Equal Housing Is a Lie

A Tale of Two Housing Transactions

In 2012, I sold my house at Georgetown, Kentucky. If you look far back enough in this blog, you’ll find posts and pictures from that little builder-grade “story and a half” house on a corner lot sitting within dynamite’s distance from an active limestone quarry, two houses away from a meth house.

Quite the neighborhood, that.

In any case, I sold that house via a realtor, and I never saw the people buying the house until we were at the closing table. Eight years on, I have no recollection of what the buyer looked like, his name, or his family situation. I know he bought the place on a 100%, no-down-payment VA loan. I also know that when I mistakenly had a package delivered to “my” old address, he refused to remit the package into my possession and strongly implied he had a firearm the other side of “his” door if I had a problem with that.

“I never got no package.” :doorslam:

That’s right: I sold my house to a someone who probably didn’t make the neighborhood a nicer place.

All that to say: So what? His money spent just as well as someone who smelled of chocolate and wrote love sonnets in his spare time. Welcome to Capitalism.

And then Today Happened

So today, my wife and I went to look at a house on about 10 acres in a weird neighborhood in a weird little Texas town. Ordinarily, we’d go in with our realtor with the house empty, look around, and determine if we wanted to make an offer or not. If we did, our agent would contact their agent. There would be no indication of our race, religion, age, socio-economic status. Just our names on a contract with two blanks for the seller to sign if they accept.

Yeah, except that’s not what happened.

So, our realtor informed us yesterday that “we can only peek inside the house.” Yay, CoVid19? Not really.

So, we arrive to see our realtor’s Acura TLX…and another person talking to her. Turns out, it’s the seller’s agent…let’s call him Todd. Todd was quite loquacious. And tall. And loud. Oh, and Todd lived RIGHT ACROSS THE ROAD.

“I pretty much founded this neighborhood,” Todd opines, wistful.

Oh.

So what follows is about 30 surreal minutes of the Potentate of Piss-Ant Lane interviewing us as he showed us around the house. Rattling off name after name of (confidential) information about people in the neighborhood. “Oh, I like you. You’ll fit in JUST FINE here,” he guffawed after I made a really lame joke.

At the end of the day, the property was nearly ideal, almost turn-key for what we wanted. The house was a disaster, having be relocated there from Somewhere Else® but “oh, B_____ really went through it all. Fixed almost everything.”

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Let’s break this down.

  1. It was a used car salesman schtick. I get you’re a realtor. Why are you here? I have a realtor. I like her. She’s under contract not to lie to me. Bar everything else, this was inappropriate.

  2. This is why minorities can’t get housing. Sure, I pull up in my wife’s (paid-for, used) Lexus. We get out, and we happen to be so Caucasian we’re transparent. My voice has a pleasant Good Ole Boy nature. I’m “the right kind of person” to “fit in.” the neighbor hood that Todd controlls like J.D. Hogg controlled Hazzard County.

  3. They wouldn’t let us in the house. Okay, I get that the Black Death Part Deux is in progress. If you accept a showing, sure…make me weear some booties and some gloves and some masks. Let me in the house if you want me dropping that kind of money, okay?

Housing in Texas is just surreal. I still can’t get over the whole “I’ve accepted your offer but I have a period where I can accept a higher one,” and “It’s rude to specify a limited term on an offer.”

No, it’s not rude, Walking Hairdo Southern Belle Realtor–it’s Contract Law.

This place.

SMH.

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