Thursday, September 23, 2010

Family Real Estate Drama = Another Sleepless Night

I was up in the night again.
There was no worry about Velvet, so it must have been the moon, the equinox or something else entirely.

I'm supposed to be working on a project for my parents that revolves around balancing the Karma with their former real estate agent who is a greedy liar and accomplished fraud whom I will call Lucy.

UPDATE:  Success!  I got the documents online HERE

My parents and Lucy have known each other for years because she sold them a house in Houston back in the mid 1970's.  Mother used to flip properties back then, and Lucy handled those transactions.  I don't remember her at all from when I was in high school, but I'm told she came over for coffee regularly.  Anyway, when my parents moved back to Houston, they looked her up, and she sold them the house they are living in now.

Once they got settled in, it turned out that the former owner of this house was some sort of lying jackass and Mother successfully sued him.  During the process, Lucy started dropping by for coffee again since she lives nearby.  Looking back, she may have been worried that her own bad behavior would come to light during that lawsuit, but at the time it simply seemed like she had developed some sort of affectionate nostalgia for our family.

She began inviting my parents to join her and her husband for dinner and stuff.  One Christmas when my brother, my sister and I were all in Houston, Lucy and her husband came over to my parents' for cocktails.  We were stunned by the resemblance between Lucy's loudmouthed, cigar smoking biggot of a husband and Rush Limbaugh.  She agreed with his pronouncements with such consistent ignorance that we have been calling them The Limbaughs behind their backs ever since.

About six months ago Mrs Limbaugh was over for coffee one morning when I was in Houston.  She stood in my mother's kitchen and declared that the Jews first broadcast inter-racial kissing on TV because they want to exterminate white people. I was so stunned that I could only say that I thought Jews were White People. After a brief discussion, I wound up loosing my temper and hollering at her for being completely stupid.  Later that afternoon, I went out in the front yard of my mother's house and yanked that bitch's For Sale sign right out of the ground.

No one in the family could understand why my mother gave That Woman the listing on her house when she decided to sell it over a year ago. My mother had her reasons. I can only conclude that Mother and Mrs. Limbaugh are somehow involved in a Sacred Contract, as described in the book by Carolyn Myss. Myss says that we enter into relationships with some people in our lives in order to learn specific lessons. I'm not sure what my mother is learning from this rabid cunt, but I've learned to go with the flow.

Mother has a new real estate agent now - even though it's pretty clear that nobody is buying her house any time soon. She found this new real estate agent through some local web forum and chose her because her comments suggested she was a Progressive Democrat. New Lady is thorough and detail oriented, and when she was trying to understand how it happened that my mother seemed to have overpaid for her current house, she uncovered evidence that Mrs. Limbaugh committed fraud.

Before Mother had this information, she had always known that the real estate agents in the neighborhood avoid working with Mrs L.  The thinking seems to be that Lucy is the kind of money grubbing manipulator that tarnishes the heritage in Texas of everyone selling properties.

Mother had always suspected that something had been fishy when she first bought this house, but she'd never been able to connect all the dots. After New Lady said it looked like Mrs. Limbaugh had enlisted the aid of a crooked appraiser to sell the house for substantially more per square foot than the comparable properties in the 'hood, Mother did some investigating. She finally went out for margaritas with a neighbor who had remained best friends with the woman who lived in the house mother was originally supposed to buy. The family has since moved to Arkansas. They were fixing to close on Arkansas' house when Mrs. Limbaugh threw a turd in the punch bowl. The moving van was already at my parents' home in Dallas when Mrs. L called my mother and said to put her stuff in storage because Arkansas could not move out, my parents could not take possession of the new home as arranged. Over margaritas, mother learned that when Mrs L made that fateful phone call, Arkansas had already moved. Mrs L told Arkansas that my mother had changed her mind about buying their home because her daughter didn't like the windows.

Lies, Lies, Lies.

A couple of days later, Mrs. L just happened to pick up a new listing on a more expensive house down the street. When she sold it to Mother, she was both the buying and the selling agent (Dual Agent) ergo: she could keep the whole 6% for herself instead of splitting it with another agency. My dad was sick of all this moving shit by that time and convinced my mother to buy it even though Mother always thought it was too expensive. As it happens, this disciple of Rush Limbaugh had jacked up the price and brought in a crooked real estate appraising crony of hers to seal the deal.

I'm not saying all Republicans are Crooks, but I am saying these Crooks are Republicans. Tea Bagging Republicans. The kind of shit heads who can look at the tax charts under Reagan that clearly show the tax rates were HIGHER under Reagan and continue to bitch loud and long about having a Nigger for President.

The worst part of it is that my mother knew The Limbaughs through and through before she ever gave Mrs. L the listing on her house over a year ago. But Mother felt sorry for Mrs L because her son had committed suicide. Mother believed that Mrs. L was crazy on account of her astounding grief. I continue to believe that Mrs. L is fucking toxic, but then, Mother is nicer than I am. Sometimes.

The punch line of this story is that my parents filed a complaint with the Texas Real Estate Commission about Mrs L and were told that since the apparent fraud was perpetrated over four years ago, they weren't doing a damn thing about it. The Complaint remains part of the public record, but because of the way life is in Texas, no one who is trying to find out if a real estate agent is a crook or not can access the information because the license number isn't recorded and Mrs. Limbaugh's license number is under her maiden name - or some shit like that. I'm not exactly sure what the deal is, but the result is that Mrs L is free to fuck over the public at will.

My mission, since I have agreed to accept it, is to post the documents on the internet so that the public can find the public record. It wouldn't have been any big deal if I could have just uploaded the PDF file to a Blogger Blog that I created for Mother called On My Broom, but for some reason, that isn't working. Maybe the file is too big. I don't know. So I bought a domain name from Godaddy in order to upload them straight on to a web site (conveniently named after this real estate agent. Mrs. Limbaugh already owns her name dot com. I bought her name dot org because I'm evil that way).

So I have to make this web site and I don't have a clue how to go about it. I have Websites for Dummies, so I should be able to work it out, but I feel bad because I haven't done it this week like I promised my mother I would.

I think that may be what's keeping me awake.


Anonymous Jennifer said...

Wow. Just... good luck. BTW - my very first blog was a website, which I created with a similar step-by-step book. It's fiddly, but I'm sure you'll figure it out.

Sorry if I seem to go off topic here, but I can't help but be mystified by the idea that real estate agents are public with their politics. Is that a Texas thing? Are all business people public with their politics down there? Is your political stance a part of your business plan?

In all my dealings with real estate, politics has never, ever been discussed. Certainly if it were, you know the side of the fence from which I'd choose one.

But I have never gone around discussing politics with my real estate agent just as I've never discussed them with my banker, grocery store manager, bike repair dude, streetcar driver or shwarma peddler (with the guy doing his prayers facing east on a garbage bag on the floor in the back room).

So, thinking about the larger picture, if all business people and prominent community members (not politicians) are going about taking political sides as part of their public personas, then where does the community stand in terms of fair trade?

In this case, as you point out, in an extreme right wing state, the community is fucked if they happen to call out an extreme right wing shyster.

Back to the big picture, this just screams MORE POLARIZATION OF THE POPULATION. More of the "either you're with us or you're with them" strategy. More divide and conquer.

More of the people being put to work for the politicians under the guise of the politicians working for the people.

September 23, 2010 at 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

(Sorry, that was long...)

September 23, 2010 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Jaliya said...

I know less than zilch about real estate, but I sure know about predatory humans.

Be very careful in what you choose to do publicly ... I wouldn't want that Limbaugh coming after *you*.


September 23, 2010 at 1:12 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Jennifer, as a general rule, folks keep politics to themselves. But my parents became more and more involved with The Limbaughs when my dad was president of the home owners association. They all had dinner together a few times - which is when the loudmouthed husband made his views crystal clear.

The thing is that, at least in Texas, the Conservative Christians Right Wing Republicans are such a noisy, visible group that they think everyone agrees with them and don't feel that it's necessary to refrain from discussing Religion or Politics which is actually a good thing since you always know where you stand.

Mother is the kind of person who believes that the personal is the political and vice versa, and didn't want to do business with anymore Right Wingnuts.

Jaliya, point taken.
Mrs. L fights dirty, but my mom will turn the dogs loose on her if she really caused trouble.

September 23, 2010 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

And Jennifer - business people routinely put their religion and politics in local advertisements. There never has been any "fair trade". Remember that Lyndon Johnson cornered airwaves in Austin so that all the other TV channels had to go on UHF.

The trouble is that the way the real estate law is written, Justice has nothing to do with Legalities.

September 23, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Susan Tiner said...

God. One thought about the web site is that if Blogger is like Wordpress you can get your new site up instantly by creating it as subdomain of your main blog. I've created two new sites this way by just attaching the domain name to the subdirectory.

But I know nothing about Blogger.

I publicly wrote about a mortgage broker ( in a fictional Debits Of Our Lives post -- it was a thinly disguised reference to what actually happened to my sweetie before we got together. Anyway there was A LOT of traffic to that post coming from Google search words with the broker's name.

After the posts I met a classy broker who explained more about how the real estate licensing works in California and I had to update the post with a clarification.

But the bottom line is this guy sold my guy a really inferior product and it was all apparently legal if unethical.

It is very hard for the average person to figure out whether a given realtor or broker is good business ethics.

Good luck!

September 23, 2010 at 5:38 PM  
Blogger PENolan said...

Susan - you're an inspiration!
I can do all that stuff with Blogger too, but the supporting documentation won't work with the template.

Hopefully once this glitch is sorted out, we'll be able to follow in your footsteps.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

September 23, 2010 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Susan Tiner said...

Is the issue that you can't upload the docs or that you've done that but don't know how to link to them in a post or both?

To upload I would ftp login directly to the site using a freeware ftp program like FileZilla. Once connected you can drag the docs to the folder on your blog where uploaded media goes. On wordpress this is in /public_html/wp-content/uploads/.

Blogger probably has some way to do it via the blog admin login but on WordPress the admin login interface doesn't make it easy to upload docs so I use ftp instead. Your hosting account setup email should have the ftp login info.

Getting the right URL in post is a little tricky. For example, in this post the correct link URL to refer to the Excel doc is

because that's the uploads folder on the server I dragged the 5-yr-income-prop.xls
doc to when I was logged in via FileZilla.

Hope this helps!

September 23, 2010 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger lisahgolden said...

I have nothing coherent to offer at this point. I just love it that you call your mother Mother.

September 23, 2010 at 9:25 PM  
Blogger corticoWhat said...

Good Luck! And oh, would you marry me? I do have a wife now but she seems to be moving to the right somewhat. Or perhaps I am moving further left.

September 23, 2010 at 11:41 PM  
Blogger Commander Zaius said...

Have you tried some website building software? Its like Legos for the internet.

In my experience I have found that a majority of real estate agents are republicans. Curiously enough I have also found them less honest than used car dealers.

September 24, 2010 at 2:05 AM  

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