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  • Adam Millendorf

Being Thankful in Hindsight

The holidays are a time for us to look at the things in our lives that we are most thankful for. One thing that I have learned is the things that may seem hurtful now are things that you might end up being grateful for in hindsight. For me, this was a job that I didn't get. The story I am about to tell you is true and, while names won't be revealed, it might cause you to look at how you approach buying, renting, or listing property with a more careful eye. For many years I worked in the retail field. One day I applied for a job in a small retail store that was being leased by a landlord. The business was run by a husband and wife who would also homeschool their kids in the store. Long story short, I didn't get the job and was disappointed. However, a few years later something happened that made me look back on that rejection with gratitude. On my way home one day I drove past the store and found that it was closed and boarded up. I went to the store's website to see what happened and found a post from the wife: Two years before the post, the main water line broke and the landlord came to "fix" the issue himself, but the leaks persisted. The landlord also refused to acknowledge and fix the damage that the leak has caused to the walls. Over time, the husband got progressively sick and testing revealed that there were at least six different types of toxic mold which had now become airborne in the store, causing the husband's illness and symptoms in the wife and children. The store closed, and after the husband had a stroke, never reopened again. Basically, had I gotten the job at this store, I may have been exposed to the same toxic mold. I dodged a bullet.

I tell you this story because of the next part. According to the wife's post, the landlord returned to the property to remove the warning signs that had been posted. He listed the property to be leased again, with the insinuation that the landlord would put up a new coat of paint and lease a dangerous building to an unsuspecting new tenant - putting these business owners, employees, and customers in danger. Eventually the property would be leased and is now a bar, where the owners gutted the place and passed food safety inspection so one would assume it's safe. The lesson of this story as it relates to buyers and realtors is simple: be careful when you are looking to buy or rent a home or a building. Most landlords and sellers are honest, but some are not. Some might be hiding issues like mold or structural damage. Things that don't just end up costing you money but could cost lives. Get an inspection, do your research, and ask questions. Looking back, you'll be thankful you did.

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