanted the mess cleaned up or they would start to fine him until it was cleaned up and fixed. Jose was upset.
In my business this is NOT unusual. When my phone rings and I am prepared for anything. We scheduled an appointment for the next day.
As I was driving to my 10:00 am appointment on that dreary day in February, I was focused on the house, what Jose had told me and what I was about to see. As I drove up to the front of on 8th St, I wasn’t expecting much. I was very familiar with the neighborhood and I was fairly certain that what I was going to find was less than a beautifully maintained property.
I was right. While I could not see the fire damage from where I had parked, I could see that the front porch was falling down, the front door was boarded up, along with some of the windows, the roof was cluttered with debris from tree branches and that the roof itself was deteriorated beyond any possible repair.
I also noticed that the chain-link fence surrounding the property was locked with heavy duty chains and pad locks.
Jose greeted me as I got out of my truck and then informed me that he had no keys for either the gates or the house, but I was free to “hop the fence and walk around”. Good thing I wore my boots and jeans. I gathered a hammer, flash light and gloves from my tool box and hopped the fence for my initial tour. As I rounded the west front corner of the house I was expecting to see a partially burned garage. What I saw was a garage completely leveled by a fire. Water, soot, ash and debris were strewn everywhere.
As I maneuvered my way through the mess, step by step, I was reminding myself to be careful, to watch out for anything that could fall. I noticed that while the garage was not attached to the house, the make shift lean too, or patio cover that once connected the two, was partially standing. Its post charred and blackened. As I turned the next corner to what was at one time the back of the house, I saw the extent of the fire dame to not only what used to be the garage but also what had happened to the house.
As I stood staring at the white, rusted and black-suited security door, with its metal frame just barely hanging there, I noticed that there was no door behind it. The back door had completely burned in the fire and the only thing attached to the house was one hinge of the security door. On the other side of that security door was a chain and padlock holding the door to a 2X4 wall stud. As I stood back to take it all in, I saw that the entire back half of the house had caught on fire and it was stopped before it could ignite the rest of the house.
I walked back out to the front of the house and there was Jose, who promptly asked “What do you think? I calmly said, well you were right, the house needs some work, have you seen it back there? He replied that he was just too upset and that he had not gone back to see the damage because he was afraid of what he might find.
Jose and I discussed the damage at length and then after about a minute of pause he asked me one simple question… Are you still interested in buying the house?
I answered… Jose, I am happy to meet you, my name is Peter Westbrook and yes I am interested in buying your house. I explained that I needed to do a little more research on the property and neighborhood to arrive at a price, but I was definitely interested.
I could tell Jose was relieved, but not as relieved as he was two weeks later when he received his check from the title company.
My name is Peter Westbrook and I buy houses Stockton, I pay cash and because I do I can close quickly without banks. I always use a Title Company and I will always do the best I can to offer you the most money for any property that I evaluate. I have been told that my offers are higher than most and that they appreciate my candid approach to business.
At “Westbrook REI” and “We Buy Houses Stockton”, we are the best at what we do because we work at it every day. We understand that a commitment to customer and a commitment to our business only happens with hard work. We have years of experience and a plan that we follow. We are a real company with real people that are committed to helping you achieve your goals.
We buy houses in Stockton, CA and its surrounding areas including Elk Grove, Sacramento, Lodi, Galt, Woodbridge, Acampo, Lockeford, Linden, Ripon, Manteca, Modesto, Ceres, Tracy CA. If you need to sell your house fast in Sacramento, call us… we’d love to make you a fair no-obligation no-hassle offer. You’ve got nothing to lose, but we’d love to earn your business. 🙂