We finally completed the The Hat Trick House last week and listed it for sale. We’ve been dragging our feet on getting the last 5% of the project completed (staging, trim, paint touch-up, etc), and now that we’re within 6 weeks of being able to sell to an FHA buyer, it was time to get moving.
We actually had a bit of scare at this property late last week. We went to the house to finish the staging, and noticed muddy footprints throughout the house. After several minutes of trying to figure out what was going on, we realized that we had been robbed! The thieves were obviously very careful not to make it look like a robbery (they only stole things in the garage and in closets, like our tools and extra staging materials). In fact, while they appeared to have taken everything out the back sliding glass door, they were careful to relock the sliding door, put the lock bar back down, and then climb out the same window they came in.
At first, I thought that the mess was from contractors and that my project manager had taken the tools with him. Had it not been for a missing bottle of wine and a couple of wine glasses, we may not have figured out that we had been robbed until I realized the tools were stolen. In all, about $1000 worth of stuff was missing.
When I walked outside to grab my phone to call the cops, I noticed a police car sitting in front of the vacant house next door (it’s up for rent). The owner of that house had come by about 30 minutes earlier and noticed his house had been broken into as well. Most confusing to him was that there was a cache of tools and random stuff sitting in his dining room…what turned out to be our stuff! There were also some half-drank glasses of wine on the counter.
With the cops help, we were able to piece together the story as follows:
Likely some neighborhood kids had broken into our place, grabbed all our tools (being careful not to make it look like a break-in), and took everything next door to the vacant house, where they had previously jury-rigged the garage door so that it wouldn’t lock, allowing them entry whenever they wanted. They had a little party, and then left, not taking our stuff with them most likely because it was raining and they didn’t have a vehicle. We assume they were planning to come back the following night — when the weather was better or when they could get access to a car — to get everything.
In the end, we got most of our stuff back (we lost a couple hand-drills), and the cops were able to get some decent fingerprints. Additionally, it gave us the motivation we needed to get our alarm unit set up there, so this wouldn’t happen again. It was a long day dealing with the police and getting muddy floors cleaned, but all-in-all, it could have been much worse.
Anyway, the final staging pictures will be posted in the next day or two; and here is the MLS listing.
As you can see, we’re listing it at $109,900, which is a good bit more than we’re actually expecting it to sell for.
But, The Red Garage House was very similar (with a smaller backyard), and it sold for full-price; so we figured we’d try to get lucky on this one too…